Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Operation Neptune

Today, in 1944, the initial phase of Operation Overlord began.

Operation Neptune -- the transport of invasion troops from England to Normandy, landing them, and providing fire-support -- remains the largest seaborne/amphibious invasion in history.

Almost three million troops from the United States, Great Britain, and Canada hit Gold Beach, Juno Beach, Omaha Beach, Sword Beach, Utah Beach and the Pointe du Hoc; supported by just under seven thousand naval vessels drawn from the navies of the United States, Great Britain, Free France, Poland, the Netherlands and other Commonwealth nations.

The butchers bill was severe: 45,000 KIA, 173,000 WIA or MIA. Among French civilians -- including the Maquis -- 12,200 dead or missing.

By the time Operation Neptune was considered complete -- 30JUN1944 -- ground troops from Poland, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, the Netherlands, and Norway were also involved.

Here's to the dead. Here's to the survivors.

And here's to the other countries -- often forgotten -- who stepped up at crunch time and sent their children to fight alongside those of America, Britain, Canada and France in the Channel currents and amongst the Normandy hedgerows.

Thank you, and God bless you.

LawDog

7 comments:

Valerian said...

At the going down of the sun,
And in the morning,
We will remember them.
Amen

Brandon said...

Amen.

D.W. Drang said...

At the risk of ruining the solmnity of the moment... Check out this video from The Combat Report, "What If The Greatest Generation Had Been Saddled With Today's Media?" (Not what they called it.)http://www.thecombatreport.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=388&Itemid=87
(Hat tip to BlackFive)

Kiki B. said...

Wow! That is very impressive. I knew it was a big undertaking, but I had never heard of the numbers involved. What a sacrifice! Thank you to all of them.

Jim w. said...

Dave Kopel has some interesting What Ifs at
http://www.bpcr.net/files/D-Day_why_it_mattered.htm

Later would have been worse, even for the Germans, and earlier would have been better for everybody, especially Jews bailed out of concentration camps.
He says. Who really knows?

Anonymous said...

My Grandpa was there in the Normandy Invasion... when I was 14 or 15, he told me going in on that beach was the worst feeling he ever had. The boats that took them to the beach... the drivers wouldn't take them up onto the sand for fear of getting hung up. Grandpa said they were jumping off in water over their heads with more gear than they could swim with. Ya'll saw "Saving Private Ryan"? According to what Grandpa said, those scenes going in on Omaha Beach were accurate. My Grandpa was there for the Liberation of Paris and the Bulge. I have his Army of Occupation medals for Germany and Japan. He stayed in the U.S. Army until 1950 and passed away in December of 1997. And I for one, in the face of the anti-American forces, refuse to forget.

mustanger98 on THR
(My point-of-view: grandson of two WW2 vets, grand-nephew to two more, and counting other vets among friends and relatives.)

Anonymous said...

The shame of it is that our politically correct current generation isn't at all sure that these brave men were right. Dog's sister, a photographer at a Sears studio, took pictures of WW II veterans who would ask her, "Do you think we were right?"
It's disgraceful that they even felt they had to ask.
The answer is a resounding "YES!!!!" and we respect you for it. In the mindset of the American Indian, these were valuable men; they still are.
LawMom