June 6, 1944: UK's last day as a superpower [D-Day related]

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by edesignuk, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #1
    BBC.

    Really good little article.

    The scale of the operation and the bravery of everyone involved is just phenomenal.

    209,672 allied soldiers and 16,714 allied aircrew gave their lives over 77 days. With other deaths added to the mix, 6,600 on average died each day.

    In these "tough times" it's kind of sobering (for me at least) to read about these things.
     
  2. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    #2
    What's even more remarkable is that these huge quantities of men, vehicles, aircraft and ships were gathered and deployed without the Germans accurately getting wind of what was going on.

    An interesting article indeed.
     
  3. BoyBach macrumors 68040

    BoyBach

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #3

    The little known Operation Bodyguard.
     
  4. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    #4
    I completely agree. I would have been so scared landing on Utah beach, I probably would have cried and tried to stay in the boat.
     
  5. bigandy macrumors G3

    bigandy

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Location:
    Murka
    #5
    Would you have demanded your blanket too?


    I think it's a shame how few of our generation appreciate what our relatives went through to keep us speaking English and driving on the left.
     
  6. steve2112 macrumors 68040

    steve2112

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Location:
    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    #6
    This was quite the little deception operation. Cardboard and inflatable vehicles, official memos, etc. Patton was "in charge" of this operation, which drove him crazy, of course. Hitler was utterly convinced that the main invasion was going to come at Pas De Calais that he held reserves there even after the invasion at Normandy had started. He was convinced that the Normandy landings were merely a feint, and the real invasion was coming at Calais.

    The logistics side of D-Day is mind boggling. Even with all the advances in communications and transportation, I doubt any modern military could duplicate that effort.

    The scary thing is that D-Day could have been much bloodier. The Germans had a huge amount of their forces committed to the Eastern Front. Had they not been taking such a pounding from the USSR, they could have had double the amount of troops defending the invasion. Also, Rommel had repeatedly requested more resources to improve the defenses of the Atlantic Wall, but got denied. Either one of these scenarios could have made the invasion much more costly.
     
  7. bigandy macrumors G3

    bigandy

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Location:
    Murka
    #7
    ^-- Definitely.

    I can see one problem with Britain trying to mount a similar attack nowadays - we'd leave all the plans on a bloody train. :rolleyes:
     
  8. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #8
    I recently went to Normandy and took two battlefield tours. Very interesting to get a sense of scale of what they were up against; Omaha beach at low tide was particularly interesting since the beach literally extends about a half kilometer. When you imagine walking across that in the face of some of the heaviest defenses on the Atlantic Wall, it gives you a better appreciation.
     
  9. edesignuk thread starter Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #9
    Definitely.

    I wish so much I had shown more interest as a kid when my mums dad was still alive. He fought in WWII and was a child for WWI. Can't imagine what he went through, along with many millions of others.
     
  10. kdum8 macrumors 6502a

    kdum8

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    #10
    That was a great read. D-Day was quite something else. And important to remember that 60% of all men there were British or Commonwealth, although watching Saving Private Ryan you might be forgiven for thinking otherwise... :p
     
  11. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #11
    Thanks for sharing, edesignuk. I think it's very sad that, before long, there will be no one around who remembers WW2. They say those who forget history are doomed to repeat it - that means we must work all the more diligently to ensure we do not forget.

    Kevin Myers made a very astute comment about that in a column written for the Sunday Telegraph way back in 2002:

    Canadian participation in the war was acknowledged in film only if it was necessary to give an American actor a part in a campaign in which the United States had clearly not participated -- a touching scrupulousness which, of course, Hollywood has since abandoned, as it has any notion of a separate Canadian identity.

    So it is a general rule that actors and filmmakers arriving in Hollywood keep their nationality -- unless, that is, they are Canadian. Thus Mary Pickford, Walter Huston, Donald Sutherland, Michael J. Fox, William Shatner, Norman Jewison, David Cronenberg and Dan Aykroyd have in the popular perception become American, and Christopher Plummer, British. It is as if, in the very act of becoming famous, a Canadian ceases to be Canadian, unless she is Margaret Atwood, who is as unshakably Canadian as a moose, or Celine Dion, for whom Canada has proved quite unable to find any takers.
     
  12. edesignuk thread starter Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #12
    One thing that as a species we are consistent in: we will never learn.

    :(
     
  13. jecapaga macrumors 601

    jecapaga

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    #13
    Great article, thanks for sharing. ^agree, D-Day does get a rather American slant for sure, at least over here.
     
  14. jzuena macrumors 6502a

    jzuena

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Location:
    Lexington, MA, USA
    #14
    I'm not sure how accurate the 60% Commonwealth number is, since in the very next sentence they say "even the landing craft taking the Americans to Omaha Beach were manned by British seamen". At least some of the US landing craft were piloted by the US Coast Guard (another fact that most don't realize). British and Canadian forces landed at 3 beaches to the American's 2 (which you could try to work into the 60% number), but all the numbers I've seen show roughly 75,000 Commonwealth and 75,000 Americans landed, which to my untrained eye looks like 50/50.
     
  15. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #15
    in the end, it's just numbers. I think what was important is that each country sacrificed quite a bit to work as a team to get that invasion started and successfully underway. The Canadians advanced the furthest, the Americans suffered the most casualties and the British secured some of the toughest bridges.

    To me, Normandy is a place of awe. I've yet to put my own physical feet there, but I plan to one day. I was just tickled pink flying over the Cherbourge peninsula from Lisbon to London 2 years ago on a clear sunny day being able to pick out so many landmarks at 30000 ft. That was almost the hilight of my trip! :)

    It's intriguing b/c of the sheer size of the force and what they encountered. And to think they couldn't even wake Hitler up that morning b/c he had a rule to wait until 9 AM (I think?) or something silly. This meant strong Panzer divisions had to wait before being deployed, thus allowing the Allie to land more troops and advance further. Another good example of how his arrogance cost him the war (re: the Eastern front meets winter).

    I was turkey hunting on the weekend and the grass in some of the farmer's fields is really tall. I said to my buddy as we were walking with shotguns in hand and full camo, "Why do I feel like i'm in Saving Private Ryan?" :)

    I will be playing Band of Brothers on the weekend for a bit in honour.

    And I take what Tom Hanks says at the end of SPR: "Earn this."

    Cheers,
    Keebler
     
  16. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #16
    Add in the 2 divisions of American Airborne troops to the British 1 (and Canadian 0), the larger number of planes and crew from the US Army Air Corps, and the larger contingent of the US Navy at D-Day and I find the 60% number very questionable.
     
  17. kdum8 macrumors 6502a

    kdum8

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    #17
    Although it is not particularly important since anyone who was there should be remembered I am curious now to find the actual numbers on all sides.

    Without doing some more detailed research it is hard to be sure, but a look at the wikipedia page on the Normandy landings reveals the following:

    Sword & Juno Beach: Brits & Commonwealth.
    Omaha & Utah Beach: Americans.

    This is just the landing forces on the day of course. There were RAF and Royal Naval Units in the channel not included in this count. In the ensuing days many more men were put ashore.
     
  18. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #18
    Imagine being born late 19th century....
    Being a teenager and probably fought during WW I, then the roaring Twenties, crisis of the Thirties, maybe fought again in WW II, witnessed the Cold War, think a wall right through Berlin is normal, maybe fight again in Korea, Vietnam.... and then you die.

    In those 80 years orso, you would have learned that hating others is what people do best.

    And, TBO, mankind will never stop fighting each other. There is always somewhere, sometime a reason to kill someone. It's because you're a Taliban warrior, part of the Tutsies Tribe, a North Korean agent, a Rangers or Celtic fan, or in dire need of money...
     

Share This Page