Thursday, June 5, 2014

70 Years Ago Today - Part 4 - June 5 0400 GMT


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:

Personally, I highly recommend Band of Brothers, The Longest Day and Saving Private Ryan as being some of the more realistic.  After that, maybe The Big Red One and/or Le Bataillon du ciel.  The best "first" film on D-Day was "The Longest Day" and starred, at the time, everyone who was anyone in Hollywood.  Regardless, the British landed 314K men while the USA landed another 314K men.  All with one goal, to be first to Berlin.  But, that job was left to the Russians because Ike did not want to lose his men in the street battles that would follow and the Russians really wanted Berlin.  After all, the Russians lost more than 20 MILLION people due to WW II.

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.


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