Jun 6 2013

69th Anniversary of D-Day

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Today marks the 69th anniversary of D-Day.  The two phase assault, code named “Operation Neptune”, began an airborne assault landing of 24,000 British, American and Canadian airborne troops shortly after midnight.  The next phase of the Normandy landings were the largest amphibious invasion in world history.  Over 160,000 Allied soldiers consisting of 73,000 Americans, 61,715 British and 21,400 Canadians landed on 5 different beachheads of Normandy beach: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword.  In the months prior to the invasion, the Allies had implemented a deception plan called Operation Bodygaurd.  Allies used decoys in northern France, at Pas de Calais to make it appear as if the invasion was going to come from the north.

“Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! You are about to embark upon a great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers in arms on other fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened, he will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man to man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our home fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to victory!

I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory!

Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessings of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.”

— Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower