Well, about 18 hours ago (0600Z) in 1944, the worlds greatest armada arrived at Normandy. My Uncle Bill (Sgt. William L. Leach) had already arrived with the 82nd Airborne (The Famous AA patch, along with the Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne from the "Band of Brothers" HBO movie, as well as the British Airborne) who landed behind the German lines about 0200Z or so. The Americans paid dearly at Omaha and Utah beaches that were heavily armed. General Erwin "The Desert Fox" Rommel had done a great job there. And even though Gen. George S. Patton didn't get in on the action, he was used as a decoy to hold the 2nd Panzer and 116th Panzer tanks up north who were expecting the real invasion to come in at Pas de Calais. As a matter of fact, the 2nd Panzer and 116th Panzer didn't move until the 14th day of the invasion. To quote the 82nd Airborne report "By the time the All-American Division was pulled back to England, it had seen 33 days of bloody combat and suffered 5,245 troopers killed, wounded, or missing. Ridgway's post-battle report stated in part, "...33 days of action without relief, without replacements. Every mission accomplished. No ground gained was ever relinquished." What a report for such a small brigade. They went on to fight in Operation Market Garden (what a fiasco) and Bastogne with the 101st Airborne and the British Airborne both times.
So, lift a glass of cheer to the American, English, Aussies, New Zealanders and all the rest who stormed the beaches long, long ago. If not for them, we'd be all be speaking German. Not that Germans are all bad, it's just the Nazis that I can't stand. The real German army was actually kind of neat. At least they tried to kill Hitler. Only a table leg saved him and he never was the same after that. So, maybe they sort of succeeded after all. At least he was crazy enough to keep the Panzer divisions at Pas de Calais until July rather than sending them to Normandy on June 6th- right?