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D-Day: 6 June 1944  
User currently offlinedl021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11447 posts, RR: 75
Posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2241 times:

One of the most important events in the lead up to me coming into this world started early this morning 68 years ago when three gliders full of British soldiers landed at Ouistreham in France, and the pathfinder platoons of the parachute forces started setting up the DZs, leading the way for thousands of Allied soldiers, sailors, coast guardsmen and airmen to come begin the liberation of France, and truly start the end of the war with The Axis.

My mother was 9 years old, hidden in LePuy, under a false name with my grandparents and uncle, with time running out as the Nazis and their collaborators continued to root out Jews and others for death camps.

These brave soldiers, and the nations that stood up, saved my family, and by extension ensured my presence here. I'm eternally grateful. I met many of these men through my life, served with the 82d Airborne partly in homage and from a sense of duty and repayment, and walked the battlefields near my uncles home in Normandy. I've sat in the cemetery at Colleville and contemplated the sacrifices made, and hoped to do my part to ensure that they were not wasted on my behalf.

Thank you to you servicemen and women who served and sacrificed, thank you to you family members who sent your loved ones...some who gave all. Thank you.


Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
50 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineflyingturtle From Switzerland, joined Oct 2011, 2431 posts, RR: 13
Reply 1, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2233 times:

I remember watching the 50th anniversary on TV. Learning about D-Day was just the begin for my obsession about WWII history.

Thanks to all Allied countried for their sacrifice.


David



Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
User currently offlineMadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10901 posts, RR: 37
Reply 2, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2229 times:

Here in France the news of the 6 June landing on the beaches of Normandy is barely talked about if not at all. I guess priorities have changed.

Today's main news topics:

A decree lowering retirement age to 60 by the new president and government.
A "normal" president making visits to provincial towns.
Canadian psycho Luka Magnotta
Jerome Kerviel Societé Générale bank trader court case
Hosni Mubarak possibly transferred to a hospital
French parliamentary elections
Sports with new star tennis player Tsonga and the France-Estonia football match.

Nothing on 6 June and D Day beaches landings in news titles...

 Wow!



There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
User currently offlineslider From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6818 posts, RR: 34
Reply 3, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2213 times:

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 2):
Here in France the news of the 6 June landing on the beaches of Normandy is barely talked about if not at all. I guess priorities have changed.

Today's main news topics:

A decree lowering retirement age to 60 by the new president and government.
A "normal" president making visits to provincial towns.
Canadian psycho Luka Magnotta
Jerome Kerviel Societé Générale bank trader court case
Hosni Mubarak possibly transferred to a hospital
French parliamentary elections
Sports with new star tennis player Tsonga and the France-Estonia football match.

Nothing on 6 June and D Day beaches landings in news titles...

That's a damned shame. It ought to lead the news every single year.


User currently offlineConfuscius From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 3868 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2183 times:

Quoting dl021 (Thread starter):
D-Day: 6 June 1944  

The Longest Day



Ain't I a stinker?
User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 7919 posts, RR: 52
Reply 5, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2161 times:

Can't even imagine the fear and bravery of those storming the beach... they weren't trained warriors, just everyday people, you and me on this forum, for many fighting and dying not for their land but for the land of their allies...

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a5/Into_the_Jaws_of_Death_23-0455M_edit.jpg/745px-Into_the_Jaws_of_Death_23-0455M_edit.jpg

RIP to the Allied soldiers, civilians, and even the Axis soldiers... such a useless war



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14030 posts, RR: 62
Reply 6, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2148 times:

Not to dimish the efforts and sacrifices done in the Normany, but there is one thing that miffs me a bit is that with all the hype about the Normandy landings the other theatres of operation often get ignored.
But this happened already in 1944, as the following song shows:

We are the D-Day Dodgers

(Tune: Lilly Marlen)

There is a song the Eight
Army used to sing,
Marching through the desert,
Marching with a swing
But now they're on a different game.
Although the tune
Is still the same
The words have all been altered,
The words we're singing still:

We're the D-Day Dodgers
Here in Italy,
Drinking all the vino,
Always on a spree.
We didn't land with Eisenhower
And so they think we're just a shower
For we're the D-Day Dodgers,
Out here in Italy.

We're the D-Day dodgers
Here in Italy
Drinking all the vino,
Always on a spree.
Eighth Army scroungers and their tanks,
We go to war in ties like swanks.
We are the D-Day Dodgers,
Way out in Italy

Dearest Lady Astor,
You think you're mighty hot,
Standing on the platform,
Talking tommyrot.
Dear England's sweetheart and her pride
We think your mouth's too bleeding wide -
From all the D-Day Dodgers,
In sunny Italy.

Here's to Lady Astor,
Our pin up girl out here.
She's the dear old lady,
Who sends us such good beer
And when we get our Astor band,
We'll be the proudest in the land,
For we're the D-Day Dodgers,
Out here in Italy.

We landed in Salerno,
A holiday with pay,
The Jerries brought the band out
To greet us on the way.
Showed us the sights and gave us tea,
We all sang songs, the beer was free
To welcome D-Day Dodgers,
To sunny Italy.

Salerno and Cassino
We're takin' in our stride
We didn't go to fight there,
We went there for the ride
Anzio and Sanzio were just names,
We only went to look for dames,
The artful D-Day Dodgers,
Out here in Italy.

'round Lake Trasimano
We'd a lovely time
Bags of wine and women,
They didn't cost a dime.
Base wallahs, amgot and the yanks,
All stayed in Rome,
To dodge the tanks
For we're the D-Day Dodgers,
Out here in Italy.

We stayed a week in Florence,
Polished off the wine,
Then thumbed our way to Rimini
Right through the Gothic Line
Soon to Bologna we will go
When Jerrys gone across the Po
For we're the D-Day Dodgers,
The lads that D-Day dodged.

We hear the boys in France are
Going home on leave,
After six months service
It's a shame they're not relieved
But we can carry on out here
For what may be a few more years
For we're the D-Day Dodgers,
Out here in Italy.

Once we heard a rumour
We were going home
Back to dear old Blighty
Never more to roam
Then someone said in France you'll fight
We answered: "No, we'll just sit tight!"
For we're the D-Day Dodgers,
The lads that D-Day dodged.

When the war is over
And we've done our bit
Climbing over mountains,
Through mud and sleet and ----,
Then we will all be sent out east
Till B.L.A. have been released
For we're the D-Day Dodgers,
Out here in Italy.

Forgotten by the many
Remembered by the few
We'd our armistice when
An armestice was new
One million Germans gave up to us
We finished our war without much fuss
For we're the D-Day Dodgers,
Out here in Italy.

Look around the mountains
In the mud and rain
You'll find scattered crosses,
Some which bear no name.
Heart break and toil and suffering gone
The boys beneath them slumber on,
For they're the D-Day Dodgers,
Who stayed in Italy.


Jan


User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7958 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2131 times:

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 2):
Today's main news topics:
Quoting slider (Reply 3):
That's a damned shame. It ought to lead the news every single year.

To be fair: why would the 68th (and somewhat odd) anniversary of the D-Day be among the main news topics? But as a matter of fact there *are* reports - some of them are difficult to miss, such as this:

Hollande commémore l'anniversaire du débarquement sous la pluie
(President) Holande commemorates the anniversary of the landing in pouring rain
Homepage of a major French TV station:
http://lci.tf1.fr/

[Edited 2012-06-06 13:48:58 by srbmod]


I support the right to arm bears
User currently offlineMadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10901 posts, RR: 37
Reply 8, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2127 times:

6 June 1944 - The real images.

Films from archives in 3 parts (English and French)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5ZcXOI0mog&feature=relmfu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9koaDMR6S80&feature=relmfu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RyH2s8Jf8w&feature=relmfu

RIP brave men and women!

Glory be to our heros!

  



There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
User currently offlinefridgmus From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 1442 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2116 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting dl021 (Thread starter):
served with the 82d Airborne

Thank You for your service Brother.

F
1/509 PIR & 2/505 PIR
1979-1990



The Lockheed Super Constellation, the REAL Queen of the Skies!
User currently offlineGrahamHill From France, joined Mar 2007, 2827 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2092 times:

Quoting dl021 (Thread starter):
Thank you to you servicemen and women who served and sacrificed, thank you to you family members who sent your loved ones...some who gave all. Thank you.

Indeed, thanks a lot to all who freed my region (I'm a Norman), my country and the whole Europe. Forever grateful! I grew up in the middle of Allies cemeteries, war memorials, war museums, remains of the war (tanks, bunkers, canons, etc.), testimonies of old people, so it is deeply rooted in me.

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 2):
Here in France the news of the 6 June landing on the beaches of Normandy is barely talked about if not at all

It makes big news every decade, but it's true that in-between it's getting less talked about. However, when you go in Normandy, you will see flags from the USA, Canada, England and France run up all year long. If there is one place that never forgets, it's Normandy.



"A learned fool is more foolish than an ignorant one" - Moliere
User currently offlinePSA53 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3070 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 2009 times:

June 4th to 6th 1942 and 1944 are pivotal moments is our nation history.

Beginning June 4th and ending on the 6th,70 years ago,the brave pilots of our Pacific fleet stop Imperial Japan's mighty naval forces at Midway.The US sank four of Japan's aircraft carriers which could never be replaced,loss of first line pilots and stopped Japan's advancement eastward.The US broke into Japan's security codes prior to the battle ,repaired the Yorktown, after the carrier was badly hit at Coral Sea, and joining up with carriers Hornet and Enterprise,lied in wait at Midway for Japan forces to arrive, which they did not expect any US carrier to be there, and managed to return the favor of Pearl Harbor of the "surprise attack" and defeated Japan.

D-Day-

My thanks to all allied forces of all flags who gave the ultimate sacrifice I hope i will have the opportunity to visit Normandy in my lifetime to give my personal thanks to all those soldiers who gave their lives for freedom in which we take so much for granted today in which so many enemies today still want to take it from us.

If there was one thing i still would like to know , on the iconic film of the landing,which is played over and over,what was the name of the soldier that died in the background?



Tuesday's Off! Do not disturb.
User currently offlinestarbuk7 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 599 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 1987 times:

Saw this story this morning, really make you think about what these men (boys) went through during that invasion. Glad I never had to endure anything that dramatic in my 20 years in the Navy and am very proud of those hero's.
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/06/06...nt-d-day-invasion/?test=latestnews


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14030 posts, RR: 62
Reply 13, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 1983 times:

One lesser know part of history:
During the same time there was the Battle of Kohima raging in Burma. It finally stopped and reversed the Japanese advance from Burma into India.

Jan


User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8707 posts, RR: 43
Reply 14, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 1957 times:

Whenever I go to the city centre, I am reminded of the destruction that war brings. That, among many other things, makes me grateful for one thing above all others: that the western allies realised that a peaceful future of my part of the world lay in democracy and self-determination, not puppet regimes and vassalage.

So naturally, my thanks go to all the men and women who helped and help overcome the armies of dictators. It's fantastic that soldiers from the same forces that faced the hell of the D-Day landings went on to become the "Uncle Wiggly Wings" of the post-war era.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlinesoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1912 times:

Quoting dl021 (Thread starter):


Had a long day today and was unaware of the 68th Anniversary of D-Day today. That is until I listened to Michael Savage on the way home from work today. While never having visited Normandy, I have been to "Hitlers Eagles Nest" and "Dachau" Concentration Camp. When one visits the actual locations of the events that are printed in history books the reality hits you that this all occurred a generation ago...not 300 years ago. I would categorize WW ll as a much different war than others we have been accustomed to in the recent 35 years. Soldiers on all sides were brave and the war was based on concrete principals. While today's soldiers are every bit as brave, I must say that today's enemies are cowards. I would also like to highlight the fact that our President, Mr. Obama today had nothing to say regarding this issue. I would expect nothing more or less from him but I must ask myself why he is so busy raising campaign funds for an incumbent president. His first term accomplishments should go far to ensure his second term re-election. Or so History would prove. It pleases me to say Mr. Obama has not one thread of integrity that the young soldiers of WW ll displayed...Shameful!...But he does typify the general climate if you will, in Washington these days.
My Father served on a destroyer that played a roll in sniffing out "U boats" in the Atlantic. He never discussed it. I honors me to be an offspring of one of the finest generations of men that America, its allies and even our adversaries ever saw.

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 2):
Nothing on 6 June and D Day beaches landings in news titles...


And thats fine...just appreciate that the current language in France and its newspapers still remains French. Blood was lost for that easily overlooked tidbit of information.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 5):
... such a useless war


Actually it was a very usefull and necessary war...more than I can say about the rest with exception, Korea.


User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 7919 posts, RR: 52
Reply 16, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1905 times:

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 15):
Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 5):
... such a useless war


Actually it was a very usefull and necessary war...more than I can say about the rest with exception, Korea.

How so? I didn't mean the Allies shouldn't have gotten involved, I meant from start to finish, not much was accomplished



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlinesoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1899 times:

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 16):
not much was accomplished


The photo should help explain...if you don't understand the photo, I suggest you dig into the war and read up on it or even better...View "The Band of Brothers". The war was an incredible turn of global events and woke a sleepy nation, the US to become and industrial giant overnight. Seriously...WWll, probably the greatest story ever told. To say "not much was accomplished"is just flatly the converse of reality. What was accomplished is mind boggling. Unfortunately you probably being younger will not have the opportunity to sit with a WW ll vet and listen his stories of war, what he went through, why he is missing an ear or 1/4 of a jawbone. Soldiers lived in holes in the ground for 90 days during German Winters, breathing in oil vapors from oil pots only to die later in life from the exposures. Pilots that had one bloody eye and a shot out windscreen, flying their way back to friendly territories so they hoped, (without GPS's) so they would live to fight another day. Ships sank from submarine attacks and the ones that survived were eaten by sharks, but many made it as well. Two accomplishments come to mind...Nations were liberated... and the war proved what people can accomplish. While enemy fought enemy I believe WW ll brought out the best in a large part of the global population that post war, went on to be one of the most productive generations the world has ever seen and will see for a while. Currently and sadly, I feel the global population has become spineless, selfish and suffers from a lack of focus. Post WW ll, the population had earned a very poignant lesson and that was that life is fragile, freedom has a price and that generation worked hard to make sure they passed on what they had learned. History does repeat itself, the bad and the good. As Madam Concorde stated above, the press in France made no mention of the 68th anniversary. You should be concerned...
Dachau original concentration camp fence, WW ll


User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 18, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1871 times:

Thanks for commemorating it, DL021. Looks as if, though, Hollande is 'in the clear,' he's doing the proper thing and visiting the region.

I can still dimly remember (as a very small child) hearing about it on the evening ('six o'clock') BBC news on the radio, and the celebrations of the grown-ups.........  

I do agree with others on here, though, that it was only one episode in a very long war. And at least the forces involved there were properly equipped and supported, and had a good plan. So casualties were realtively light; with the sad exception of Omaha Beach, where US forces suffered very heavily. In fairness to the planners, though, it was just about the only place between the US landings at 'Utah' and the British/Canadian landings further east ('Gold, Juno, and Sword') where there was enough beach to land at all. Had 'Omaha' not been secured it might have been months before the two halves of the invasion could have linked up.

There was no such superiority of numbers and equipment earler in the War. First of all, following the French collapse, the British had to withdraw to Dunkirk, leaving most of their equipment behind; and then somehow hold the Germans off until most of them could be evacuated by the 'little ships' (mostly manned by civilians). Then came the 'Battle of Britain,' which was nothing less than stopping the Germans invading and conquering Britain straight away in 1940. Then came the unsuccessful attempt to defend Greece; the successful defence of the Suez Canal; and a long period spent driving the Axis out of North Africa and all the way north through Italy. Halfway through that period the Japanese joined in, and britain and the Commonwealth had somehow to find enough troops to drive THEM out of Malaya and Burma - not to mention the long struggle of the 'Battle of the Atlantic,' to defeat the U-boats (without which there could never have been any 'D-Day.'

Meanwhile, of course, The United States had had to enter the war 'from a standing start' - it remains, to me, some sort of a miracle that they were able to organise themselves so quickly, and not just defend Pearl Harbor but also carry out that colossally difficult 'island-hopping' campaign to drive the Japanese all the way back.

Quoting PSA53 (Reply 11):
June 4th to 6th 1942 and 1944 are pivotal moments is our nation history.

Beginning June 4th and ending on the 6th,70 years ago,the brave pilots of our Pacific fleet stop Imperial Japan's mighty naval forces at Midway.The US sank four of Japan's aircraft carriers which could never be replaced,loss of first line pilots and stopped Japan's advancement eastward.

Couldn't agree more about it being a turning-point, PSA53. Purely by chance (answering a question my son asked) I researched Midway a few days ago; and happened on what was very possibly the first 'live documentary film' of WW2; in which the film-makers were right there under the bombs and bullets along with the fighting forces. It looks very amateurish nowadays, but it was one of the first occasions when the film-makers shared the rsiks endured by the people in the front line. The people who made it 'went on from there,' too; it was directed by an 'up-and-coming' film-maker called 'John Ford' and narrated by some actor guy called 'Henry Fonda'.......  http://archive.org/details/the_battle_of_midway

Another interesting angle is that a lot of the 'theme music' consists of 'America 'Tis Of Thee' - to the tune of the British national anthem! As I understand it, this had been the de facto' US anthem up to about 1931; maybe the film'makers thought that 'The Star-Spangled Banner' was too 'sacrosanct' just to be used as mere film music.......?

I find it significant that the film shows that back then (June 1942) most of the American troops were still wearing British-style 'tin hats' - presumably leftovers from WW1. And the machineguns look pretty 'antique,' too........

So, as you imply, PSA53, as marvellous as operations like the D-Day landings were, IMO a great deal of the credit for winning WW2 has to go to the ill-equipped and inexperienced 'guys who went first.'



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineSmittyOne From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 1831 times:

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 17):
Seriously...WWll, probably the greatest story ever told. To say "not much was accomplished"is just flatly the converse of reality. What was accomplished is mind boggling.

I think you're getting wrapped around the axle on this "nothing accomplished" statement. Not to put words in the other poster's mouth but I don't think his point was to diminish the achievements of our veterans, or the very real need to rescue Europe and the Far East from aggression and genocide.

Obviously the Allies' victory was a great and necessary effort...but I think it is also fair to say that WW2 was (for everyone but the US) an unbelievably tragic waste of life and resources for no substantial benefit to the normal people who do the fighting and dying, whose homes get blown up, whose wives get raped, kids starve to death etc.

Ironically the Second World War was the sad legacy of the failure of the previous conflict to "end all wars". I can only imagine what the guys who got churned into mud by artillery at Verdun would say about their children fighting over the same ground twenty or so years later. I don't think they would agree with your assessment that WW2 somehow brought out the best in the global population.


User currently offlinewindy95 From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 2738 posts, RR: 8
Reply 20, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 1827 times:

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 16):
I meant from start to finish, not much was accomplished

You are kidding? right?

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 18):
Couldn't agree more about it being a turning-point,

Midway was very important but the decision to hold Guadalcanal and the ensuing struggle on the land, sea and in the air was to me the turning point and then Midway put them on the run.

Quoting dl021 (Thread starter):
One of the most important events in the lead up to me coming into this world started early this morning 68 years ago when three gliders full of British soldiers landed at Ouistreham in France

I appreciate the thread and also all the men and woman who fought and died in that War. To my Grandfather who was a machinist making Norden Bomb-sight's, To my Uncle Pete who flew P-38's on D-Day and to my Uncle Bud who was a ball turret gunner on B-17's over Europe. The war caught up to my Uncle Bud later in his life when he sat down in his gunsmith shop and packed a round and took his own life. My Grandfather told later that Bud suffered terribly from his time on the skies over Germany. I terribly miss all of you and the stories you told me a child.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 18):
a great deal of the credit for winning WW2 has to go to the ill-equipped and inexperienced 'guys who went first.'

A good point. North Africa and Guadalcanal play second fiddle in history but they where the proving grounds for the following year's action's



OMG-Obama Must Go
User currently offlineslider From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6818 posts, RR: 34
Reply 21, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 1791 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 18):
Meanwhile, of course, The United States had had to enter the war 'from a standing start' - it remains, to me, some sort of a miracle that they were able to organise themselves so quickly,

I appreciate your comment here because I couldn't agree more. I find it nothing short of spectacular and humbling when I ponder on the industrial mobilization of the USA and what was done, how it was done and done so from a standing start as you note.

The study of logistics in WWII, as an early science, is quite fascinating. We had the Lend Lease program of course, and the political hot potatoes that had to be juggled among various constituencies all jockeying for the same finite resources. But how we got there remains, IMHO, one of the most massively impressive feats in all of human history. I say that without exaggeration. It's mind boggling when you consider what we did.

The sad thing is that we couldn't do it today if we had to.


User currently offlineflyingturtle From Switzerland, joined Oct 2011, 2431 posts, RR: 13
Reply 22, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 1777 times:

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 17):
Seriously...WWll, probably the greatest story ever told.

I really recommend the books by Antony Beevor about Stalingrad and the fall of Berlin. And of course, the one about D-Day. He is a historian with a rare gift for story-telling. I also suggest "No end save victory", a compilation of essays that touch rarely heard topics (like the real possibility of the French beating back the Germans had the command structure worked and had there been reserves in the rear).

Quoting slider (Reply 21):
The sad thing is that we couldn't do it today if we had to.

Yes, I get headaches when I compare World War II to Vietnam, or the more recent conflicts like both Iraq wars.

In comparison to Vietnam, to the Gulf War, to the Iraq war, the "free world" was never in such a dire danger like then. Saddam Hussein having WMD was ballyhoo in comparison to a world dominated by Germany and Japan. What gets me in these examples is that a war can't be won unless there is also a plan for political victory.

Nowadays there is an over-reliance on the military to solve the problems - F-22 and F-35 jets are just the epitome of that. Technology advances much faster than politicians. In WWII, the war was driven by the will to live free, and not being second-class citizens under German-Japanese rule. The Nazis had their own ideology. Both sides had a concept for the day the weapons would be silent.

But nothing was in place when Saddam Hussein was caught. In Vietnam, there was nothing than the blind belief that the U.S. would be able to escalate the war and outpace the communist guerrilla.



Sad.



Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
User currently offlineSmittyOne From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 1776 times:

Quoting slider (Reply 21):
The sad thing is that we couldn't do it today if we had to.

I'm not so sure. There was an incredible financial incentive behind all that industrialization, and people will go to amazing lengths to make a buck...even in 2012.

Not to mention that as much as people cry about the 'death of US manufacturing', our industrial base and population are both substantially larger than they were in the 1940s - even if you exclude the higher percentage of people and activities today that are basically useless. We also have a greedy and politically powerful military/industrial complex (ie the Lockheed Martins and Northrup Grummans) that didn't exist then...employing far more automated production techniques.

If the Henry Kaisers of the world could pump out Liberty Ships welded together by housewives I'm pretty confident that our current pool of underemployed high school and college grads could ramp up to do whatever was needed. As soft and lackadaisical as people claim them to be, which I think is largely amplified by nostalgia. There were plenty of slackers and idiots in 1940.

The ingredients that would likely be missing from a future WW2-scale mobilization effort would be the relative disregard for workplace safety and environmental impacts, as well as the galvanizing effect of racial and ethnic hatred that could be more easily cultivated before the internet etc. You're just not going to see "JAPS" or "KRAUTS" on the front of newspapers again, which is probably a good thing.

May be irrelevant anyway considering that future warfare won't likely rely on the kind of 'quantity' of everything that we saw in WW2...due to the increased complexity, cost and capability of individual soldiers and weapons systems you're just not going to win using the same strategy that the US and USSR applied in WW2 (mass). On the other hand this suggests to me that it is necessary to be better prepared at the onset of hostilities than we were back then because you can't just quickly retool your auto factory to build state of the art armored vehicles etc.


User currently offlineSmittyOne From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 1765 times:

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 22):
Yes, I get headaches when I compare World War II to Vietnam, or the more recent conflicts like both Iraq wars.

In comparison to Vietnam, to the Gulf War, to the Iraq war, the "free world" was never in such a dire danger like then. Saddam Hussein having WMD was ballyhoo in comparison to a world dominated by Germany and Japan. What gets me in these examples is that a war can't be won unless there is also a plan for political victory.

Nowadays there is an over-reliance on the military to solve the problems - F-22 and F-35 jets are just the epitome of that. Technology advances much faster than politicians. In WWII, the war was driven by the will to live free, and not being second-class citizens under German-Japanese rule. The Nazis had their own ideology. Both sides had a concept for the day the weapons would be silent.

But nothing was in place when Saddam Hussein was caught. In Vietnam, there was nothing than the blind belief that the U.S. would be able to escalate the war and outpace the communist guerrilla.

I agree with much of this (especially the part about overuse of military force to resolve politicians' shortcomings), but I think the rest of your assessment is a little bit too black and white and too favorable toward WW2.

The Allies' motives and vision for a post-war world were not nearly as clear cut or pure as we prefer to remember them. Nor were their methods! The reason that the objectives of World War 2 seem so much more effective than those for modern wars was that they consisted of simply pursuing unconditional surrender or annhilation. Can you imagine deliberately firebombing civilian populations - killing hundreds of thousands of civilians on purpose - being advanced as a legitimate strategy today? Really from a political standpoint WW2 was easy. Kill as many of the enemy as you can, wherever they are until they give up. Repeat. Figure out what to do with your victory later.

As messed up as the post-Saddam and Vietnam strategies appear to have been in hindsight...what was so great about the planning for the "Post-WW2" world? We effectively traded one bad situation (Germany/Japan genocidal dictatorships) for a bipolar, nuclear-capable standoff between the West and the USSR that arguably threatend human existence more than once. That was good political work?

One could make the case that our misguided strategies for the Iraq and Vietnam wars was just the strategy for WW2 applied where it was no longer appropriate.

With nuclear weapons and a greater level of intellectual diversity the world is more complicated today. All the more reason to abandon the thinking that war solves problems...otherwise we fail to learn the lessons of WW1 & WW2 that these brave guys paid so dearly for.

[Edited 2012-06-07 09:16:55]

25 windy95 : Not just from a standing start but toss in the mentality of some of the Military leaders who where still stuck in the peace time small Army and Navy
26 DeltaMD90 : Yeah I am being misinterpreted. Of course our veterans and military accomplished great feats, becoming an average nation to a superpower in a few year
27 Post contains links and images DeltaMD90 : All these millions of people killed, over 60 million, all because of the ambition of a few individuals. They did nothing good for the world and after
28 Post contains links NAV20 : Have (cordially) to disagree to an extent, windy95. While agreeing that the two operations were very much 'interlinked.' Point is, though, that Midwa
29 GDB : Hell of a lot of sing composition, just because a female MP, Astor was her surname I think, made a silly, ill-informed remark, that riled the troops
30 slider : Good point. I harken back to Patton who, in the time between wars, tried to champion armored tanks and the move from cavalry. Neither the peacetime m
31 flyingturtle : Strange – because the same drama happened during WW I. Only after diverting various assets from their intended use, the tide could be turned. The c
32 slider : Indeed...your points are good. I also think about Billy Mitchell and his battle for air power, going so far as to be court-martialed for it. He too w
33 Post contains images windy95 : Not really. The battle of the Solomons really started in early May when the Imperial Japanese forces decided to invade and occupy Port Moresby in New
34 ronglimeng : I was watching "Hockey Night in Canada (?)" last night with my Dad. Don Cherry came on after the 1st period and did his little side-piece about D-Day
35 windy95 : My grandfather always felt guilty also. He was already in his late twenties and had a critical skill as a machinist making the Norden Bombsights he w
36 SmittyOne : Not trying to be a tool, but are you talking about YORKTOWN here? IIRC the yard at Pearl Harbor got her back underway in 3 days despite some pretty s
37 windy95 : You are correct. I am the tool. Lexington was lost and the Yorktown was damaged. I believe I mixed it with the covering of the Invasion of Guadalcana
38 Post contains links NAV20 : Sorry, windy95, have to question that? Firstly, the Japanese didn't land on New Guinea until much later; actually on 22nd. July 1942? Secondly, they
39 MD11Engineer : Don´t blame our American posters about this. McArthur was, if anything, a genius in using the press to further his own goals. As the Allied army com
40 greasespot : Interesting note. My Canadian Grandfather landed on Juno beach...My German grandfather defended Juno Beach. So in effect they shot at each other. GS
41 slider : Holy cow....you know, I've heard lots of stories about this sort of thing, where many German families in the States had relatives fighting for the mo
42 MD11Engineer : It is quite possible that Ronglimeng´s father had faced my maternal grandfather in Italy. My grandfather was a Luftwaffe sergeant pilot based in Nor
43 ronglimeng : Certainly, stranger things have happened. I am named for two of my dad's brothers. One always used to accuse the other of bombing him in Normandy in
44 slider : Wow!! Holy cow, what a very amazing story. It's great that you know the stories....
45 Post contains links and images flyingturtle : Just click on it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kR7HPQM0Jgg
46 greasespot : I look at the videos and have to work to remember that these men are in their very late teens to mid 20's in age. They look so different than youth I
47 MD11Engineer : When I was a little boy back in the early 1970s, I remember having seen a lot of (to me very old) men with missing limbs. Today I realise that they w
48 DeltaMD90 : I'm sure they would. It would take another horrific war like this one, versus the types of wars we have now, but I'm confident they would
49 MD11Engineer : I think, under a big enough threat, today´s youth would get their act together and do whatever is necessary. WW2 was for the largest part fought by
50 NAV20 : Good story, MD11Engineer, what a fantastic guy! In my student days and later (late '50s, early '60s), I visited Germany a lot on holiday. Our 'favour
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