D-Day plus 70


JUNE 6 marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day, when the U.S.-led Allied armada crossed the English Channel to launch an offensive that would help lead to the defeat of Germany’s Third Reich.
More than 156,000 Allied soldiers aboard 5,000 vessels and 11,000 planes crossed the English Channel and landed on the shores of Nazi-controlled Normandy, France – the largest single and most complex invasion in world history.
It was a massive undertaking. On June 6, 1944, Germans defending the beaches and French civilians awoke to the sight of thousands of ships and landing craft crowding the horizon along a 50-mile stretch of coastline.
Historians say a definitive death toll for D-Day will likely never be known.
D-Day was just the beginning of the Battle of Normandy, which extended to the end of August 1944.
By then, a staggering 425,000 Allied and German troops were dead, wounded or simply went missing.
History has often glossed over the thousands of civilian casualties caused by Allied bombing. US General Eisenhower’s decision to bomb transportation hubs and other infrastructure before the invasion killed an estimated 20,000 French civilians.
Five years before he died, Eisenhower came back to Normandy. Looking over Omaha Beach, he spoke from his heart: “Many thousands of men have died for such ideals as these. . . but these young boys. . . were cut off in their prime. . . I devoutly hope that we will never again have to see such scenes as these. I think and hope, and pray, that humanity will have learned. . . we must find some way . . . to gain an eternal peace for this world.”


4 thoughts on “D-Day plus 70

  1. Yep….”History has often glossed over the thousands of civilian casualties caused by Allied bombing.”…(Or, more accurately ‘the many millions’.)

    And lots of other things too…. Such as:-
    Policy decisions (and agreements) between the US and UK decided soon after WW1 that ‘Terror Bombing’ of civilian populations should be instituted as a major element of strategic warfare. (ie ‘normalised’)….and implemented not long thereafter.*
    The British actually commenced building a bomber fleet for that very purpose in the 1930s.

    Here’s one I heard about directly from my grandmother and my (then 13 yo) mother, who in the thick of it.—> “On 16th December 1940 a moonlight raid by 134 planes took out the defenceless city of Mannheim, focussing on its charming town centre. Flying high enough to be safe from the anti-aircraft flak, the night-time bomber pilot releasing his cargo never hears the mother’s scream, nor sees the child’s burning flesh. That was the real Holocaust, a word meaning, death by fire. RAF pilots would return home announcing the destruction of assigned ‘military’ targets.”

    But do read about it yourselves:- http://www.whale.to/b/kollerstrom.html

    ….and note that without strict censorship most of it could never have happened.

    *In 1919-1920, the British developed the technique of bombing towns and villages, bombing Kabul, Afghanistan, and rebellious tribal groups along the border areas of India. And in the 1920s, the British intentionally bombed rebel villages in Somalia and Yemen and undertook an extended bombardment campaign against civilian populations in rebel areas in British-controlled Iraq for several years.

    *The Hague Convention of 1923 (Articles 22, 23) proposed to outlaw indiscriminate urban bombing (‘aerial bombardment for the purpose of terrorising the civilian population’) :bold: but alas, the five organising powers (Britain, France, Italy, Japan and the US) never signed it[49]. :bold: .
    Britain’s Prime Minister affirmed to the House of Commons in 1938 that any such bombing would be an “undoubted violation of international law,” then a resolution passed by the League of nations in September 1938, ‘The intentional bombing of civilian populations is illegal’ had been proposed by the British government and passed without dissent – who could object to such a self-evident truth? ‘…we have no intention of attacking the civil population as such’ said the British representative during an Anglo-French staff conversation on August 14, 1939, just before war broke out. Shortly after, the League of Nations unanimously passed a resolution affirming that such bombing was illegal. And yet, by 1943 Britain with America signed the Treaty of Casablanca, which encouraged the stepping up of city bombing – ‘morale bombing’ as it was called.


  2. Oh…and just topical of the issue of accuracy in reporting, it should be mentioned that this week’s endless and fervent media reporting of the Normandy Landings as being ‘The Turning Point of the War’, somehow overlooks the battle for Stalingrad, two years earlier.
    That not only claimed three or four (nobody knows for certain) more lives and umpteen times more material than the Normandy campaign, but stopped the german military in its tracks…and then chewed up anything left standing. THAT was the ‘Turning Point of the War’. (although it’s sometimes suggested that the Eighth Army in Africa should also be given some credit.)

    And it’s generally accepted that except for the consequent huge transfer of men and machines from the Western front to the East the D-Day landings might’ve ended very differently.


  3. Pity Tony Abbott was tired and took a nap .
    He was a real joke in EUROPE .
    Tony also did not take the hand of a child to walk with. being the only one not too
    Even the QUEEN of England took the hand of a child walking beside her.
    Not Tony Abbott..
    SSS—–H !
    In Australia are notsupposed to know he is a baffon .
    Just keep sport on the front pages and they willnever know !


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