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Zibblsnrt
June 6th, 2005, 01:33 AM
Sixty-one years ago, minus a little over six hours, the first Allied soldiers landed in Western Europe by glider. Sixty-one years ago - to this minute - the first soldiers began landing on Normandy's beaches on what would become known as Utah and Omaha Beaches. Another nail was driven, with terrible cost, in Nazi Germany's coffin.

It's worth taking a few minutes of your time to think upon what happened that day, and how, and why.

Jenne
June 6th, 2005, 01:35 AM
Wow. Thanks Zibbl...good moment to ponder.

*great granpa was a WWII vet*

Zibblsnrt
June 6th, 2005, 01:38 AM
Wow. Thanks Zibbl...good moment to ponder.

*great granpa was a WWII vet*

Mine went through the mill in the Great War and came back with (we think) five wounds.

His son and my grandfather spent his time in the Italian campaign before getting transferred to Holland in late 1944-early 1945 for the liberation there. I'd say he was lucky to have missed being on Normandy, but Italy wasn't exactly a walk in the park itself...

The kind of things going on in that war get more beyond my comprehension thSixty-one years ago, minus a little over six hours, the first Allied soldiers landed in Western Europe by glider. Sixty-one years ago to the minute, the first soldiers landed on Normandy's beaches on what would become known as Utah and Omaha Beaches. Another nail was driven, with terrible cost, in Nazi Germany's coffin.

The things people did in that war - and I'm not just talking the atrocities - get more beyond my comprehension the more I understand them.

Jenne
June 6th, 2005, 01:43 AM
Heh--delve into WWI at some point too. It's no wonder the emotional release of the Roaring '20's had to happen.

My mother's a WWII history buff, so she always had these documentaries on tv from PBS and The History channel about D-Day, Pearl Harbor...etc.

I actually have an autobiography written about one soldier's experiences of WWI given to my great granpa while in the vet hospital. I need to give it over to a museum or university library archives collection. It's all hand-typed and stuff.

Fascinating read. He played dead, heard the enemies' plans, and was able to be rescued and told his co's about their plans, circumventing another German attack. Very All Quiet on the Western Front.

Zibblsnrt
June 6th, 2005, 02:47 AM
Heh--delve into WWI at some point too. It's no wonder the emotional release of the Roaring '20's had to happen.

Heh, WWI was a much more traumatic experience for Canada than it was for the US; it hit us with about the same force that the Pacific Theatre hit American culture, though of course in different ways. We sent one in ten of our population to Europe. Of those who went, one in ten stayed there, and another three or four were wounded. By the standards of the countries involved in the whole four years, we fared rather well.

And, as far as wars go, it was without purpose.

Even by the standards of its sequel - even alongside the fact that we started numbering the damn things - World War 1 was an obscenity.

CosmicWhispers
June 6th, 2005, 03:01 AM
Sixty-one years ago, minus a little over six hours, the first Allied soldiers landed in Western Europe by glider. Sixty-one years ago - to this minute - the first soldiers began landing on Normandy's beaches on what would become known as Utah and Omaha Beaches. Another nail was driven, with terrible cost, in Nazi Germany's coffin.

It's worth taking a few minutes of your time to think upon what happened that day, and how, and why.
Amen. Thanks for the reminder. I am proud to have served in the 29th Infantry
Division from 93 to 97. Our unit's history includes this historical battle.
The "Bedford Boys" were the first to hit the beaches on that day.
Bedford,VA lost more of her sons per capita, in that battle, than any other
community in America. There is a National D-Day memorial in Bedford.
Virginian blood bought France's (and Europe's) freedom.

AmericanMe
June 6th, 2005, 10:17 AM
Read this excellent article:
http://www.opinionjournal.com/taste/?id=110005170 (http://www.opinionjournal.com/taste/?id=110005170)

Zibblsnrt
June 6th, 2005, 01:17 PM
Read this excellent article:

I dunno, going by my own high school experiences up here I don't particularly think I needed to. We'd gotten more than the limited understanding of things that article's calling for, which is why I tend to take it more seriously, rather than using it as a patriotic talking point or political cricket bat, which I'm sure you'll agree tends to be how it's misused these days. (One of my pet peeves is the assumption that WWII is another notch on America's military belt first and foremost; close to seventy-five million people were under arms at one point or another in that conflict.)

I like the idea of an electronic WWII monument they refer to though. Last year I did a work term at a local museum which was the main trans-Atlantic shipment point for Canadian soldiers during the war. One interview at a time, they're working on something like that while extending it to a broader period before and after the war as well.

AmericanMe
June 6th, 2005, 02:31 PM
I just don't want these guys to be forgotten and WWII to be rewritten. The stuff these guys did was incredible. I watched a story last night where one of the Rangers at Normandy took a machinegun round and still scaled the 100 ft. cliff (either at Sword or Juno, can't remember which).

Zibblsnrt
June 6th, 2005, 03:22 PM
I just don't want these guys to be forgotten and WWII to be rewritten. The stuff these guys did was incredible. I watched a story last night where one of the Rangers at Normandy took a machinegun round and still scaled the 100 ft. cliff (either at Sword or Juno, can't remember which).

Yeah, my beef is that I want them all remembered, even including the Soviets and some of the Axis guys. Someone who went into Stalingrad and came out alive boggles me roughly as much as someone who landed on Omaha and survived.

You're right on some of the individuals' actions, though. Awhile back, I spent awhile reading Victoria Cross citations ("the odds of surviving a Victoria Cross act are one in twelve"{1}) before the VC reference site decided to be incredibly stupid and migrate to Wikipedia (*spit*), and I really gotta wonder if some of those guys were even human. ;)

There aren't really comparable situations today. They still happen - someone got VC'd in Iraq a month or so ago, the first to do so in twenty years - but it seems like some of the stuff was practically the traffic of the day's commerce back then. Granted, like I said, there were a lot of people involved in that war, so there's plenty of room for spectacular things to happen.

That kind of thing, or even the more mundane stuff, needs to be remembered too, of course. But there aren't many things about the Second World War in general that I think deserve to be forgotten or (worse!) disregarded.

{1} - The odds of surviving two VC acts are two in three. So apparently all you have to do is make it past that first one and you've got a much easier time being a Total Badass. Don't try this at home, kids.

AutumnWitchie
June 6th, 2005, 04:31 PM
My grandfather was a paratrooper in WW2. He only ever made one jump other than training. Don't know any details. He didn't talk about his time in the Army much. Just to say he trained at Ft. Benning. He helped liberate France. He hated that time in France and wasn't fond of the French. Again, not much detail. I know he recieved a Purple Heart and my grandmother said he had 2 Bronze Stars. I only ever saw the Purple Heart once when I was about 6. Interesting tidbit for any MW folks who have ever been stationed at Ft. Bragg with the 82nd Airborne.......the area of post that houses the 82nd Airborne today......my grandfather's logging crew cleared the trees for the expansion of post after WW2.

AmericanMe
June 6th, 2005, 05:06 PM
My grandfather was a paratrooper in WW2. He only ever made one jump other than training. Don't know any details. He didn't talk about his time in the Army much. Just to say he trained at Ft. Benning. He helped liberate France. He hated that time in France and wasn't fond of the French. Again, not much detail. I know he recieved a Purple Heart and my grandmother said he had 2 Bronze Stars. I only ever saw the Purple Heart once when I was about 6. Interesting tidbit for any MW folks who have ever been stationed at Ft. Bragg with the 82nd Airborne.......the area of post that houses the 82nd Airborne today......my grandfather's logging crew cleared the trees for the expansion of post after WW2.

I was in the 82nd also, spent 5 years there in the 504th. Is your grandfather still alive?
There were 4 combat jumps made by them in Europe: Sicily, Salerno, Normandy and Holland. I would guess that if he jumped it was in the latter two. If you have ever seen the HBO series Band of Brothers the 82nd was involved in much of the same operations that were depicted, including Bastogne.

Every year on the week leading up to Memorial Day weekend the 82nd does "All American Week" where the old vets come and are allowed the run of the battalions. They would stop the young kids and talk, and if you are ever rude the 1st Sergeant would have your ass. It's topped off on Thursday by "Division Review", a pomp-and-circumstance ceremony that all those vets come to in their old uniforms. It sucks for the troops but I always got a kick out of the vets tied to oxygen bottles that barely rose from their wheelchairs and saluted us as we marched by.

AutumnWitchie
June 6th, 2005, 10:15 PM
My grandfather died in 1995. He had been dealing with ALzheimers for about 5 years before his death. My hubby was in the 82nd Airborne(313th MI) 1994-1997. We used to s go to All American week activities. I have pics of the RTAP exercise from 1996. Hubby always got picked for Division Review because he was the right height(5'11"). Hubby still has the last beret he wore at Ft Bragg. We restored his dress uniform to 82nd specs after we came back from Ft Hood. The best we can figure from the few things my grandfather told and the few letters my grandmother kept from his time in WWII is that his one combat jump was Normandy.

Hubby's grandfather worked for the OSS in Germany during WWII. He got the locations and layouts of the steel mills so the planes could target them for bombing.

AmericanMe, did you know a guy with the last name Ferry when you were in the 504th?

AmericanMe
June 7th, 2005, 11:19 AM
AmericanMe, did you know a guy with the last name Ferry when you were in the 504th?

Doesn't ring a bell.

From what I can gather from what you told me that I'd bet he was in the 505th PIR. 504th didn't jump into Normandy and the 325th was in gliders.

lovemy1dane
July 13th, 2005, 07:08 PM
My grandpa was a "Darby's Ranger" and was in D-DAY. He got a purple heart and a bronze star (among a shoe box full of other medals) for "saving" his squad that day. I do not know all the details, since he died when my dad was 12, and I only hear the stories and see pics, but I have a tremendous amount of respect for ALL of the men and women who fight and die for their countries.

bladeraven
July 13th, 2005, 07:11 PM
Heh--delve into WWI at some point too. It's no wonder the emotional release of the Roaring '20's had to happen.

My mother's a WWII history buff, so she always had these documentaries on tv from PBS and The History channel about D-Day, Pearl Harbor...etc.

I actually have an autobiography written about one soldier's experiences of WWI given to my great granpa while in the vet hospital. I need to give it over to a museum or university library archives collection. It's all hand-typed and stuff.

Fascinating read. He played dead, heard the enemies' plans, and was able to be rescued and told his co's about their plans, circumventing another German attack. Very All Quiet on the Western Front.

ooooooo......you need to also see if you can get that published!