June 6 1944, D-Day

la_webster31.jpg


An overview of the D-Day invasion
, including a link (under the first photo) to a recording of a CBS radio broadcast covering news of the invasion.

Allied1.jpg

Map of the landings.

Strobel-W.jpg

General Eisenhower with paratroops of Company E, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, at the 101st Airborne Division's camp in Greenham Common, England

uss_nevada_bb-36_fire_on_positions_ashore.jpg

The 14 inch guns of the USS Nevada firing on enemy positions at Utah beach. Nevada was back in the war 8 months after the attack at Pearl Harbor that left her beached and burning.

b26-d-day-stripes.jpg

B-26 A-20 with invasion markings (the white stripes). With so many Allied ships in the channel it was important to be able to quickly identify friendly aircraft.

Message to the troops from General Eisenhower (audio at the link):

Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Forces:

You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944. Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned. The free men of the world are marching together to victory.

I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory.

Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.


The words not spoken are below the fold.

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"Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that Bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone."

Posted by: Dave In Texas at 10:02 AM




Comments

(Jump to bottom of page)

1
Beautiful post.
thanks Dave.

Posted by: artisanal 'ette UEFA Champions League today! at June 06, 2015 10:02 AM (qCMvj)

2 Can you imagine the current command in that situation?

"The paratroopers acted stupidly. Bush did it. Cheney. Halliburton. Fox News! When I learned about this invasion I was outraged!" -- Barack Obama

Posted by: Trimegistus at June 06, 2015 10:04 AM (r1Whx)

3 >>> The words not spoken are below the fold.

The speech he never wanted to give.

Leadership.

Posted by: fluffy at June 06, 2015 10:04 AM (2iV3X)

4 Thanks Dave for the post.

But the twin engine plane with invasion stripes is a Douglas A-20 Havoc.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at June 06, 2015 10:04 AM (OM7M4)

5

I repeat myself.

A great gift for Dad on Father's Day is a rememberance on one of the Walls of Honor, or Memorial Walls, paths, parks, scattered across the nation (some at the VA Hospitals or city, state parks).

For the living or deceased.

I did this, this year, for my Dad, and he was at a loss for words. A great legacy for your dad.

Posted by: artisanal 'ette Final UEFA Champions League match today! at June 06, 2015 10:05 AM (qCMvj)

6 shit,

never trust a photo caption

Posted by: Dave in Texas at June 06, 2015 10:07 AM (WvXvd)

7 That's not REAL Courage

Posted by: Caitlyn Jenner at June 06, 2015 10:07 AM (1oU6/)

8 When in London, be sure to visit the Eisenhower Statue.

http://london.usembassy.gov/grsvnrsq/eisen.html

Just outside the embassy in a cute little park. Very nice place to reflect.

Posted by: artisanal 'ette Final UEFA Champions League match today! at June 06, 2015 10:09 AM (qCMvj)

9 Obama would not make the decision. We have already seen that. Some military general would say, "Mr. President we have to do this"

Obama would reply, "You do what you have to do, I will do what is right."

Everyone but Obama would walk away confused.

Posted by: Franco Pharmswurth at June 06, 2015 10:10 AM (NpgaX)

10 the quotes on the Eisenhower statue


Two quotations appear on the rear facets of the pedestal - one from Eisenhower as a General and one from Eisenhower as a President. (from the letter as well)

"Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force: You are about to embark upon a great crusade... the hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you."
Order of the Day, June 6, 1944

"The faith we hold belongs not to us alone but to the free of all the world."
First Inaugural Address, January 20, 1953.

Posted by: artisanal 'ette Final UEFA Champions League match today! at June 06, 2015 10:10 AM (qCMvj)

11 If you get the chance to visit the WWII Museum in New Orleans (formerly the D-Day Museum), don't miss it. The exhibits about Normandy are worth the price of admission.

Posted by: Trimegistus at June 06, 2015 10:11 AM (r1Whx)

12 Not a problem Dave.

Here is a model of a solid nose A-20G with D-Day invasion stripes.
http://www.arcair.com/Fea1/301-400/Fea397-A-20G-Abrams/00.shtm

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at June 06, 2015 10:11 AM (OM7M4)

13 D-day was a success by virtue of the eventual victory over Germany but could there have been a different strategy that would have led to the same outcome without the same costs?

Posted by: Cruzinator at June 06, 2015 10:14 AM (XX9+E)

14 Thanks for posting this! One of my uncles was a platoon leader in the 116th Reg, 29th Div. Survived D-Day, KIA June 14th. He is buried in the Normandy cemetery.

Posted by: exhelodrvr at June 06, 2015 10:15 AM (Rug2j)

15 I've mention that I recently read 'Invasion 1944' by Hans Speidel, Rommel's Chief of Staff. It is a very interesting account of the invasion from the German perspective, or at least from Rommel's perspective.

Copies are not difficult to come by, but pricey for a used book.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at June 06, 2015 10:16 AM (F2IAQ)

16 If memory serves, a B-26 bomber group was tasked with bombing the Omaha and Utah beach defenses just minutes before the first waves arrived. The B-26s clobbered the German emplacements at Utah and missed the Omaha targets.

Posted by: mrp at June 06, 2015 10:17 AM (JBggj)

17 Band of Brothers was the 506 PIR, Ike was addressing the 502 PIR Easy Company.

Posted by: Count de Monet at June 06, 2015 10:17 AM (JO9+V)

18 Thanks for the reminder, DiT.

Posted by: Insomniac at June 06, 2015 10:18 AM (AVWYi)

19 My mom's third husband (all 3 were WW2, he was the one that outlived her) was a paratrooper, I used to call him every Jun 6. John Egolf. Wounded either during the bulge or after varsity, I can't remember which.

He was so small of stature and mild mannered, I could never picture him as a Nazi killing machine. When he talked about it he was just so deliberate and matter of fact.

After my mom died one of us would take him to their reunion every year, I never got my turn but my brothers and sisters who did felt honored.

Posted by: traye at June 06, 2015 10:18 AM (+pJsR)

20 Cruzinator: Not sure how. We have evidence that fighting up through Italy would be a meat-grinder, and the longer the US/UK forces wait, the more of Europe gets to enjoy the tender mercies of Soviet Communism for half a century afterward.

Posted by: Trimegistus at June 06, 2015 10:19 AM (r1Whx)

21 I am surprised that even a single man was able to wade all the way in to the beach . . .

What with being weighed down with two enormous steel balls, and all.

I have always been fascinated by the type of courage they displayed.

God rest them and keep them all.

Posted by: Sharkman at June 06, 2015 10:19 AM (rXB/r)

22 Highlights of this day in history: The D-Day invasion of World War II; Israel invades Lebanon to drive out Yasser Arafat; Remains of fugitive Nazi doctor Josef Mengele exhumed in Brazil; First drive-in theater opens in Camden, N.J.

Beginning of the video, sound bites of Eisenhower, etc. Images.

Worth a look.

http://www.usatoday.com/videos/news/nation/2015/06/06/28593261/

Posted by: artisanal 'ette Final UEFA Champions League match today! at June 06, 2015 10:20 AM (qCMvj)

23 usa today also has a small blurb on d-day

http://usat.ly/1QzmgIC

Posted by: artisanal 'ette Final UEFA Champions League match today! at June 06, 2015 10:22 AM (qCMvj)

24 You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade

Watch that high horse of yours General.

Posted by: President Three Putt at June 06, 2015 10:22 AM (G4aHK)

25 Cruzinator, simple answer is no.

The slog up the Italian boot was slow and brutal. When Germany surrendered, German forces in north Italy were still holding the Allies at bay.

The Russians were spending soldiers much like pouring vodka out a bottle, but even they after the tens of millions of casualties - from the Germans and purges - would eventually mean the Soviet juggernaut was going to run out steam.

There was a notion of invading up through the Balkans but with Germans still in Italy with air power and the various partisan factions in what was Jugoslavia... the supply lines would have been tenuous at best.

So D-Day and the later invasion of the soft underbelly of France by Operation Dragoon were the only ways to open another front that offered a relatively quick end to combat.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at June 06, 2015 10:23 AM (OM7M4)

26 d-day timeline from the New Orleans National WWII Museum mentioned above, Instapundit links it.

one of Instapundit's links

Discover the stories of D-Day through the Museum's collection.

http://dday70.org/timeline/

Posted by: artisanal 'ette Final UEFA Champions League match today! at June 06, 2015 10:24 AM (qCMvj)

27 I'll repost this photo taken Memorial Day

That fellow in the background, whose name is Dobbins, went ashore at Normandy on D-Day. He is still a big, robust guy, and is a member of the local VFW Honor Guard. He handles an M1 well and, with the others, executes the volleys perfectly.

He's 90 years old.

http://tinyurl.com/oyhby53

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at June 06, 2015 10:25 AM (F2IAQ)

28 My father was there & told stories about it to my older brother.


Thank you, Dave in TX!

Posted by: Carol at June 06, 2015 10:26 AM (sj3Ax)

29 Last year's but still relevant.

http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2014/06/scenes-from-d-day-then-and-now/100752/

Posted by: NaCly Dog at June 06, 2015 10:26 AM (u82oZ)

30 Sometimes it makes me weep to see what we once were, and what we've now become.

Posted by: GuyfromNH at June 06, 2015 10:27 AM (Kj8c4)

31 On June 15th 1944, the US Pacific Fleet invaded the island of Saipan.

Just ponder that, how prodigious the American Arsenal of Freedom was. On opposite sides of the world only a week apart, the US launched two massive amphibious invasions.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at June 06, 2015 10:30 AM (OM7M4)

32
Pvt. Herbert S. Winkler
1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment,
82nd Airborne Division
KIA 6/6/44

Rest In Peace

Posted by: J.J. Sefton at June 06, 2015 10:30 AM (St6BJ)

33 I read in a history magazine (I think, Michigan History?) about the story behind that photo of Eisenhower addressing the troops-- Seems a rumor went around the camp that there was a beautiful woman in the car with Ike that had to be seen to be believed, and half the camp ran to take a quick look-see and wound up nearly blocking the road. Ike saw the large group of girl-oglers gathered expectantly by the road, and, perhaps thinking they were eager to see *him*, decided it would be a good place to get out and shoot the breeze with the men. Apparently, he is asking #23 (Wallace Strobel from Saginaw, MI) in the picture where his hometown is, and commenting on the fishing in Michigan.

Posted by: Taft at June 06, 2015 10:32 AM (09lHE)

34 2 Can you imagine the current command in that situation?

"The paratroopers acted stupidly. Bush did it. Cheney. Halliburton. Fox News! When I learned about this invasion I was outraged!" -- Barack Obama


Lets not forget our betters in the media:

https://youtu.be/Px_XBJHrs4I

Posted by: William Tecumseh Sherman at June 06, 2015 10:33 AM (WvS3w)

35 Mike Hammer,
Thank you for picture!

Posted by: Carol at June 06, 2015 10:34 AM (sj3Ax)

36 Excerpt from a letter my uncle wrote shortly before the invasion:
"Soon ... I do not know how soon ... I shall have to demonstrate not only how much or how well I have learned the art of killing, but how well I have taught that abominable art to others. I know what's ahead. It won't be another pleasure trip, but though it may cost me my life, I wouldn't want to miss it! Should I be among the many who inevitably must fall, remember that I didn't go without realizing the possibility that I might lose my life. Remember, too, that I give my life willingly, that I do so out of love for my country and all its people ... even the traitors and selfish slackers. If I should die on the battlefield, I beg you to leave my body there. Some day our government may provide you the opportunity to visit my grave. If so, avail yourself of that opportunity."

Posted by: exhelodrvr at June 06, 2015 10:38 AM (Rug2j)

37 Excerpt from a letter my uncle wrote shortly before the invasion:
"Soon ... I do not know how soon ... I shall have to demonstrate not only how much or how well I have learned the art of killing, but how well I have taught that abominable art to others. I know what's ahead. It won't be another pleasure trip, but though it may cost me my life, I wouldn't want to miss it! Should I be among the many who inevitably must fall, remember that I didn't go without realizing the possibility that I might lose my life. Remember, too, that I give my life willingly, that I do so out of love for my country and all its people ... even the traitors and selfish slackers. If I should die on the battlefield, I beg you to leave my body there. Some day our government may provide you the opportunity to visit my grave. If so, avail yourself of that opportunity."

Posted by: exhelodrvr at June 06, 2015 10:38 AM (Rug2j)

38 Excerpt from a letter my uncle wrote shortly before the invasion:
"Soon ... I do not know how soon ... I shall have to demonstrate not only how much or how well I have learned the art of killing, but how well I have taught that abominable art to others. I know what's ahead. It won't be another pleasure trip, but though it may cost me my life, I wouldn't want to miss it! Should I be among the many who inevitably must fall, remember that I didn't go without realizing the possibility that I might lose my life. Remember, too, that I give my life willingly, that I do so out of love for my country and all its people ... even the traitors and selfish slackers. If I should die on the battlefield, I beg you to leave my body there. Some day our government may provide you the opportunity to visit my grave. If so, avail yourself of that opportunity."

Posted by: exhelodrvr at June 06, 2015 10:38 AM (Rug2j)

39 Somewhere stashed in the moving boxes is a copy of the out of print but still excellent (if a bit Britcentric) Ballentine book on D Day. Written by folks who walked those beaches...

Posted by: anon a mouse at June 06, 2015 10:38 AM (C9pBZ)

40 Sorry for the triple post.

Posted by: exhelodrvr at June 06, 2015 10:38 AM (Rug2j)

41

The World at War, Episode 17, "Morning"


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qexlw3W8_kQ

Posted by: J.J. Sefton at June 06, 2015 10:39 AM (St6BJ)

42 In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts
you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the
elimination of Nazi tyranny over oppressed peoples of Europe, and
security for ourselves in a free world.


I went to Starbucks for a latte and they were out of Splenda!! OMG! Worst Day Evar!

-a twenty-year-old hipster on Twitter, 2015

Posted by: Bruce at June 06, 2015 10:39 AM (oVJmc)

43 No problem, ex. Worth reading thrice.

Posted by: anon a mouse at June 06, 2015 10:40 AM (C9pBZ)

44 Cruzinator: Not sure how. We have evidence that fighting up through Italy would be a meat-grinder, and the longer the US/UK forces wait, the more of Europe gets to enjoy the tender mercies of Soviet Communism for half a century afterward.
Posted by: Trimegistus
---------------------------------

Agreed. Even as things evolved, we barely managed to contain Stalin. Even at that, there followed 60 years or so of human misery and suffering. Not to mention the cost of the cold war.

By all accounts, Hitler was certain that the Allies would come to their senses and recognize the threat that the Bolsheviks represented to the west. He hoped that the Allies would at least not distract Germany from the Russian front, or perhaps even join Germany against the Russians.

Churchill recognized the threat that the Russians represented, but FDR ( *spits*) thought that Uncle Joe was just a swell guy who could be trusted.

Somehow, this all sounds a little familiar.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at June 06, 2015 10:41 AM (F2IAQ)

45 Sorry for the triple post.

No worries, that one deserves it. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by: Lurking Canuck at June 06, 2015 10:41 AM (G4aHK)

46 The cemetery and memorial at Omaha Beach are stunning...well worth a visit if one is able. There are sites to visit all over the area too.

And the French people in Normandy remember, unlike their cousins in Paris.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at June 06, 2015 10:41 AM (Zu3d9)

47 Can you imagine the current command in that situation?>>>

The immediacy of images from the battlefield has changed the pressure on Command. I agree we currently have pussies but the haters of America and commies have a powerful tool to steer the LIV. Which complicates getting shit done in war now.

Posted by: Robinson at June 06, 2015 10:42 AM (+1K+6)

48 PFC Alex Banko
501st Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
KIA 6/6/1944
RIP

Posted by: That SOB Van Owen at June 06, 2015 10:42 AM (KElLn)

49 I saw an article last week that in Holland family's personally attend to each grave & if family member passes on, another one inherits job.

Posted by: Carol at June 06, 2015 10:45 AM (sj3Ax)

50 exhelodrvr - Thanks for that. That is the sort of thing that one holds in one's hands and tries to somehow, perhaps by a form of spiritual osmosis, to feel, to absorb, the being of the person who wrote it.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at June 06, 2015 10:46 AM (F2IAQ)

51 9 Obama would not make the decision. We have already seen that. Some military general would say, "Mr. President we have to do this"

Obama would reply, "You do what you have to do, I will do what is right."

Everyone but Obama would walk away confused.

Posted by: Franco Pharmswurth at June 06, 2015 10:10 AM (NpgaX)



Get out of my head.

Posted by: Barack Obama at June 06, 2015 10:48 AM (sdi6R)

52 Excellent post DiT, thank you.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet at June 06, 2015 10:49 AM (KbNXw)

53 Thanks DiT. Food for thought and reflection.

Posted by: Muldoon, a solid man at June 06, 2015 10:52 AM (NeFrd)

54 ...and remembrance

Posted by: Muldoon, a solid man at June 06, 2015 10:52 AM (NeFrd)

55 No apology necessary exhelodriver.
A) That's pixy's doing
B) It's a great post and I thank you for sharing it

Now I have over 3 hours of mowing to do and my torn up knee can take at most an hour and a half by which time my hip and back also will say "You're done for the day."

Love each other fellow babies

Posted by: teej at June 06, 2015 10:53 AM (4Vu64)

56 Posted by: exhelodrvr at June 06, 2015 10:38 AM (Rug2j)

***

Wow

Posted by: Muldoon, a solid man at June 06, 2015 10:54 AM (NeFrd)

57 Chipped in a few years ago to put Pooky's dad on the town plaque for his actions in Just Cause. He was very moved. They put the plaques on a flatbed and roll it through the festival parade every year, and the WWII section is....... heartbreakingly long. Was nice to see everyone stand up and clap for the local NG unit when they came through with their semi and Humvee. Patriotism runs deep in this country.

Posted by: pookysgirl can walk (a few yards) at June 06, 2015 10:54 AM (FDfVQ)

58 Churchill recognized the threat that the Russians
represented, but FDR ( *spits*) thought that Uncle Joe was just a swell
guy who could be trusted. Somehow, this all sounds a little familiar.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at June 06, 2015 10:41 AM


IIRC, ol' Winston was also quite entranced by Uncle Joe, and didn't really start worrying about the Red Menace until after the end of WWII.

He was not as major a dupe as FDR, but missed opportunities to slap Stalin into line a time or two.

No disrespect to Churchill, but the "Iron Curtain" realization came too late to save Eastern Europe.

Posted by: MrScribbler at June 06, 2015 10:58 AM (P8YHq)

59 I'll repost a link to one of the WWII photos that also stays stored in my head. It is another example of 'The thousand-yard stare'. A guy who has seen a lot, probably too much, and the job isn't over.
http://tinyurl.com/lyobvrb

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at June 06, 2015 10:58 AM (F2IAQ)

60 I think the world waited in silent anticipation of D-day. Certainly others throughout Europe were watching. I posted this on the early morning thread, but here is my dad's diary entry for that day, as his unit scrambled up the Italian peninsula coming out of Anzio:


June 6, 1944

First news this morning was the invasion. Really sounded good. I'll bet Gerry doesn't last long now. The beauty of the thing is this is no small scale operation. We have enough troops and tanks and planes to move right on.

With our front cracked wide open** Gerry has lots of worry on his mind. Now if "Joe" only decides to open up we'll have the thing pretty well sewed up. Corps Arty moved again today. This time to a "villa" about a mile and a half across the river, just west of the Vatican. Nobody knows where anyone else is. Everybody, it seems, has one idea in mind and that is to head north. Our leading elements are 25 miles beyond Rome. PW count is beyond all expectation. Over 2500 came in in one day. Latest VI Corp count, which is incomplete, is 8,028 as of yesterday.




**(the breakout at Anzio and the recapture of Rome had occurred mere days before the D-day landings)

Corps Arty- VI Corps Artillery
PW- Prisoner of War


Hope nobody minds me re-posting it.

Posted by: Muldoon, a solid man at June 06, 2015 11:00 AM (NeFrd)

61 Yes, great post, Dave. Thank you.

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at June 06, 2015 11:01 AM (mD/xK)

62 Posted by: Muldoon, a solid man at June 06, 2015 11:00 AM (NeFrd)

More please.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at June 06, 2015 11:01 AM (Zu3d9)

63 Meh. That Eisenhower speech is just full of trigger warnings, racism, and transphobia. Bunch of rah rah jingoism. Why didn't Ike and that horrid Churchill ever consider the root causes of Nazism? SMH.

Posted by: Libtardo at June 06, 2015 11:02 AM (EARfr)

64 All those honkies in that funny boat should put all their unearned wealth in black accounts. /sarc

Posted by: Richard McEnroe at June 06, 2015 11:05 AM (XO6WW)

65 My dad, God rest his soul, was one of those 82nd Airborne paratroopers who dropped behind the German lines in the early hours of D-Day before the main assault troops hit the beaches. The year before he died (probably of delayed combat stress, the ME said), he took me to see the movie version of The Longest Day. I asked him when we were walking home from the theater where he got the courage to jump out of a glider into enemy territory-- and he told me that 1) he had been afraid that night; and 2) courage isn't the absence of fear-- it means you do what you have to do in spite of the fear. I've never forgotten what he taught me. It's been 51 years since he died, and I've never had to do anything scarier than a three-hour dissertation defense, but I remind myself that courage takes many different forms on and off the battlefield, and that any and all of us can cultivate that kind of strength. God bless you, Dad, and thank you with all my heart for your love as well as your service.

Posted by: Basement Cat at June 06, 2015 11:06 AM (3C9q2)

66 Those unspoken words -- it's literally depressing how far we've fallen from someone like Eisenhower to what we have today. "...it is mine alone."

Thank you, Dave.

Posted by: acethepug at June 06, 2015 11:08 AM (WK825)

67 D-day was a success by virtue of the eventual victory over Germany but could there have been a different strategy that would have led to the same outcome without the same costs?

Allied KIA on D-Day are estimated to have been 2.5K, though some estimate are as high as 5K. By contrast, Allied Air Forces lost 12K in the two months preceding D-Day. Total Allied KIA for the entire Normandy operation and break out approach 200K.

In comparison, Grant lost 7K men in 30 minutes at Cold Harbor.

D-Day was a successful operation.

Posted by: Grump928(C) at June 06, 2015 11:08 AM (rwI+c)

68 Basement Cat,
May your father RIP.
Thank you for sharing

Posted by: Carol at June 06, 2015 11:08 AM (sj3Ax)

69 No disrespect to Churchill, but the "Iron Curtain" realization came too late to save Eastern Europe.
Posted by: MrScribbler
------------------

There is no doubt that Churchill's priority was destroying the Germans. But by Yalta, I think he sensed that what Stalin had in mind for Europe was a nasty deal. He displayed a good deal more reluctance towards the post-war plans than Roosevelt did.

At any rate, Truman was handed a steaming plate of Russian shit in the aftermath.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at June 06, 2015 11:09 AM (F2IAQ)

70 A friend just lost her dear father, bronze star recipient, lived through many major battles of WWII, came back home to his farm and lived a good and long life. I did not know him, but I've seen pictures... he had such kind eyes.

This generation of men...I fear we will never see their like again.

Posted by: Gem at June 06, 2015 11:11 AM (R6S14)

71 These men were heroes. I'm talking blue-sky Superman/Batman/Avengers stuff here. No, they didn't see it that way, but they were. Why? Because, quite literally...They. Saved. The. World.

Had the Axis powers emerged victorious, this planet would have been plunged into a new Dark Age, quite literally, given the untrammeled evil that motivated the Axis leaders.

These men earned in spades whatever honors we can bestow on them.

Posted by: The Oort Cloud - Source of all SMODs at June 06, 2015 11:13 AM (yTMXB)

72 For those who haven't seen it, here is an animated visualization of the military and civilian casualties of WWII, called "The Fallen of World War II." It's 18 minutes long, but very well done and well worth watching.

http://tinyurl.com/namolj7

The first section is a visualization of military fatalities by nation; the second section analyzes civilian deaths, including the Holocaust; and the third section puts WWII in the context of previous and later wars. (H/T: Wretchard at Belmont Club).

Posted by: Basement Cat at June 06, 2015 11:13 AM (3C9q2)

73 Bless him, Basement.

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at June 06, 2015 11:14 AM (mD/xK)

74 Can you imagine the current command in that situation?



"The paratroopers acted stupidly. Bush did it. Cheney. Halliburton.
Fox News! When I learned about this invasion I was outraged!" -- Barack
Obama

Posted by: Trimegistus at June 06, 2015 10:04 AM (r1Whx)




The paratroops have black on their faces. What sort of racist minstrel
show were they doing? Why didn't they have womyn in the there too and
segregated units. How the racist, sexist, bigoted and homophobic! Adolph like Putin could have sat back at laughed.

Posted by: TheQuietMan at June 06, 2015 11:15 AM (DiZBp)

75 There is no doubt that Churchill's priority was
destroying the Germans. But by Yalta, I think he sensed that what Stalin
had in mind for Europe was a nasty deal. He displayed a good deal more
reluctance towards the post-war plans than Roosevelt did.



At any rate, Truman was handed a steaming plate of Russian shit in the aftermath.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at June 06, 2015 11:09 AM (F2IAQ)



Winston was very leary of Russians by the end and probably all along but saw them as a means to an end. FDR couldn't have been happier to suck off his fellow commie Uncle Joe

Posted by: TheQuietMan at June 06, 2015 11:18 AM (DiZBp)

76 Rand Paul condemns American military adventurism in Europe. Film at 11.

Posted by: Richard McEnroe at June 06, 2015 11:19 AM (XO6WW)

77 FTSB - How would our betters in the media cover D-Day if it happened today?



Perfect.

Posted by: Grump928(C) at June 06, 2015 11:21 AM (rwI+c)

78 I had my kids watch Shakespeare's Henry V speech on St. Crispin's Day. "We band of brothers" gives me chills each time I hear it. Even Shakespeare knew the sacredness of the bond between warriors. God bless those who fought and literally saved the world.

Posted by: jmel at June 06, 2015 11:23 AM (/QrM/)

79 The Berkley professor script is spot on.

Posted by: Grump928(C) at June 06, 2015 11:23 AM (rwI+c)

80 Ron Paul: "Hitler and Tojo exist and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party who
gave arms indiscriminately to England and China," Paul said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." He
continued: "They created these people. Rommel is all over Libya because
these same hawks in my party loved -- they loved Churchill's war
in Libya. They just wanted more of it."

Posted by: Richard McEnroe at June 06, 2015 11:25 AM (XO6WW)

81 Churchill understood the threat of Communism and knew what was to come once the war was over. But victory against Hitler and the Japanese came first.

Posted by: JoeF. at June 06, 2015 11:26 AM (TsqXb)

82 Thanks for the post, Dave.

Posted by: RedMindBlueState at June 06, 2015 11:27 AM (QiBX8)

83 My friends, we have nothing to fear from Joe Stalin.

Posted by: Astral Projection FDR at June 06, 2015 11:27 AM (F2IAQ)

84 My mom's second husband (from when I was about 7 until I was about 20) was a dick and I hated him passionately until...

She died and we were going through her stuff, and his stuff, and found his silver star and that he had survived bataan. I felt pretty low after that

Posted by: traye at June 06, 2015 11:28 AM (+pJsR)

85 An invasion from the south--Italy, the Balkans, or both--would make a fascinating what-if scenario.

In Diana West's excellent "American Betrayal", she details the frightening degree to which American war strategy was influenced by Soviet interests. Whether intentionally or not, the concentration of Allied forces in the west allowed the Russians to expand into Eastern Europe. She argues that a southern invasion would have frustrated Stalin's postwar plans. She doesn't claim to be a military historian, though, so I don't know how practical that would have been.

Posted by: rickl at June 06, 2015 11:34 AM (sdi6R)

86 On June 6, my dad's submarine was on patrol in the eastern Pacific. He learned of the invasion several days later. He was glad of it, but a lot of bloody beach landings were yet to come against the Japanese. A grim business all around.

Posted by: Diogenes at June 06, 2015 11:35 AM (Z9g7j)

87 Carol and Ricardo--

Thank you for your kind words.

Posted by: Basement Cat at June 06, 2015 11:36 AM (3C9q2)

88 Its nice to see a map where VII Corps is attacking. I was in VII Corps for the last attack they made, and in five days we freed Kuwait.
Jayhawks!!!

Posted by: Diogenes at June 06, 2015 11:37 AM (Z9g7j)

89 Because of these American Warriors, my mother survived the war. She is from Den Hague. FYI after the nazis invaded Holland and shut down the borders, over 38,000 Dutch died from starvation. She and her family survived intact even though my Opa was taken and imprisoned in a concentration camp in Germany for refusing to help the nazi scum. When the Allies were liberating the camps he was told to get to the Russians. He said he would take his chances with the Americans. His one great wish was to come to America before he died. In 1973 he got to do just that. He died in 1975. The Dutch will never forget the sacrifices made by the Anericans.

Posted by: Theresa, MSgt (ret), USAF at June 06, 2015 11:40 AM (9IEnB)

90 84 My mom's second husband (from when I was about 7 until I was about 20) was a dick and I hated him passionately until...

She died and we were going through her stuff, and his stuff, and found his silver star and that he had survived bataan. I felt pretty low after that
Posted by: traye at June 06, 2015 11:28 AM (+pJsR)

Veterans are not saints. Your stepfather deserves praise and credit for bravery during the war - but that doesn't absolve every action he did for the rest of his life.

There was a D Day survivor in our neighborhood who beat his wife. It's entirely possible to both recognize his service to his country and condemn his dickish behavior as a civilian.

Posted by: Donna &&&&&& V. (brandishing ampersands) at June 06, 2015 11:41 AM (+XMAD)

91 For those of you with relatives who served in the military, if you are interested in researching their activities, I strongly recommend checking out the National Archives Annex in Maryland. You can get the unit records (i.e. daily reports, which include casualty lists, the originals of the after-action reports, battle maps, etc.) there. It is a very well-run operation (pretty unusual for the government!!) and worth spending a few hours there.

Posted by: exhelodrvr at June 06, 2015 11:42 AM (Rug2j)

92 I guess my biggest question mark about a southern invasion is how to deal with the Alps. Go around them? Leapfrog them by parachuting troops on the northern side? Drop troops *in* the mountains so they can use them as fortifications?

Posted by: rickl at June 06, 2015 11:43 AM (sdi6R)

93 "Americans"

Posted by: Theresa, MSgt (ret), USAF at June 06, 2015 11:44 AM (9IEnB)

94 @72
It's a very interesting presentation, albeit some things I would dispute. The takeaway in the end is encouraging, and matches very well with Steven Pinker's book "The Better Angels of Our Natures". In short, perhaps mankind is learning. The lesson needs to be constantly relearned, of course.

Posted by: pep at June 06, 2015 11:44 AM (LAe3v)

95 92
I guess my biggest question mark about a southern invasion is how to
deal with the Alps. Go around them? Leapfrog them by parachuting
troops on the northern side? Drop troops *in* the mountains so they can
use them as fortifications?

Posted by: rickl


I have some thoughts.

Posted by: Hannibal at June 06, 2015 11:45 AM (LAe3v)

96 Its nice to see a map where VII Corps is attacking. I was in VII Corps for the last attack they made, and in five days we freed Kuwait.
Jayhawks!!!
Posted by: Diogenes
---------------

It was a war for oil. If we just developed micro-turbines, it would have been unnecessary. It was all about Dick Cheney, Bush and Haliburton.

Posted by: Sreamingly Ignorant Millinial at June 06, 2015 11:45 AM (F2IAQ)

97 I'm sure someone else in this thread has noted it, but just try to imagine the millennials storming the beaches at Normandy. You can't (with the exception of the tiny fraction of them who joined the military after 9/11.)

To save a civilization, as the WWII troops did, you have to believe it's worth saving.

Posted by: Donna &&&&&& V. (brandishing ampersands) at June 06, 2015 11:45 AM (+XMAD)

98 I strongly recommend checking out the National Archives Annex in Maryland.
-------------

I found lots of neat stuff there.

Posted by: Sandy Berger at June 06, 2015 11:47 AM (F2IAQ)

99 * note to self: learn how to spell 'mllennial' *

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at June 06, 2015 11:49 AM (F2IAQ)

100 Winston was very leary of Russians by the end and
probably all along but saw them as a means to an end. FDR couldn't have
been happier to suck off his fellow commie Uncle Joe


Posted by: TheQuietMan at June 06, 2015 11:18 AM (DiZBp)

======
The British public were very pro-Russian after June, 1941. Every German killed by a Russian was one less facing the UK. And the first priority was to knock off the Germans as quickly as possible. In a way, it was a race between two competing sets of scientists and engineers - the first to acquire a nuclear weapon would win the war. Add to that the U-Boat threat + the Vengeance weapons programs and the Brits, and later, the US had little choice but to help the Soviets as much as possible.

Posted by: mrp at June 06, 2015 11:50 AM (JBggj)

101 In Diana West's excellent "American Betrayal", she details the frightening degree to which American war strategy was influenced by Soviet interests.

Not a Soviet interest, per se, but MacArthur was all ready and fully willing to invade and liberate Java. Roosevelt nixed that. Malaya, Borneo and Indochina could have been liberated by mid-late 44 saving many, many deaths in the camps there.

But, Colonialism......

Posted by: 98ZJUSMC Suntanning in Bizzaro World at June 06, 2015 11:52 AM (o4QuK)

102 Sorry to pee all over this post. But the DoD has decided to celebrate the month of June by......
designating it LGBT Pride month.
This month.

Of all Months.

For those of you that still have faith in our senior military leaders, be wary. I know of fewer and fewer who are fit to wear the legacy.

Posted by: mikeB at June 06, 2015 11:56 AM (PehXr)

103
In Diana West's excellent "American Betrayal", she details the
frightening degree to which American war strategy was influenced by
Soviet interests.



Not a Soviet interest, per se, but MacArthur was all ready and fully
willing to invade and liberate Java. Roosevelt nixed that. Malaya,
Borneo and Indochina could have been liberated by mid-late 44 saving
many, many deaths in the camps there.



But, Colonialism......

Posted by: 98ZJUSMC Suntanning in Bizzaro World at June 06, 2015 11:52 AM (o4QuK)


FDR was as vile as Barry with an equally hideous and horrific wife

Posted by: TheQuietMan at June 06, 2015 11:58 AM (DiZBp)

104 Sorry to pee all over this post. But the DoD has decided to celebrate the month of June by......

designating it LGBT Pride month.

This month.



Of all Months.



For those of you that still have faith in our senior military
leaders, be wary. I know of fewer and fewer who are fit to wear the
legacy.

Posted by: mikeB at June 06, 2015 11:56 AM (PehXr)


It's about time we celebrated all of the sodomites who minced ashore on June 6. If not, for them Europe wouldn't have been FABULOUS!!

Posted by: TheQuietMan at June 06, 2015 12:02 PM (DiZBp)

105 Speaking of keeping history alive.

Dave in Texas and others this should gladden your hearts. The CAF, via Kickstarter, has raised over $90,000 to rescue and start to restore a historic C-47 Skytrain.

"That's All --- Brother" was the lead C-47 on the night of June 5/6 that dropped American paratroopers into occupied France and to start the D-Day invasion and the liberation of Europe from Nazi tyranny.

http://tinyurl.com/qeejug7

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at June 06, 2015 12:04 PM (OM7M4)

106 Add to that the U-Boat threat + the Vengeance weapons programs and the Brits, and later, the US had little choice but to help the Soviets as much as possible.
Posted by: mrp
-------------------------

All very true, but FDR's enthusiasm for the Stalin and the Reds transcended just the conduct of the war. He believed that they were actually going to be a force for good.

Roosevelt did not have a sophisticated grasp of European history and culture. In short, he was both Left leaning, naive, and egotistical. He was the chief enabler of Stalin. A more far-seeing, less-trusting President would have been much more demanding of Stalin at Yalta.

The great irony is that Stalin much admired Roosevelt, and might have been very responsive to greater constraint had Roosevelt been more assertive.

Roosevelt, on the other hand, was fairly preoccupied with his grand plan for the formation of the UN, and was probably as concerned, if not more concerned with that than with the potential consequences of his friend Joe's post-war plans.

I repeat, useful idiot...., and not because he was being 'used', but rather by his own actions. But, that's just my perspective.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at June 06, 2015 12:09 PM (F2IAQ)

107 Basement Cat,
Thank you!!

Posted by: Carol at June 06, 2015 12:11 PM (sj3Ax)

108 designating it LGBT Pride month.
---------------

* gorge rises *

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at June 06, 2015 12:12 PM (F2IAQ)

109 Great post Dave

Posted by: phoenixgirl at June 06, 2015 12:13 PM (0O7c5)

110 I repeat, useful idiot...., and not because he was being 'used', but rather by his own actions. But, that's just my perspective.
Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at June 06, 2015 12:09 PM (F2IAQ)


Agreed. More useful idiot, than nefarious Soviet mole.

Heavy on the idiot.

Posted by: 98ZJUSMC Suntanning in Bizzaro World at June 06, 2015 12:15 PM (o4QuK)

111 >>A more far-seeing, less-trusting President would have been much more demanding of Stalin at Yalta.


Mike, I agree with you but by the time Yalta happened FDR was a pretty sick man. Lord, look at the photo's. The man obviously was in very bad health.

Posted by: HH at June 06, 2015 12:17 PM (Qia1Z)

112 102 Sorry to pee all over this post. But the DoD has decided to celebrate the month of June by......
designating it LGBT Pride month.
This month.

Of all Months.

Posted by: mikeB at June 06, 2015 11:56 AM (PehXr)

This is why I have to take a break from the news and AOSHQ every so often. Living in a state of constant helpless rage is exhausting and demoralizing.

Posted by: Donna &&&&&& V. (brandishing ampersands) at June 06, 2015 12:18 PM (+XMAD)

113 I repeat, useful idiot...., and not because he was being 'used', but rather by his own actions. But, that's just my perspective.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at June 06, 2015 12:09 PM (F2IAQ)



You nailed it. And Churchill shares in the blame for eastern Europe as I refer to the naughty document where he agreed to hand over eastern Europe to Stalin in "percentages". Churchill later regretted it but he played into Stalin's hands too much. FDR didn't have any regrets in giving everything to Uncle Joe

Posted by: TheQuietMan at June 06, 2015 12:19 PM (DiZBp)

114 Then there was also the fact that the FDR administration was absolutely crawling with Soviet agents and fellow travelers. Joe McCarthy didn't know the half of it.

West spends a good deal of time in her book talking about Lend-Lease. While it was sold to the American public as a way to help the British, the vast majority of goods went to the Russians. She even says that fresh eggs and butter were being shipped to the Soviet Union at the same time they were being rationed in the U.S.

Posted by: rickl at June 06, 2015 12:19 PM (sdi6R)

115 Mike, I agree with you but by the time Yalta happened FDR was a pretty
sick man. Lord, look at the photo's. The man obviously was in very bad
health.


But that's the point. A great man would have had the humility to resign the office in favor of Truman, but FDR didn't because he felt he was the indispensable man. As we discussed yesterday, Truman didn't even know of the bomb until FDR's his death. It's all about ego with these people.

Posted by: pep at June 06, 2015 12:21 PM (LAe3v)

116 111 >>A more far-seeing, less-trusting President would have been much more demanding of Stalin at Yalta.

Just thank God Truman was VP when FDR died instead of Wallace - who really was a Commie. If Wallace had been running things, the Iron Curtain would have dropped at least 1000 miles to the west.

Posted by: Donna &&&&&& V. (brandishing ampersands) at June 06, 2015 12:21 PM (+XMAD)

117 Churchill shares in the blame for eastern Europe as I refer to the
naughty document where he agreed to hand over eastern Europe to Stalin
in "percentages". Churchill later regretted it but he played into
Stalin's hands too much. FDR didn't have any regrets in giving
everything to Uncle Joe


The difference is that Churchill realized that GB was now the junior partner, and so while he could object, the decisions were really made in DC. He was an virulent anti-Communist of long standing.

Posted by: pep at June 06, 2015 12:24 PM (LAe3v)

118 Joe McCarthy didn't know the half of it.

*shakes with silent rage*

Posted by: 98ZJUSMC Suntanning in Bizzaro World at June 06, 2015 12:24 PM (o4QuK)

119
designating it LGBT Pride month.

The 3-star on my base sent out an email to everyone in the command yesterday. "Diversity" was the theme. I knew him as a Bird a few years ago. It doesn't sound like him, but he does fly to ADW several times a week. smdh...

Posted by: Spun and Murky at June 06, 2015 12:26 PM (4DCSq)

120 The difference is that Churchill realized that GB was now the junior partner, and so while he could object, the decisions were really made in DC. He was an virulent anti-Communist of long standing.

Ironic, I guess, that a younger Churchill was an early admirer of the Welfare State.

Posted by: 98ZJUSMC Suntanning in Bizzaro World at June 06, 2015 12:27 PM (o4QuK)

121 The smartest thing FDR ever did as president was to replace Henry Wallace with Harry Truman as his VP. Wallace knew that Roosevelt was dying and did not keep secret who was going to be in his Cabinet when he assumed the presidency upon FDR's death. And Wallace's picks for secretaries of state, treasury and labor were all Soviet agents. This was found out through the Venona intercepts. It is not known, AFAIK, whether FDR had been clued in on this, or if it was just pure dumb luck that he replaced Wallace with Truman.

Posted by: The Oort Cloud - Source of all SMODs at June 06, 2015 12:30 PM (yTMXB)

122 Responding to post 15 Mike Hammer etc. book recommendation Invasion 1944 I spied a bargain on Amazon of 10 dollars for a hard bound book 1972 printing and purchased. Looking forward to reading the account and many thanks to you.

Posted by: wah iggle at June 06, 2015 12:31 PM (Glgou)

123 102 Sorry to pee all over this post. But the DoD has decided to celebrate the month of June by......

designating it LGBT Pride month.

This month.



Of all Months.



Posted by: mikeB at June 06, 2015 11:56 AM (PehXr)



Great. *twitches*

Posted by: Jane D'oh at June 06, 2015 12:31 PM (FsuaD)

124 Mike, I agree with you but by the time Yalta happened FDR was a pretty sick man. Lord, look at the photo's. The man obviously was in very bad health.
Posted by: HH
----------------------------

True, but no excuse. His psychology/philosophy had been in place for years. It wasn't diminished physical capacity that formed the Yalta accord, it was predilection.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at June 06, 2015 12:33 PM (F2IAQ)

125 Responding to post 15 Mike Hammer etc. book recommendation Invasion 1944 I spied a bargain on Amazon of 10 dollars for a hard bound book 1972 printing and purchased. Looking forward to reading the account and many thanks to you.
Posted by: wah iggle
-----------------

Worth it. It is revealing to read about the contempt that Rommel had for Hitler. While Rommel was first and foremost a military man, he had deep feelings for Germany and the German people. He despised Hitler both as Commander, and for the destruction of the country.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at June 06, 2015 12:37 PM (F2IAQ)

126 wah iggle - As an aside, be certain that you have ordered the book by Hans Spiedel, as there have been several books by that title.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at June 06, 2015 12:41 PM (F2IAQ)

127 The invasion to the northern coast was laid out in what, 42? Britain was weary of a failed bit after Dunkirk, and Churchill thought up the North Africa campaign a better start to get the kinks out of the newly raised American Army. That proved prescient as we weren't ready. The invasion from the north was always preferred due to the short transit from Britain.

I found out recently, finding a FB contact from my childhood, that the neighbor across the street, when I was growing up and used to yell at us kids, ( so we thought him and his kids assholes ) had been a Navy vet and in some capacity was involved in the landings at Normandy. We never knew. It never came up. I feel sheepish and badly in retrospect, but like the earlier comments up thread, to me, at 5 to 10 years old when we lived there... he was a grouch and was always on our asses about something. Heh.

Posted by: Yip at June 06, 2015 12:42 PM (e7T6D)

128 Then there was also the fact that the FDR administration was absolutely
crawling with Soviet agents and fellow travelers. Joe McCarthy didn't
know the half of it.





And yet in this messed up country, it's McCarthy who is the villain and commie FDR the hero.


Just thank God Truman was VP when FDR died instead of Wallace - who
really was a Commie. If Wallace had been running things, the Iron
Curtain would have dropped at least 1000 miles to the west.




Good point. That bolshie bastard would have handed everything up to Iceland to Uncle Joe

Posted by: TheQuietMan at June 06, 2015 12:44 PM (DiZBp)

129 127
The invasion from the north was always preferred due to the short transit from Britain.

Posted by: Yip at June 06, 2015 12:42 PM (e7T6D)



True, but by '44 we already had a beachhead in Italy. Couldn't that have been expanded upon?

Posted by: rickl at June 06, 2015 12:45 PM (sdi6R)

130 I guess another objection to the southern route is that it wouldn't have been as suitable for mechanized warfare. But that would hold true for the Germans as well.

Posted by: rickl at June 06, 2015 12:47 PM (sdi6R)

131 The invasion from the north was always preferred due to the short transit from Britain.



Posted by: Yip at June 06, 2015 12:42 PM (e7T6D)





True, but by '44 we already had a beachhead in Italy. Couldn't that have been expanded upon?

Posted by: rickl at June 06, 2015 12:45 PM (sdi6R)


You would think that the western allies could have crossed the Adriatic and gone up Yugoslavia up into Germany from the south to cut off the Russians from a good deal of Europe

Posted by: TheQuietMan at June 06, 2015 12:48 PM (DiZBp)

132 Our attempt on Osama bin Laden's life has failed to gain a
satisfactory outcome and I have withdrawn the troops. The decision to
attack at this time and place was based upon information provided by traitors and fools . The troops, the air and the Navy completely fucked up. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt
it sure as shit ain't mine.

Posted by: Barky McClusterfuck at June 06, 2015 12:50 PM (qFwf5)

133
Here's a better version of "Morning" Episode 17, The World at War."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEAuiL6Iptw&index=17&list=PLrqf2vF5m-vmAVfndj0zWrpIbNVC_y5_p


Posted by: J.J. Sefton at June 06, 2015 12:50 PM (St6BJ)

134 Rickl, a southern advance faced the problems that a certain Carthaginian general faced centuries before. The mountains.

Italy was easy to defend. The Gustav Line south of Rome prompted Anzio.. Or the line in northern Italy that the Germans and a rump Fascist Italian state held until VE Day.

Even if they cleared that hurdle and reached places like Turin or Venice, the Allies would still have to go West into France across the Alps. Or East into what was Jugoslavia and more mountains.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at June 06, 2015 12:51 PM (OM7M4)

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at June 06, 2015 12:52 PM (OM7M4)

136 Until the first a-bomb test in New Mexico, FDR (and Truman) needed a Soviet declaration of war against Japan in order to tie down the IJ armies in China and Manchuria. To publicly spurn a sincere approach to Stalin on that matter would have incurred US public wrath at least as great as that which would have occurred had we not used nuclear weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

And, yes, the US State Dept. was overloaded with active Communist agents and symps and rooting them out was a high priority after the war, but during the war the main focus was on Victory.

Posted by: mrp at June 06, 2015 12:54 PM (JBggj)

137 Jugoslavia was also a bad option. The Croats were really evil Fascists. Then there was Tito's Communist partisans. Then Serbian Fascists. Serbian Royalists. And more mountains.

And if you could not suppress the Luftwaffe and Italian air forces, shipping in the Adriatic would be shooting fish in the barrel. Which means have to invade Italy to knock out the airfields. And we are back to slogging up the Italian boot and the moutains.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at June 06, 2015 12:56 PM (OM7M4)

138 We never knew. It never came up. I feel sheepish and badly in retrospect, but like the earlier comments up thread, to me, at 5 to 10 years old when we lived there... he was a grouch and was always on our asses about something.
-------------------

Ignorance is organic to youth. Thus the Dem drive to register as many children as possible for voting.

When I was a kid, we used to play 'war' all of the time. All of my friends had some piece of war surplus gear. Canteens, ammo belts, pistol belts, etc.

There was a toy plastic, full-sized, hand grenade around at the time. It had a spring-loaded top, into which you could insert a paper cap. The cap was locked down by the handle. When you tossed it, the handle would be released by a bounce on the ground, and the cap would fire.

I recall one day a friend of mine and I tossing these things around, when the neighborhood grouch walked over and said, "That's not the way it is done". He proceeded to give instruction in the proper way to throw a grenade, as opposed to our John Wayne style.

Years later, practicing air bursts with a fused-only MKII, I recalled that moment. There was a story there that I never knew, and now, never will.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at June 06, 2015 12:57 PM (F2IAQ)

139 >>Until the first a-bomb test in New Mexico



Not sure if this is true, but I've read that when the public wondered what the hell had happened with that bright flash and rolling thunder, the official word was that an ammo dump had blown up.

Posted by: HH at June 06, 2015 12:58 PM (Qia1Z)

140 134
Or East into what was Jugoslavia and more mountains.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at June 06, 2015 12:51 PM (OM7M4)



Looking at Google Earth, the mountains to the east of the Alps don't seem all that forbidding. I think it could have been doable. Like I said earlier, it would make an interesting what-if scenario.

Posted by: rickl at June 06, 2015 12:58 PM (sdi6R)

141 My Dad was in England (U.S. Army) in 1944. He said the sun was actually "blocked out" by the overflying aircraft that day;

Later, Battle of the Bulge (burning of all personal effects as they had been ordered to prepare for surrender);

Later, shrapnel wound in France. War was over before he was reassigned back to the Front. 77th Railsplitters.

Posted by: In Awe at June 06, 2015 12:59 PM (aXCDY)

142 I hate to get into a book recommending fling, so to say, there are several really good books on D-Day, and/or the planning of the retaking of the Continent. It's always logistics really. The shipping from Britain to any port further south added huge risk to German attack by air or subs/ships. They could comfortably control the channel for the invasion and resupply... but the higher risk there was the breakout mandate and get inland to preclude reinforcements from Germany which were a mere train-ride away.

Posted by: Yip at June 06, 2015 12:59 PM (e7T6D)

143 Rickl, here is from the US Army a document on how much fun the Germans had in Jugoslavia with the various factions and partisans. And how much geography and their own lack of manpower/material hamstrung them.

http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/antiguer-ops/AG-BALKAN.HTM

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at June 06, 2015 01:00 PM (OM7M4)

144 Sorry, Anna, I missed your #137.

Posted by: rickl at June 06, 2015 01:01 PM (sdi6R)

145 When I was a kid, we used to play 'war' all of the time. All of my
friends had some piece of war surplus gear. Canteens, ammo belts, pistol
belts, etc. ~ Mike Hammer


I think we're the same age range... exactly like my childhood. We played war, we had all the surplus stuff too... we had great forts... good times.

No one showed me how to "properly" throw a grenade until I was in basic. I thought the technique was profoundly stoopid,.. but they "convinced" me to try and I managed to qual expert which I was profoundly proud of...heh. Great story, as they say..

Posted by: Yip at June 06, 2015 01:07 PM (e7T6D)

146 Not a problem Rickl. I think even Winston Churchill proposed that path up the Adriatic.

But running supply ships up that narrow body of water if the enemy has air power, yeah how to get gray hair quick. If you live.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at June 06, 2015 01:07 PM (OM7M4)

147 That looks like an interesting link, Anna. I'll bookmark it.

But for now I have to go mow the frigging lawn. I could have been done by now if it weren't for the Saturday morning threads.

Posted by: rickl at June 06, 2015 01:07 PM (sdi6R)

148 Thanks all for links

Posted by: Carol at June 06, 2015 01:07 PM (sj3Ax)

149 No one showed me how to "properly" throw a grenade until I was in basic. I thought the technique was profoundly stoopid,.. but they "convinced" me to try and I managed to qual expert which I was profoundly proud of...heh. Great story, as they say..
Posted by: Yip
-------------

Holding a pulled-pin, live grenade in your hand has way of focusing the mind.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at June 06, 2015 01:09 PM (F2IAQ)

150 In the future, when the Horde gets tired of re-fighting the War of Northern Aggression, we can always re-fight WWII using the southern invasion route.

Posted by: rickl at June 06, 2015 01:13 PM (sdi6R)

151 @149 Best story I ever tell people.. and I'll never forget how excited I was to get to throw a live grenade... something I'd been doing since I was 7.. heh.... and then.. in my hand.. standing there in the bunker with the D.I... 100 in audience awaiting their turn... squeeze the spoon... insert finger... pull pin.... and then.... the my mind shifted into super slow mo.... I was awash in a focused plane of alertness and detail that, up to then, my mind had not encountered before ( and rarely since)... it was so awesome and profound. Nothing like the command... extend your arm.. and me thinking... I've done this a million times... don't drop it, don't drop it, don't drop it.. heh.... good times.

Posted by: Yip at June 06, 2015 01:15 PM (e7T6D)

152 It would be an interesting war game. So now you as Gen. Truscott have your 3rd Army invading Croatia at Dubrovnik.

Have fun as the Luftwaffe and Regina Aeronautica use the bases at Foggia to attack your shipping and you have no air bases except Sicily... *thud*

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at June 06, 2015 01:16 PM (OM7M4)

153 In the future, when the Horde gets tired of re-fighting the War of Northern Aggression...
-------------------
* sigh *
* wearily rummages, once again in the desk drawer for the Griswold & Gunnison *

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at June 06, 2015 01:17 PM (F2IAQ)

154 Well back to the writing.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at June 06, 2015 01:19 PM (OM7M4)

155 " If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone."

Posted by: Things you will NEVER here a democrat say at June 06, 2015 01:24 PM (3iJjK)

156 George Marshall wanted a 1943 invasion. One of the earlier iterations of the continental invasion plans included a mass airborne drop deep inside France. One of the little-known US Army political triumphs was the subtle deep-sixing of that idea. General Marshall was a formidable man.

Posted by: mrp at June 06, 2015 01:25 PM (JBggj)

157 General Marshall KNEW. One of the best Generals of the war.

Posted by: Yip at June 06, 2015 01:28 PM (e7T6D)

158 Marshall was a great general and a good man. But there's no way the Allies were ready for a massive invasion in 1943. Everyone -including the Germans--knew an invasion was coming, but it the element of surprise was where exactly that invasion would take place. The role of deception played a key role in the success of Overlord and that game took almost two years to develop. The Allies had to make the Germans think the invasion was going to take place where it wasn't--and they had to keep them off guard EVEN AS the invasion was taking place.
An excellent book on the subject is Ben MacIntyre's Double Cross....

Posted by: JoeF. at June 06, 2015 02:04 PM (cui1Q)

159 JoeF.... agreed. The way everything played out is pretty much how it needed to for success.... I'll check out Double Cross, thanks. I really liked Max Hasting's Overlord ... good book... ( I've read several of Hastings WWII books )

Posted by: Yip at June 06, 2015 02:13 PM (e7T6D)

160 150
In the future, when the Horde gets tired of re-fighting the War of
Northern Aggression, we can always re-fight WWII using the southern
invasion route.

Okay, quick strategy tip for you armchair generals. Invade the FLAT parts...

Posted by: Richard McEnroe at June 06, 2015 04:08 PM (XO6WW)

161 "Good generals study tactics. Great generals study logistics."

And Diana West, obviously, has studied neither. As others have noted, the invasion of mainland Europe from the south would have been a logistical nightmare; bad terrain, bad transportation network, exposed supply lines, etc. etc.

If the goal was to occupy more of Europe to meet the Russians further east, the correct strategic move would have been to avoid the distractions in North Africa, Sicily and Italy, and instead use those forces to invade France in 1943. This was, in fact, the original plan endorsed by Roosevelt, Marshall and Eisenhower. Operation Roundup.

But Churchill, with his "soft underbelly of Europe" fixation persuaded them to go with Torch, Husky and Avalanche instead. Woulda coulda shoulda. Even right up until Overlord, Churchill was trying to divert landing craft for more leapfrog jumps up the Italian peninsula. A statesman he definitely was, but a strategist and a general never.

For anyone that's interested, there is a book by John Grigg called 1943: The Victory that Never Was that explores this idea in greater detail than can (or should) be explained in a blog comments section.

Posted by: A. Guy at June 06, 2015 04:50 PM (d6iMX)

162 126 Mike Hammer etc. Re: searching for and buying the right book. It is, it is, I did a search by title and author. Many thanks again. I will be reading it as soon as I receive it.

Posted by: wah iggle at June 06, 2015 04:57 PM (Glgou)

163 156 mrp

"George Marshall wanted a 1943 invasion. One of the earlier iterations of
the continental invasion plans included a mass airborne drop deep
inside France. One of the little-known US Army political triumphs was
the subtle deep-sixing of that idea. General Marshall was a formidable
man."

Could you comment further on the considered mass airborne drop deep inside France or cite where I could read more about this? I have never heard anything like this mentioned. It pays to be an Ace of Spades moron and read the comments.

Posted by: wah iggle at June 06, 2015 05:50 PM (Glgou)

164 @158 JoeF

"The Allies had to make the Germans think the invasion was going to take place where it wasn't--"

The Allies were feigning Calais all the way. From months of "ghost" army transmissions, inflatable tanks, increased bombing strikes all around Calais.

When the bad weather was setting in, Romel decided to drive back to Germany to celebrate his wife's birthday as no one thought an invasion would take place in those choppy waters.

I know a guy back home (passed 10 years ago) who was with the 2nd wave with 4th Infantry at Utah. He was a rifleman when they landed and the platoon leader by +10 as all the officers and NCOs were dead or wounded. He caught a bullet in the forehead, which blew out his left eye and jaw on Dday +17 and spent a year at Walter Reed getting his face back together.

Went home, married, and farmed for 45 years.

Posted by: Things you will NEVER here a democrat say at June 06, 2015 06:35 PM (3iJjK)

165 Off sock

Posted by: Buckeye Abroad at June 06, 2015 06:35 PM (3iJjK)

166 Remembering all of the men who gave their lives for our freedom 71 years ago.

May we never forget their sacrifice . . .

RIP, heroes.

Posted by: tlk428 at June 07, 2015 12:54 AM (0c9yp)

167 @161 A. Guy

"But Churchill, with his "soft underbelly of Europe" fixation persuaded them to go with Torch, Husky and Avalanche instead. ...Overlord, Churchill was trying to divert landing craft for more leapfrog jumps up the Italian peninsula. A statesman he definitely was, but a strategist and a general never."

Eisenhower should slapped him down with a simple, "you want to re-do Gallipoli? No thanks."

Posted by: Buckeye Abroad at June 07, 2015 06:53 AM (CX37Q)

168 Could you comment further on the considered mass
airborne drop deep inside France or cite where I could read more about
this? I have never heard anything like this mentioned. It pays to be an
Ace of Spades moron and read the comments.


Posted by: wah iggle at June 06, 2015 05:50 PM (Glgou)

==========
I've come across that info in a few book/magazine articles, but I cannot recall the titles (sorry). A quick internet search brings up a joint proposal by George Marshall and "Hap" Arnold called "Plan C" that outline an airborne operation that would land the bulk of the available airborne assets on the Seine River. There, they would act as a blocking force that would obstruct German troop movements approaching the landing beaches.Here is a reference: http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/7-4/7-4_5.HTMsection/page 184

Posted by: mrp at June 07, 2015 11:14 AM (JBggj)

169 #168

The url address should end after the HTM. The reference is at section/page 184

======



LINK: http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/7-4/7-4_5.HTM

Posted by: mrp at June 07, 2015 11:17 AM (JBggj)

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