It was called Operation Overlord. 160, 000 allied soldiers landed on the beaches of Normandy, France in those first hours of the invasion with nearly 10, 000 casualties of that 6,603 were American with 1,465 American fatalities. Before Overlord was complete three million allied troops would come ashore to defeat Nazi Germany and liberate Europe from the terror hold of Adolph Hitler.
More than 5,000 ships crossed the English Channel in rough seas bringing with them the largest amphibious landing and invasion that the world had ever seen. Attacking the German fortifications which had become known as The Atlantic Wall. Prior to the landings gliders and Airborne Divisions dropped more than 20,000 troops behind the German lines inland to take the pressure off the beaches for the landings.
The causality rates and loses to the Airborne were high as these soldiers dropped directly into the enemies lap in order to secure bridges and to force the Germans to fight both at the front on the beaches and the rear against the Airborne troops.
Though the numbers are staggering, the true story of D Day is not how many but the reason that so many made this dangerous and heroic landing in Europe. These men left the shore of Britain knowing that they faced an uncertain outcome to the invasion. They knew that they faced the likelihood of death as they went ashore in France facing a nearly impenetrable defense along the English Channel.
Yet they went knowing that the only way to end the Nazi Reich was to make this landing and gain a foothold which would be the beginning of the end of the evil of Adolph Hitler and the ,”thousand year Reich.”
Not one who parachuted or glided behind enemy lines or landed on the beaches during that June day in 1944 were expecting to be heroes. In fact each in their own way feared for their life but gathered the courage to do their duty and heroism through valor and honor which was the call of the day.
Few are left who made that heroic landing 65 years ago. As the years pass more join their comrades who sacrificed the last full measure on that day and have since passed as the ravages of time take these heroes of Normandy from us. But though they are no longer with us or will soon join their comrades who have gone, we must never forget who they are and what they did on that day of days.
How they willingly placed themselves between evil and good, facing the Nazi power with unwavering determination to rid the world of this evil and restore freedom to the oppressed. Liberating millions who had fallen under the knife of Nazi fascism. These are the heroes of D Day. This is the generation that faced evil and said we will not let it stand. We must always remember, we must never forget. Thanking God for their existence and thanking them for their service and sacrifice.
Ken Taylor http://theliberalslies.blogspot.com