June 6, 2016 –
72 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
TODAY’S SHOW PODCAST: https://csctalkradio.com/podcast/d-day-history-story-greatest-generation-usa-still-free/
Recently our POTUS, Barack Obama had an “apology” tour. One of his visits was Hiroshima. Americans are depicted there as the “aggressors” in WW2 – Obama, always embarrassed by America’s strength and freedom, was apologetic for our actions. History tells a much different story. Below are 40 Amazing D-Day Facts I believe you will find interesting.
I talks about this article on air today as I gave tribute to our military and noted that I’m concerned America is truly no longer a free nation. http://dailysignal.com/2016/06/05/72nd-d-day-anniversary-all-who-serve-are-a-part-of-the-greatest-generation/
The Greatest Generation Fought For Freedom SO You Could Complain About Safe Spaces
40 Amazing D-Day Facts
By JAMES MOORE – PUBLISHED: 01:41, Mon, Jun 2, 2014
1 Planning for Operation Overlord began in earnest in 1943 with Dwight D Eisenhower made supreme commander. British general Bernard Montgomery, hero of the Eighth Army in North Africa, was put in charge of the ground troops.
2 About 3,200 reconnaissance missions were launched in the run-up to the invasion to take photos of vital locations.
3 In the summer of 1943 an early copy of the plans blew out of a window in Norfolk House, London. A man who was passing by handed them in, saying his sight was too bad to read them.
4 Beach landings in Normandy were chosen instead of the Pas-de-Calais because defenses were lighter and advancing troops would have fewer rivers and canals to cross.
5 There were to be five landing zones along a 50-mile stretch of coast. The Americans would attack at Utah and Omaha, the British at Gold and Sword and Canadian troops at Juno.
6 D-Day was originally set for June 5 but had to be postponed for 24 hours because of bad weather.
7 The “D” in D-Day actually only stood for Day and was simply used to preserve secrecy.
8 On April 28 1944 off Slapton Sands in Devon 946 American servicemen were killed when German torpedo boats sank a convoy of ships involved in a D-Day dress rehearsal.
9 A phantom army of dummy camps, planes and tanks was constructed in Kent and Essex in order to deceive Germans into thinking the invasion would be at Calais.
10 Spanish-born double agent Garbo also plied the Germans with misinformation that led them to believe the Normandy landings were just a ruse.
11 In May 1944 crucial codewords for D-Day began appearing in Daily Telegraph crosswords. An MI5 investigation failed to find any evidence of foul play.
12 Allied troops faced formidable defences as part of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall, which had been built all along the coast using 100,000 workers.
13 High command thought a successful landing would cost 10,000 dead and 30,000 wounded – 30,000 stretchers and 60,000 blankets were issued.
14 New gadgets designed for D-Day included a “swimming tank” and a flame throwing tank called “the crocodile”. There were even collapsible motorbikes.
15 Terence Otway, whose unit was tasked with taking the vital Merville battery, decided to test security among his men. He sent 30 members of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force to local pubs to see if any of his troops would divulge the top secret plan – none did.
Condoms were issued to soldiers – most were used for covering the end of their rifles to keep them dry
16 The night before the landings nervous Prime Minister Winston Churchill said to his wife: “Do you realise that by the time you wake up in the morning 20,000 men may have been killed?”
17 On the eve of battle Eisenhower told troops: “You are about to embark upon a great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you.”
18 He also wrote a draft statement in case the landings failed which read: “I have withdrawn the troops… If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.” 19 Coded messages were sent to alert French Resistance to begin a programme of sabotage. Phrases used included “the dice is on the carpet” – an order to destroy trains and railway lines.
20 The naval operation, codenamed Operation Neptune, involved an armada of 6,939 vessels including 4,126 landing craft – the largest single day amphibious invasion of all time. On June 5 they assembled at a point known as Piccadilly Circus off the Isle of Wight.
21 From 11pm on June 5 some 24,000 airborne troops were delivered behind the German lines to secure important roads and bridges. Along with more than 2,000 aircraft 867 gliders were used. Dummy paratroopers were also dropped to help convince the Germans that the real landings would take place elsewhere.
22 The first British casualty on D-Day was Lt “Den” Brotheridge, shot in the neck shortly after landing in France in a glider at 00.16am. His unit was tasked with taking the crucial target of Pegasus Bridge, an objective that was achieved.
23 Many paratroopers that day were dropped in the wrong place including US Private John Steele. His parachute famously became snagged on the church steeple at Sainte-Mère- Eglise. He was trapped for two hours before being taken prisoner.
24 At 3am 1,900 Allied bombers attacked German lines. A staggering seven million pounds of bombs were dropped that day. A total of 10,521 combat aircraft flew a total of 15,000 sorties on D-Day, with 113 lost.
25 A naval bombardment from seven battleships, 18 cruisers, and 43 destroyers began at 5am and went on until 6.25am. Midget submarines, called X-boats, lay submerged in the sea off the coast of France, surfacing on the morning of D-Day to guide in the invading craft using beacons.
26 The flat-bottomed landing craft were originally designed to rescue flood victims on the Mississippi river in the US.
27 US troops went ashore on the landing beaches at 6.31am, followed an hour later by the British and Canadians on their beaches. There were 61,715 British troops, 21,400 Canadian soldiers and 73,000 Americans.
28 Defenses on the beaches included concrete gun emplacements, wooden stakes, mines, anti-tank obstacles, barbed wire and booby traps. Around 50,000 German troops opposed the landing forces.
29 Field Marshal Erwin Rommel was in charge of defending northern France from the expected Allied invasion. On June 6 he was at home in Germany celebrating his wife’s 50th birthday having been told the sea was too rough for a landing.
30 Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was asleep when word of the invasion arrived. No one dared wake him and it’s said vital time was lost in sending reinforcements.
31 The heaviest losses were on Omaha beach where US forces suffered 2,000 casualties. Canadian forces met heavy resistance on Juno. In the first hour the chance of becoming a casualty was one in two.
32 The newly developed drug penicillin went with troops on D-Day and saved thousands of lives.
33 Condoms were issued to soldiers – most were used for covering the end of their rifles to keep them dry.
34 Despite setbacks, including the failure to capture the city of Caen, D-Day saw the Allies establish a successful beachhead from which they could continue the invasion of Normandy. By the evening of the first day, along with more than 150,000 men, 20,000 vehicles had been landed.
35 The Allies ferried two prefabricated harbours called Mulberries across the Channel to help supply the beachhead with equipment. The one at Arromanches involved 600,000 tons of concrete.
36 Total Allied casualties on D-Day were much lighter than feared – around 10,000 with 4,572 killed including 1,641 Brits. The Germans are estimated to have lost about 9,000.
37 Actor Richard Todd starred in The Longest Day, a 1962 film about D-Day, as Major John Howard. He was involved in the real landings as an officer in the 7th Parachute Battalion.
38 James Doohan, who would go on to find fame as Scotty in Star Trek, was a lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Artillery on D-Day and lost a finger during the fray.
39 The stunning Omaha Beach scene in the 1998 movie Saving Private Ryan, starring Tom Hanks, cost £7million to film and used 1,000 extras.
40 Famous photographer Robert Capa captured some of the most memorable images of the action though only a handful of the frames he took survived. The others were accidently destroyed by a lab technician.
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