By this time, 70 years ago today, the 82nd and 101st Airborne were already in the air along with their British counterparts, the British 6th Airborne. The Path Finders had gone along several hours before to mark the landing zones. What will follow at 0600 (midnight here in the USA) will be the largest naval armada in history that will begin the bombardment of the coast of Normandy in preparation for the landing of between 130K to 150K troops, both airborne and ground assault. There are many, many movies made about this day:
- Le Bataillon du ciel (sky's battalion), a 1947 French film directed by Alexandre Esway based on the book of Joseph Kessel: Free French SAS paratroopers (Special Air Service) in Brittany from 5 June to August 1944.
- Band of Brothers, a 2001 American miniseries produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks based on the book of the same name by Stephen Ambrose.
- Ike: Countdown to D-Day, a 2004 American television film directed by Robert Harmon and written by Lionel Chetwynd which emphasizes the difficult decisions General Dwight D. Eisenhower had to make, while dealing with the varied personalities of his direct subordinates, in order to lead Operation Overlord.
- The Longest Day a 1962 film based on the book of the same name by Cornelius Ryan
- Saving Private Ryan, a 1998 Academy Award-winning American film directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks and Matt Damon.
- Un jour avant l'aube (One day before dawn), a 1994 French TV film directed by Jacques Ertaud: Free French SAS in Brittany.
- The Big Red One, a 1980 film directed by Samuel Fuller and starring Lee Marvin.
- The Americanization of Emily, a 1964 film written by Paddy Chayefsky, directed by Arthur Hiller and starring James Garner and Julie Andrews.
- My Way, a joint South Korean and US war movie by Kang Je-gyu, stars Jang Dong-gun along with Japanese actor Joe Odagiri and Chinese actress Fan Bingbing.
- Overlord, a 1975 black-and-white film written and directed by Stuart Cooper, set around the D-Day invasion.
Anway, shortly, about midnight here, at 0600 GMT, the main battle was started. There will be a lot of politicians there tomorrow, most whom have never seen combat - maybe none. Most have never served in the military, including our own President. Sad but true.
So, for the weekend, there are your movies. And you might want to throw in "Kelly's Heroes" and a few others just for good measure. Remember those who gave all for the rest of the world and eventually defeated the German Nazi strangle-hold on Europe.