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On this day June 6th 1944...

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Buzz, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

    On this day June 6th 1944 over 150,000 allied soldiers landed on the beaches of Nomandy. The soldiers were from the US, Canada, UK, Poland, France, Australia, New Zealand and a mixture of other occupied countries. The night before saw some 24,000 paratroopers land behind enemy lines with most missing their target. Many were killed injured or captured. Just how much good they did is debatable. Unfortunately for the allied landing forces, the Germans had spent four years fortifying those beaches in anticipation of an invasion by building an Atlantic Wall. The wall was dotted with heavy guns and "pill boxes" which had an unobstructed view of the beaches. The waves of soldiers who land suffered heavy losses. Many soldiers drowned because they were weighted down by their back packs. And unlike the movies the landing crafts landed short and amphibious tanks that were supposed to help mostly just sank taking it's crews with it. Hope you are spurred on to not just say a silent prayer but to read more. Lest we forget.

    LynnW, Vash01, skatesindreams and 3 others like this.
  2. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Buzz. My great-uncle was there -- just a scared kid of 18 or 19. He never forgot that brutal day. God bless those brave men.
  3. Cyn

    Cyn Well-Known Member

    Thanks for posting this, Buzz.

    It seems as though as time passes, fewer and fewer people take the time to pause for even a few minutes to honor and remember days like today when the world lost of so many soldiers (and civilians) to liberate Europe from Nazi Germany and their lunatic leader. Hell, the true meaning of Memorial Day has become diluted, if not lost outright and is now viewed as a time to celebrate and party.

    My grandfather was not in Normandy during Operation Overlord -- he fought in the Philippines -- but my best friend's father was there, as well as in Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge, and at Dachau when it was liberated. Hearing him talk about what he experienced and witnessed is something that I will never forget, as it had a profound effect on him, and while words cannot fully recreate a snapshot in time, the emotion and expression as he recalled what he went through was gut-wrenching.
    Buzz and (deleted member) like this.
  4. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    This day. and all that happened because of it, should never be forgotten.
  5. victorskid

    victorskid Skating supporter

    From Veterans Affairs Canada:
    Buzz and (deleted member) like this.
  6. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

    Some suggested reading material:

    To Hell and Back - Audie Murphy
    Forgotten Voice of D-Day - Roderick Bailey
    If You Survive - George Wilson
    Behind Hitler's Lines - Thomas Taylor
  7. AragornElessar

    AragornElessar Well-Known Member

    Haven't had a chance to check, but is Spike airing Band of Brothers today? They usually do today.

    Thank you for starting the thread Buzz. These brave Men and Women deserve Remembrance now and always.
    Buzz and (deleted member) like this.
  8. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

    I have Rogers and they moved Spike so I no longer get that channel. But from what I can gather, they don't seem to have it on tonight. Neither do the military channel.
  9. AragornElessar

    AragornElessar Well-Known Member

    They aren't, but HBO Canada did show Episode Two, which does concentrate on D Day. Not sure if they also showed the first episode to set it all up or not, as when I checked the on air guide it was half over and on the Western HBO Canada. Also my remote's on it's last legs and the back button doesn't work anymore, so I wasn't able to see if they did show Episode One first or not.

    I'm pleased at least that much of it was shown somewhere today/tonight.

    If anyone's interested in reading an excellent novel based in England and Occupied France in the final days leading to D Day and based on the group of Secret Agents who were sent into France to liason and train the Resistance (I'm blanking on the name of the actual Organization at the moment), I can't recommend Ken Follett's Jackdaws highly enough. While it is a Historical Fiction Novel, it still gives insight to a group of incredably brave women who did exist and who did get sent over to France to train the Resistance and also lead various missions w/them. Such as crippling the rail tracks in order to keep any Troop Trains from getting to Normandy the week leading to the Invasion.

    In this novel, Major Felicity (Flick) Claret leads a cell of French Resistance Fighters, including her French Husband Michel, in an attempt to blow a Telephone Exchange set up in a Chateau in a French town that's in the cross roads area of all phone traffic for the Germans. This exchange has to be taken out in some manner before D Day, as it truly is the Communications lynchpin for the Nazis in Occupied Europe. The attack fails miserably and the better part of Flick's cell has also either been killed or taken captive.

    Flick gets back to England and while going through her Debrief, she comes up w/a new idea. All of the cleaning staff are Women from the town, her Husband's Aunt being one of them. What if she went back w/an all female team this time, impersonated the Cleaning Women and once inside the Chateau...

    As I said, while the story itself is Fiction, the group it's based on is not. Also while this might not have happened in the last few days in the lead up to D Day, there were other important missions of the Resistance or Members of what would become MI6 did carry out that were vital to the success of the Invasion.

    I found this book in the Sudbury Hospital's little Gift Shop in either 92 or 93 when I was on Kidney Dialysis, so my copy's pretty much 20 yrs now, but it's also a Ken Follett novel. I'd imagine that should help those who are interested in checking the book out. I had a very, very hard time putting this book down and still do to this day, as I re read it at least once a year and I'm still as drawn into it now as I was back then.

    Once again, it's called Jackdaws by Ken Follett. Can't sing it's praises high enough.

    Also Ron McLean started tonight's Western Conference Game 4 Hockey Night in Canada by honouring just what today is and all of those who served on this Day of Days 69 years ago. Nicely done I thought. Just a pity tonight wasn't a Coaches Corner game. Love him or hate him, but Don Cherry *always* does what he can to mark major Anniversaries such as today and whenever the D Day Anniversary falls on a night in the Playoffs when it is a night for a CC broadcast, the pieces he and the CBC crew w/HNIC do are always *excellent*!!!

    It's such a bitter sweet day for me personally though. This is the first big WWII Anniversary w/out any of the Members of my Family who served still w/us. My Aunt Evelyn was the last one and she passed away two months ago.

    So...Yeah, very bitter sweet day.
  10. KHenry14

    KHenry14 Well-Known Member

    I have to agree, the Jackdaws is a terrific book, one of Follet's best.

    I also recommend Stephen Ambrose's D-Day. A terrific account of the invasion. His research into this book led him to Dick Winters and the rest of the Band of Brothers.
  11. elka_sk8

    elka_sk8 Well-Known Member

    I only recently watched Band of Brothers in Netflix and found it really moving. I actually wondered if anyone has ever skated to the score? It would make a great SP.

    My grandfather never talked much about his experience in WWII until literally the last time I saw him before he died. I wish I knew more, slowly these stories are being lost. I'll have to check out the books you recommended.