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ArchGuy1
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The D Day Invasion

Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:33 pm

Today marks the 76 year anniversary of the D Day invasion, where Allied troops stormed the beaches at Normandy in Northern France. A very significant event that paved the way to the defeat of Nazi Germany a year later and a turning point for World War 2.
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:53 pm

Stopping the Germans at Stalingrad by the Soviets was more like the turning point. For the Western allies, the invasion of Sicily was more of a turning point with Normandy as the final push into Europe. Sicily was strategically flawed, fighting all the up the Boot was a bad idea. An initial invasion at Anzio or north of Anzio might have been better strategically.
 
rfields5421
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Sat Jun 06, 2020 11:33 pm

Sicily was learning how to do mass amphibious landings. And work a joint force with two major competitive forces from different nations.

Yes, they should have far north and cut off the Germans trapped in Italy south of Rome.

D-Day was important symbolically to the war effort. No, it would not have been successful if the Russians had not been hurting the Germans so badly on the Eastern Front. Kind of like the US Army landings on Leyte. Not strictly needed for the successful prosecution of the war, but important to provide something positive and solid as news back home. Taking the fight into the heart of the enemy, so to speak.

Still, whatever the strategic purpose and role in history, D-Day is most important for the manner in which tens of thousands of British, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, American and other troops faced personal danger and often almost certain death to take the beaches, and move inland. Ordinary men (and I'm sure some women) stepping up to do the extraordinary.
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petertenthije
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Sat Jun 06, 2020 11:54 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Sicily was strategically flawed

For the land war, the Sicily landings where far from ideal. But I would guess the capture of Sicily and southern Italy made the mediterranean a lot safer to merchant shipping. That must have been of vital importance for the UK.

Also, the south of Italy was a soft target, so ideal for a practise run. Yes, pushing north was a mayor pain to the allies. But at the same time, the same issues apply to the German and Italian reinforcements pushing south.
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jetwet1
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Sun Jun 07, 2020 3:02 am

While I agree with the posters above, the invasion of Normandy was not the turning point, we all need to take a minute and say a silent thank you to those kids who stormed the beaches.

I cannot honestly say I would have done it.
 
dmg626
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:53 pm

The only mention of DDay in my local newspaper was the annual re print of the Peanuts comic strip where Snoopy is in the water approaching Omaha beach with the caption “June 6, 1944 To Remember “
 
meecrob
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:54 pm

Haha typical A.net:
"Let's remember D-Day"
"NO!!! The Russians were actually more important!!!"

"Let's discuss a mass shooting in Canada"
"NO!! Let's talk about the second amendment and shootings in America!!"

"Let's talk about fly-by-wire"
"NO!! Airbus SUCKS!!!"

At least you guys are consistent.
 
ltbewr
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Sun Jun 07, 2020 9:09 pm

The 'D-Day' invasion was a necessary battle and more than symbolic to begin taking back Western Europe from the Nazis.It was of unprecedented scale and especially with lives lost.
 
johns624
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Sun Jun 07, 2020 10:40 pm

meecrob wrote:
Haha typical A.net:
"Let's remember D-Day"
"NO!!! The Russians were actually more important!!!"

"Let's discuss a mass shooting in Canada"
"NO!! Let's talk about the second amendment and shootings in America!!"

"Let's talk about fly-by-wire"
"NO!! Airbus SUCKS!!!"

At least you guys are consistent.
Brilliant! :)
 
olle
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Mon Jun 08, 2020 3:34 pm

The point here is that Nazi germany would probably had been beaten by russia perhaps 1 year later.

But Europe shall be very greatful while major part of Europe avoided the Stalin Soviet.

Without Normandie, probably still a Soviet dominated Europe.

In Germany the concentration was the east. In 1943- 1944 germany some periods lost around 40 000 dead soldiers per week... What a disaster..
 
B777LRF
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Wed Jun 10, 2020 4:31 pm

For all intents and purposes, Germany lost the war the same year as the US entered, namely in 1942. That was when the Soviet Union started winning major battles and taking back lost ground. From there on, Germany was on a perpetual retreat which ended when Soviet forces entered Berlin in 1945.

The D-Day landings served two major purposes. First and foremost was to ensure the European continent would not fall entirely under Soviet sphere of influence, secondly it was a demand by Stalin that a Western front be opened to ease the pressure on the Eastern front.

This summer the GF and I did a fairly long road trip around Europe, covering some 6.000 km in a bit less than 3 weeks. Germany, Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, France, Belgium and the Netherlands were the countries we drove through, and one of my "must visit" stops was in Normandy. We toured the beaches, the museums, the cemeteries and some of the key cities that were heavily contested during the first weeks of the invasion. We also experienced the "bocage", to get a better understanding of why it was so treacherous and difficult to overcome. As a former soldier it was a sobering experience, and I for one shall be forever grateful for the Canadian, American, British and French forces who landed on June 6th, and ensured I grew up in a free society.

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einsteinboricua
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:20 pm

Looking at the war front and Nazi Germany at its largest extent, I have to wonder what would have happened with Europe if Hitler had not invaded the Soviet Union and had instead finished taking over mainland Europe (leaving the British Isles and Iceland out of the mix). When he directed Germany to enter Soviet Union territory, the only states that had not been invaded were Sweden, Switzerland (maybe Liechtenstein), and the Iberian Peninsula. All other territory was German occupied or allied (Italy). Finland was barely neutral as it had finished fighting the Soviet Union (Winter War of 1939) but later allied with Germany against the Soviets before becoming an Allied force AGAINST Germany.
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Kiwirob
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:34 pm

rfields5421 wrote:
Sicily was learning how to do mass amphibious landings. And work a joint force with two major competitive forces from different nations.

Yes, they should have far north and cut off the Germans trapped in Italy south of Rome.

D-Day was important symbolically to the war effort. No, it would not have been successful if the Russians had not been hurting the Germans so badly on the Eastern Front. Kind of like the US Army landings on Leyte. Not strictly needed for the successful prosecution of the war, but important to provide something positive and solid as news back home. Taking the fight into the heart of the enemy, so to speak.

Still, whatever the strategic purpose and role in history, D-Day is most important for the manner in which tens of thousands of British, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, American and other troops faced personal danger and often almost certain death to take the beaches, and move inland. Ordinary men (and I'm sure some women) stepping up to do the extraordinary.


There were no Australian or New Zealand army units in the invasion. The Australians pulled all there troops out of Europe and sent them to the Pacific theatre. The NZ Division was fighting in Italy. There were Australians and New Zealander’s in the RAF and RN however.
 
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trpmb6
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:36 pm

einsteinboricua wrote:
Looking at the war front and Nazi Germany at its largest extent, I have to wonder what would have happened with Europe if Hitler had not invaded the Soviet Union and had instead finished taking over mainland Europe (leaving the British Isles and Iceland out of the mix). When he directed Germany to enter Soviet Union territory, the only states that had not been invaded were Sweden, Switzerland (maybe Liechtenstein), and the Iberian Peninsula. All other territory was German occupied or allied (Italy). Finland was barely neutral as it had finished fighting the Soviet Union (Winter War of 1939) but later allied with Germany against the Soviets before becoming an Allied force AGAINST Germany.



Its a general theme among those who are power hungry and create an environment around them of yes men with no accountability.

Perhaps we have the power of hindsight, but its clear violating their pact was a death knell for Germany. Add on the attack on pearl harbor by the Japanese and you've got two critical strategic mistakes made by the axis. That said, the US would have likely entered the war at some point no matter what, so you may argue that Japan's attack was indeed strategic, but you have to understand there wasn't much public support for entering the war among the American public. In fact its well documented in the talks between Roosevelt and Churchill that this was his biggest hurdle in providing military support. The classic chicken or the egg situation.

I think what is interesting to me is how the pacific theater doesn't get as much attention as the European theater (from an American perspective). It was Japan that brought us into the war, but it seems, for whatever reason, most coursework, books, Hollywood, etc., all seem to focus upon the European theater more so than the Pacific. The Pacific theater saw some of the greatest naval battles ever to have happened. Perhaps it was due to the brutal conditions, the nature of fighting battles on islands and over sea where you actually can't even see the boats you are shooting at.
 
Kiwirob
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:38 pm

dmg626 wrote:
The only mention of DDay in my local newspaper was the annual re print of the Peanuts comic strip where Snoopy is in the water approaching Omaha beach with the caption “June 6, 1944 To Remember “


The 76th anniversary isn’t a big one, they had big celebrations last year for the 75th, the next big celebration will be the 100th.
 
Kiwirob
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:44 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Stopping the Germans at Stalingrad by the Soviets was more like the turning point. For the Western allies, the invasion of Sicily was more of a turning point with Normandy as the final push into Europe. Sicily was strategically flawed, fighting all the up the Boot was a bad idea. An initial invasion at Anzio or north of Anzio might have been better strategically.


I somewhat disagree if Air Vice Marshall Sir Keith Park hadn’t won the Battle of Britain and the U.K. had capitulated there wouldn’t have been an island sitting off the European coast for anyone to have staged an invasion from. The US would have concentrated on Japan, Germany would have been able to bring its full might against Russia, there wouldn’t have been any arctic supply convoys, eventually the Russians would have lost.
 
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par13del
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:08 pm

trpmb6 wrote:
I think what is interesting to me is how the pacific theater doesn't get as much attention as the European theater (from an American perspective). It was Japan that brought us into the war, but it seems, for whatever reason, most coursework, books, Hollywood, etc., all seem to focus upon the European theater more so than the Pacific. The Pacific theater saw some of the greatest naval battles ever to have happened.

In addition to the naval battles, a number of landings were much larger than the European landings, perhaps the reason why the Pacific theater get's less publicity is because a number of the islands with major battles do not and did not have large populations to keep the memories alive, and most soldiers who fought in those battles do not talk about them much.
 
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einsteinboricua
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:23 pm

par13del wrote:
In addition to the naval battles, a number of landings were much larger than the European landings, perhaps the reason why the Pacific theater get's less publicity is because a number of the islands with major battles do not and did not have large populations to keep the memories alive, and most soldiers who fought in those battles do not talk about them much.

I think if the nuclear bombs had not been dropped, the Pacific theater might have gotten more attention. But after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and the US entered the fray, where was the bulk of the fighting done primarily? And while the US fought in Europe, who was the bigger presence in the Pacific theater? Was it the Soviets? The Chinese? Seems to me most of the American resources were concentrated on Europe before switching to the Pacific so I don't think Americans were the big fish in the Pacific at the time.
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trpmb6
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:33 pm

The lack of details on the pacific may also be due to the lack of news coverage. The news becomes history after all.
 
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:34 pm

par13del wrote:
trpmb6 wrote:
I think what is interesting to me is how the pacific theater doesn't get as much attention as the European theater (from an American perspective). It was Japan that brought us into the war, but it seems, for whatever reason, most coursework, books, Hollywood, etc., all seem to focus upon the European theater more so than the Pacific. The Pacific theater saw some of the greatest naval battles ever to have happened.

In addition to the naval battles, a number of landings were much larger than the European landings, perhaps the reason why the Pacific theater get's less publicity is because a number of the islands with major battles do not and did not have large populations to keep the memories alive, and most soldiers who fought in those battles do not talk about them much.



The island hopping strategy definitely leads to less focus on the battles. Of course the major ones get attention, but there were just so many more. And a great many of them consisted of amphibious assault, take airfield/harbor, clear island of enemies, back to the ships and on to the next one. It just doesn't lend itself to the same extent of interest as Normandy. The giant build up, the misinformation campaigns, the landings themselves. And it's easier to catch attention when the endgame objective is to fight across Europe rather than get back on the ships and move to the next island.

The Soviets certainly played a huge role in turning the tide of the war, but I think it's a gross oversimplification to say that with or without the Allies, they would have crushed the Nazis.
 
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trpmb6
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:36 pm

Here is an article written back when Spielberg's HBO series The Pacific began to air. (The Pacific was the twin to the more famous Band of Brothers - Just another instance of the European Theater getting more attention) https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radi ... remembered

Brings me to my next question. What about the North African theater? No attention given there ever either.
 
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casinterest
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:45 pm

Operation Overlord is what finally brought me into researching the European part of the war. When I grew up, I was more a fan of the Air and Naval battles of the Pacifc as there was living history of it near where I lived The USS Lexington, and the USS Alabama were all a part of childhood trips and history of the Pacific.

I never cared much for the African Campaign until I learned one of my relatives was an intelligence officer for many of the planning divisions.

All parts of WW2 are interesting to study, but Overlord was one of the most amazing feats of logistics , misdirection, and planning ever pulled off.
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B777LRF
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Wed Jun 10, 2020 11:00 pm

trpmb6 wrote:
Brings me to my next question. What about the North African theater? No attention given there ever either.


That is a distinctively American perspective. The North African theatre has always been covered in depth in this part of the world, not least because of the rivalry between Montgomery and Rommel.

Of course, the North African campaign was more or less over when the US entered the war (official end was May 1943), which might be why it's somewhat alien to a US audience.

"No attention given ever" belies the fact that it has been covered extensively, both on a scholar, news and popular culture level. "The Desert Rats" was a US made movie starring, among others, Richard Burton, James Mason and Robert Newton. A further 47 movies have been made covering that part of the war.
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johns624
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Wed Jun 10, 2020 11:42 pm

einsteinboricua wrote:
I think if the nuclear bombs had not been dropped, the Pacific theater might have gotten more attention. But after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and the US entered the fray, where was the bulk of the fighting done primarily? And while the US fought in Europe, who was the bigger presence in the Pacific theater? Was it the Soviets? The Chinese? Seems to me most of the American resources were concentrated on Europe before switching to the Pacific so I don't think Americans were the big fish in the Pacific at the time.
The US was the big fish in the Pacific from the start. The only other major ally was China and we were supplying them with everything. The Soviets were nothing in the Pacific. Ever heard of Midway, Coral Sea, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Marianas, etc.?
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Thu Jun 11, 2020 3:08 am

Kiwirob wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Stopping the Germans at Stalingrad by the Soviets was more like the turning point. For the Western allies, the invasion of Sicily was more of a turning point with Normandy as the final push into Europe. Sicily was strategically flawed, fighting all the up the Boot was a bad idea. An initial invasion at Anzio or north of Anzio might have been better strategically.


I somewhat disagree if Air Vice Marshall Sir Keith Park hadn’t won the Battle of Britain and the U.K. had capitulated there wouldn’t have been an island sitting off the European coast for anyone to have staged an invasion from. The US would have concentrated on Japan, Germany would have been able to bring its full might against Russia, there wouldn’t have been any arctic supply convoys, eventually the Russians would have lost.


If Sir Keith had lost the BoB, Churchill was forced from office, there’d have been little to discuss in Europe—Germany would have won.

GF
 
Kiwirob
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:01 am

johns624 wrote:
einsteinboricua wrote:
I think if the nuclear bombs had not been dropped, the Pacific theater might have gotten more attention. But after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and the US entered the fray, where was the bulk of the fighting done primarily? And while the US fought in Europe, who was the bigger presence in the Pacific theater? Was it the Soviets? The Chinese? Seems to me most of the American resources were concentrated on Europe before switching to the Pacific so I don't think Americans were the big fish in the Pacific at the time.
The US was the big fish in the Pacific from the start. The only other major ally was China and we were supplying them with everything. The Soviets were nothing in the Pacific. Ever heard of Midway, Coral Sea, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Marianas, etc.?


The Soviets weren't involved in the Pacific War because of the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact, however on the 9th of August 1945 they invaded Manchuria, 1.6m Russians tore through the Japs like a hot knife through butter and crushed them in 11 days.
 
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:21 am

trpmb6 wrote:
einsteinboricua wrote:
Looking at the war front and Nazi Germany at its largest extent, I have to wonder what would have happened with Europe if Hitler had not invaded the Soviet Union and had instead finished taking over mainland Europe (leaving the British Isles and Iceland out of the mix). When he directed Germany to enter Soviet Union territory, the only states that had not been invaded were Sweden, Switzerland (maybe Liechtenstein), and the Iberian Peninsula. All other territory was German occupied or allied (Italy). Finland was barely neutral as it had finished fighting the Soviet Union (Winter War of 1939) but later allied with Germany against the Soviets before becoming an Allied force AGAINST Germany.



Its a general theme among those who are power hungry and create an environment around them of yes men with no accountability.

Perhaps we have the power of hindsight, but its clear violating their pact was a death knell for Germany. Add on the attack on pearl harbor by the Japanese and you've got two critical strategic mistakes made by the axis. That said, the US would have likely entered the war at some point no matter what, so you may argue that Japan's attack was indeed strategic, but you have to understand there wasn't much public support for entering the war among the American public. In fact its well documented in the talks between Roosevelt and Churchill that this was his biggest hurdle in providing military support. The classic chicken or the egg situation.

I think what is interesting to me is how the pacific theater doesn't get as much attention as the European theater (from an American perspective). It was Japan that brought us into the war, but it seems, for whatever reason, most coursework, books, Hollywood, etc., all seem to focus upon the European theater more so than the Pacific. The Pacific theater saw some of the greatest naval battles ever to have happened. Perhaps it was due to the brutal conditions, the nature of fighting battles on islands and over sea where you actually can't even see the boats you are shooting at.


Proven somewhat by ‘Band of Brothers’ receiving more fanfare to this day than ‘the Pacific’ did. That said for Americans this depends somewhat on what coast they were on - my grandparents growing up in CA recall seeing mostly newspaper headlines of Pacific battles, with European theater often on page 2.
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johns624
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Thu Jun 11, 2020 12:40 pm

Kiwirob wrote:

The Soviets weren't involved in the Pacific War because of the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact
Which proves my point. Other than the Commonwealth protecting India, the Pacific/Asia was all Chinese/American.
 
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trpmb6
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Thu Jun 11, 2020 4:48 pm

B777LRF wrote:
trpmb6 wrote:
Brings me to my next question. What about the North African theater? No attention given there ever either.


That is a distinctively American perspective. The North African theatre has always been covered in depth in this part of the world, not least because of the rivalry between Montgomery and Rommel.

Of course, the North African campaign was more or less over when the US entered the war (official end was May 1943), which might be why it's somewhat alien to a US audience.

"No attention given ever" belies the fact that it has been covered extensively, both on a scholar, news and popular culture level. "The Desert Rats" was a US made movie starring, among others, Richard Burton, James Mason and Robert Newton. A further 47 movies have been made covering that part of the war.


Quite right. It is indeed an American perspective. My primary exposure (other than reading or specific documentaries) to the North African theater has to deal with Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark. :rotfl:

That said, I have studied Montgomery and Rommel as their battles heavily influenced some of the tactics used in Desert Storm.
 
olle
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:03 pm

einsteinboricua wrote:
Looking at the war front and Nazi Germany at its largest extent, I have to wonder what would have happened with Europe if Hitler had not invaded the Soviet Union and had instead finished taking over mainland Europe (leaving the British Isles and Iceland out of the mix). When he directed Germany to enter Soviet Union territory, the only states that had not been invaded were Sweden, Switzerland (maybe Liechtenstein), and the Iberian Peninsula. All other territory was German occupied or allied (Italy). Finland was barely neutral as it had finished fighting the Soviet Union (Winter War of 1939) but later allied with Germany against the Soviets before becoming an Allied force AGAINST Germany.



I think that it is important to understand that in 1939 Sweden saw a terrible nazi germany and the swedish PM at the time was a very anti nazi but also a very anti soviet and anti communist.

The PM had actually been a war journalist under the great war and had only one major policy and that was to keep Sweden out of the the next major conflict.

Sweden in August 1940 saw that the west powers like France and UK was beaten. Finland had fought Soviet and survived. Denmark and Norway had not survived against nazi germany. It was a very tricky position, and the weak position shows until 1943. But with a weaker Nazi germany came a strong soviet with perhaps an occupation of Finland in 1944 that would had created another tricky situation for sweden, much worse then the situation became 1945 to 1989.

So D-Day was a relief.
 
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einsteinboricua
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:38 pm

olle wrote:
I think that it is important to understand that in 1939 Sweden saw a terrible nazi germany and the swedish PM at the time was a very anti nazi but also a very anti soviet and anti communist.

The PM had actually been a war journalist under the great war and had only one major policy and that was to keep Sweden out of the the next major conflict.

Sweden in August 1940 saw that the west powers like France and UK was beaten. Finland had fought Soviet and survived. Denmark and Norway had not survived against nazi germany. It was a very tricky position, and the weak position shows until 1943. But with a weaker Nazi germany came a strong soviet with perhaps an occupation of Finland in 1944 that would had created another tricky situation for sweden, much worse then the situation became 1945 to 1989.

So D-Day was a relief.

And that was probably the neutral territories' saving grace. But with a static warfront between Germany and the Soviet Union, Germany would have been in prime position to take over the remaining countries. Of course, Spain provided support to the Axis but I would think that just as Italy became aligned with Germany, I would think that Spain would have been forced to align with a now European power block. Spain and Italy would become to Germany what Poland and Romania were to the Soviet Union: satellite states, nominally independent, but with policies dictated by Berlin. I think that, had Hitler retained the border without an incursion into the Soviet Union, he would have been able to recover enough resources to launch a final attack against the UK (provided the US didn't enter the war at all).
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:48 pm

As massive as D Day was the invasion of Okinawa was even bigger in terms of number of soldiers and losses
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vc10
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Thu Jun 11, 2020 10:28 pm

I would agree that without the Russian effort the outcome of the war might have been different, but also without the allied effort before d-day the war might have been differnt. In fact the allied success was an accumulation of many events

For instance
Axis troops that were taken prisoner of war in may 1943 in North Africa------275,000
Axis Casualties in the Italian campaign --------------------------------------------------330,000

And finally the campaign that is almost forgotten is the air war over Germany which tied up on the German side

!. ! Million personnel
2,655 heavy flax gun station which tied up 10900 heavy guns including the 88mm
the German lost nearly 10,000 aircraft during this campaign

So you can see if the Germans had not lost so many man in Africa and in Italy where could they have used them . Also how they would have benefited from those heavy guns and aircraft on the Russian front
 
meecrob
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Sat Jun 13, 2020 7:54 pm

Sorry to chime in again, but the Soviets really made a name for themselves in this time period...what with the raping and pillaging. It seems En Vogue with the crowd that grew up after communism kinda failed...its "cool" to say that the Soviets did this and that. If that was true, why did D-Day even happen? You'd figure the Soviets would have cleaned up all of Hitler's mess. But we see in the cold war that the real battle was not against Hitler, but against the Soviets, because lets be honest...who the fuck trusted the Soviets?
 
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:05 am

I find it interesting I rarely see historical documentaries about D-Day touch on how the American experience conducting amphibious invasions in the Pacific impacted planning for landings in Europe. I’d be curious to know if some of the history or strategy courses at West Point or Annapolis discuss this. Different enemies and different objectives of course, but it seems lessons learned by the Navy in landing men at Tarawa, Guadalcanal, and the western Solomons would be useful to D-Day planners just as amphibious operations in Operation Torch or Italy were, particularly on the logistics side.
 
olle
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Sun Jun 14, 2020 2:07 pm

Band of brothers was mentioned... on netflix right now they show Tuntematon Sotilas that is on level of band of brothers.

If shows the finnish continue war with rmaiviet

Usa nor uk declared war on finland.
 
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cjg225
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Sun Jun 14, 2020 4:42 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Stopping the Germans at Stalingrad by the Soviets was more like the turning point. For the Western allies, the invasion of Sicily was more of a turning point with Normandy as the final push into Europe. Sicily was strategically flawed, fighting all the up the Boot was a bad idea. An initial invasion at Anzio or north of Anzio might have been better strategically.

To distill something as large and complex as World War II down to a "turning point" is folly, in my opinion. It's slightly better to discuss inflection points. Certainly, Stalingrad was one. The combination of Midway and Guadalcanal was another. D-Day was another.

In my opinion, though, D-Day was the most important thing for the Western Allies. As another post points out after yours, D-Day was both demanded by the Soviet Union and ensured that the Western Allies could keep at least a significant part of Europe out of the Soviet sphere of influence.

dmg626 wrote:
The only mention of DDay in my local newspaper was the annual re print of the Peanuts comic strip where Snoopy is in the water approaching Omaha beach with the caption “June 6, 1944 To Remember “

Image

B777LRF wrote:
This summer the GF and I did a fairly long road trip around Europe, covering some 6.000 km in a bit less than 3 weeks. Germany, Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, France, Belgium and the Netherlands were the countries we drove through, and one of my "must visit" stops was in Normandy. We toured the beaches, the museums, the cemeteries and some of the key cities that were heavily contested during the first weeks of the invasion. We also experienced the "bocage", to get a better understanding of why it was so treacherous and difficult to overcome. As a former soldier it was a sobering experience, and I for one shall be forever grateful for the Canadian, American, British and French forces who landed on June 6th, and ensured I grew up in a free society.

Someday I'd love to do that. I am a typical dumb American who can't speak another language, so I am *extremely* self-conscious about going some place where I can't speak the language (at least when I went to Italy twice I was with my parents, and my dad spoke Italian like a native).

But, anyway, a World War II tour of Europe is something that I'd love to do someday. In particular, I'd want to see the Normandy American Military Cemetery (I saw the Nettuno American Military Cemetery when I was in Italy) and then try to trace as best possibly my grandfather's path from when he entered the war (January 1945) to the close of hostilities in May. He was a rifleman in the 90th Infantry Division.

einsteinboricua wrote:
I think if the nuclear bombs had not been dropped, the Pacific theater might have gotten more attention. But after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and the US entered the fray, where was the bulk of the fighting done primarily? And while the US fought in Europe, who was the bigger presence in the Pacific theater? Was it the Soviets? The Chinese? Seems to me most of the American resources were concentrated on Europe before switching to the Pacific so I don't think Americans were the big fish in the Pacific at the time.

The Pacific is a very interesting subject largely because it does not get anywhere near the attention that the European theater does in western world (which makes a great deal of sense). Depending on whether someone is cynical (believes Western cultures ignore anything that happens in the East) or logical (believes that something that happened close to home gets more attention than something that happened far away), there are various arguments as to why the Pacific theater doesn't get more attention in the West. It does get attention in the US because we were the most active western power in the Pacific. The British contributed significant resources to the Pacific largely to defend their colonial possessions. Obviously the Commonwealth countries in the Pacific were heavily involved, as well (e.g. Australia, New Zealand, an India). But the US contributed far more than the British/Commonwealth because of its size and industrial might.

What barely gets coverage anywhere outside of the Far East, though, is the Chinese contribution to the Pacific. By some measures, World War II actually began in 1937 when Japan invaded China. But, I do tend to lean a bit on the more cynical side here that the Western world doesn't give a crap about the Eastern world such that it is basically never mentioned at all as a possible starting point of World War II (it's just a "fact" in the Western world that it started when Germany invaded Poland). The Chinese, arguably, lost more people than even the Soviet Union did in World War II. Yet they never get mentioned, and there is always this segment of World War II historians (both amateur and professional) that will stop at nothing to argue that the Soviet Union "won" World War II because of how much they lost fighting Germany (conveniently ignoring how much of their losses were self-inflicted).

So, the US was *not* the biggest fish in the sense of contributing the most personnel (that was the Chinese), but the US was by far the best equipped, best trained, and most effective Ally in the Pacific (without getting too deep into it, the Chinese were highly ineffectual for the most part).
par13del wrote:
In addition to the naval battles, a number of landings were much larger than the European landings, perhaps the reason why the Pacific theater get's less publicity is because a number of the islands with major battles do not and did not have large populations to keep the memories alive, and most soldiers who fought in those battles do not talk about them much.

As I said in the part of my post above, I think this is largely because Western cultures view the European theater as more "important" because of a variety of reasons (some cynical, some logical, some a mix of both...).

What publicity the Pacific gets in America always annoys me because it is SOOOOOOOO incredibly Marine Corps-centric. There's a joke that during World War II the standard Marine Corps squad had 7 rifleman and a combat cameraman because the Marine Corps Public Relations machine was a dynamo. It's not that the Marine Corps overstates what it did, but it states what it did at the total exclusion of virtually all other parts of the US military. The Navy gets some publicity for the enormous naval battles in the Pacific, but the Army gets virtually 0 credit for its contributions in the Pacific. The Army contributed far more men and material to the Pacific than did the Marine Corps, but the USMC gets all the face time. Yes, the Marines fought some gruesome battles, but so did the Army. The Army fought the long and hellish New Guinea campaign, which lasted three and a half *years*, but that campaign never gets ANY publicity. The Army fought the Philippines Campaign, but never really gets any mention (MacArthur does, but not his troops). The Army fought alongside the Marine Corps in most major Pacific campaigns (e.g. Guadalcanal, the Marianas, and Okinawa), but basically gets 0 credit for any of it. One of my favorite stories is that of the 147th Infantry Regiment, an Army independent regiment that was the *only* Allied unit to fight in each of Guadalcanal, Saipan, Tinian, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. Iwo Jima, in particular, is an incredible story. The US Marine Corps treats Iwo Jima as their shining moment, particularly with the flag raising on Mt. Suribachi. The Marines fought the battle of Iwo Jima with 3 entire divisions. After 5 weeks they declared victory and left. The 147th, which landed on the island within the first week of the battle, stuck around and spent 3 months mopping up the estimated 6,000 Japanese forces still on the island (~30% of the Japanese forces at the start of the battle). A single Army regiment, after 3 Marine divisions said, "Our work is done here" and left.

Another amazing story is that of the Army's 27th Infantry Division, specifically its 105th Infantry Regiment. The 105th faced the largest banzai charge of the war when over 4,000 Japanese attacked their positions at the end of the Battle of Saipan. Some Marine units were involved, but the Army took the brunt of the assault and fought one of the most violent and bloody engagements of the entire war. An amazing individual story out of that engagement was that of Captain Ben Salomon, an Army dentist, who took up arms to defend the aid station he was at when the attack began. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. After Army troops recaptured the area near the aid station, Captain Salomon's body was found slumped over a machine gun with 76 bullet and bayonet wounds (24 of which were probably received while he was still alive) and nearly 100 Japanese dead in front of his position.

Yet, you never hear a damn word about this in portrayals or discussion of the Pacific theater. That's why Hacksaw Ridge was such a huge advancement for American portrayals of the Pacific; it depicted the US Army engaged in horrific fighting in the Pacific theater, something all too rare in depictions.
Kiwirob wrote:
The Soviets weren't involved in the Pacific War because of the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact, however on the 9th of August 1945 they invaded Manchuria, 1.6m Russians tore through the Japs like a hot knife through butter and crushed them in 11 days.

Yes, Japanese units that were largely depleted because of the Japanese command cannibalizing units in quiet sectors of mainland Asia to bolster the defense of Pacific islands and the Japanese home islands in preparation of the invasion of those. The Japanese were laughably unprepared for the Soviet invasion.

The Soviet invasion is often pointed to as a reason why the atomic bombs weren't necessary. What that often fails to account for is how unprepared the Soviets were to fight the Japanese. Yes, they tore through unprepared Japanese troops with ease, but they fared terribly against prepared Japanese troops in their nearly-disastrous "invasions" of the Kurile and Sakhalin islands, where they actually suffered more casualties than the poorly-resourced Japanese troops did (again, largely cannibalized to reinforce the southern Home Islands against the expected American invasion). The Soviets were at the end of their rope. They didn't have the forces, equipment, or military understanding how to engage in a large combined-arms amphibious invasion of the Japanese Home Islands. It's unlikely they would've been able to exert much pressure on the Japanese in that manner, especially if the Japanese conceded more of their positions on mainland Asia to reinforce the Home Islands even more (though to do so they would've had to somehow protect the Sea of Japan to a better degree, as the Americans (mostly) were invading the last "protected" stretches of water the Japanese had, even turning the Japanese Inland Sea at that point into a killing ground with how many submarines were getting in there to attack shipping.
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B777LRF
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Sun Jun 14, 2020 6:01 pm

cjg225 wrote:
Someday I'd love to do that. I am a typical dumb American who can't speak another language, so I am *extremely* self-conscious about going some place where I can't speak the language (at least when I went to Italy twice I was with my parents, and my dad spoke Italian like a native).


I speak neither Croatian, Italian or French, but I do "read" restaurant French and Italian, to the extent I've yet to order something I didn't like. Which, let's face it, is pretty hard in said places.

If an inability to speak the local language should prevent us from a visiting a country, well, there wouldn't be much to see.

As luck would have it, around most parts of the world you can get by with English, a smile, some patience, a fair dose of finger language and a willingness to accept, that what you thought would be beef with veggies when you ordered it, turned out to be pork with bread when it was served. Sure, if you insist on venturing out in the boondonks it can get a little challenging at times. But, and as the proverbial cherry on top, the lovely word "beer" is almost universally understood. If not, just look thirsty while you say it.

Enjoy your travels.
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einsteinboricua
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Mon Jun 15, 2020 2:11 pm

cjg225 wrote:
By some measures, World War II actually began in 1937 when Japan invaded China. But, I do tend to lean a bit on the more cynical side here that the Western world doesn't give a crap about the Eastern world such that it is basically never mentioned at all as a possible starting point of World War II (it's just a "fact" in the Western world that it started when Germany invaded Poland). The Chinese, arguably, lost more people than even the Soviet Union did in World War II. Yet they never get mentioned, and there is always this segment of World War II historians (both amateur and professional) that will stop at nothing to argue that the Soviet Union "won" World War II because of how much they lost fighting Germany (conveniently ignoring how much of their losses were self-inflicted).

The European theater represented a war of several powers more or less equal in strength. France and the UK declared war on Germany after Poland (a nation which, by treaty, they swore to defend) was invaded. So you had nations like Italy and Germany (initially) allied with the Soviets, and you had France and the UK on the other side, with nations like US entering the conflict later on. This also meant a lot of nations around the world were kinda forced to pick a side (total neutrality would not have been possible).

The Pacific theater was different. Japan invading China might have been seen as a regional conflict between a nation in disarray (the Chinese were in a civil war) and a nation that was a power of the area (think of it like the US invading Cuba...one is clearly more powerful than the other). Now, China WAS a power, but when it fell into civil war, its position was diminished. No other powers in the area were strong enough to stand against Japan, and given that the Soviets had a treaty of non-aggression, the Soviets were not involved in the conflict until after Germany's surrender.
"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
 
sierrakilo44
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Mon Jun 15, 2020 2:40 pm

cjg225 wrote:

What publicity the Pacific gets in America always annoys me because it is SOOOOOOOO incredibly Marine Corps-centric.


What annoys me is the fact is the portrayal of the fighting in the Pacific theatre is so America centric, it’s pretty much only the US military vs Japan from Pearl Harbor to Island Hopping to dropping the nukes. The extensive fighting in India-Burma-Thailand theatre is totally ignored, the war in what is now Indonesia and Borneo is mostly overlooked and of course the main conflict China vs Japan is relegated to second place.

The Soviet invasion is often pointed to as a reason why the atomic bombs weren't necessary.


The Japanese certainly thought the Soviet Invasion was a threat.

It has come out that the US had broken Japanese code and knew they were trying to surrender or sue for peace.

Dwight Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, Admiral Nimitz, Admiral Leahy, Admiral Halsey, General LeMay and Secretary Stimson all thought the use of the bomb was unnecessary. The 1946 Congressional Committee found the bombing was unnecessary.

I believe the Americans dropped for other reasons than forcing Japan’s surrender. Maybe to intimidate the Soviets into staying out of Asia post war or show them the power of the weapons only they possessed at the time. Or to perform a test of the weapon on a civilian target before the war ended (That’s why both a uranium and plutonium bomb were used). Possibly out of revenge? Either way it was not to “save lives in case of an amphibious invasion of the Japanese mainland”.
 
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par13del
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:33 pm

sierrakilo44 wrote:
Dwight Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, Admiral Nimitz, Admiral Leahy, Admiral Halsey, General LeMay and Secretary Stimson all thought the use of the bomb was unnecessary. The 1946 Congressional Committee found the bombing was unnecessary.

...were these the same individuals who were stating the millions that would be needed and the thousands of deaths that would be the result of an invasion of Japan?
I will do some searches to see if the records of those hearing are available, I am interested in their reasons.
 
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par13del
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:58 pm

 
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cjg225
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Re: The D Day Invasion

Tue Jun 16, 2020 12:35 am

einsteinboricua wrote:
The European theater represented a war of several powers more or less equal in strength. France and the UK declared war on Germany after Poland (a nation which, by treaty, they swore to defend) was invaded. So you had nations like Italy and Germany (initially) allied with the Soviets, and you had France and the UK on the other side, with nations like US entering the conflict later on. This also meant a lot of nations around the world were kinda forced to pick a side (total neutrality would not have been possible).

The Pacific theater was different. Japan invading China might have been seen as a regional conflict between a nation in disarray (the Chinese were in a civil war) and a nation that was a power of the area (think of it like the US invading Cuba...one is clearly more powerful than the other). Now, China WAS a power, but when it fell into civil war, its position was diminished. No other powers in the area were strong enough to stand against Japan, and given that the Soviets had a treaty of non-aggression, the Soviets were not involved in the conflict until after Germany's surrender.

Valid argument, and I don't entirely disagree. But... it's not like on September 1st, 1939 someone said, "oh, hey, World War II began today!" While that date was something people knew as the date the war in Europe started, historians can look back and say something really started at another time. Yes, fighting started in Europe in 1939... but why is the "world war" aspect of it from that date onward when it wasn't until 1940 that it spilled over into another continent? Or 1941 when it covered the entirety of Europe except for the Iberian peninsula?

You can look back and say that in 1937 the first large-scale armed conflict began that was a central part of World War II. But historians steadfastly say it began on September 1st, 1939 despite how quiet it was for months after Poland fell. There's a reason why the sitzkrieg or "Phoney War" is the term for the time period after Poland fell but before the Low Countries were invaded. Just because the Second Sino-Japanese War could be viewed as "regional" until 1941 doesn't make it any less a reason to say September 1st, 1939 is when World War II started but July 7th, 1937 really isn't that important.

sierrakilo44 wrote:
What annoys me is the fact is the portrayal of the fighting in the Pacific theatre is so America centric, it’s pretty much only the US military vs Japan from Pearl Harbor to Island Hopping to dropping the nukes. The extensive fighting in India-Burma-Thailand theatre is totally ignored, the war in what is now Indonesia and Borneo is mostly overlooked and of course the main conflict China vs Japan is relegated to second place.

Which is how it is in other countries for their parts, I'm sure. It's just human nature.

If you have any suggestions for good books on the CBI Theater, I'd appreciate it. I've seen a few on Amazon but there aren't many, and I am not as trusting of books with low review counts (not low rating, but low number of reviews). I actually do very much want to read more about the Commonwealth contribution in the Pacific. I've read some books on the New Guinea Campaign that have had a lot about the Australian units involved, but I'd like to learn more about the CBI Theater.


par13del wrote:
sierrakilo44 wrote:
Dwight Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, Admiral Nimitz, Admiral Leahy, Admiral Halsey, General LeMay and Secretary Stimson all thought the use of the bomb was unnecessary. The 1946 Congressional Committee found the bombing was unnecessary.

...were these the same individuals who were stating the millions that would be needed and the thousands of deaths that would be the result of an invasion of Japan?
I will do some searches to see if the records of those hearing are available, I am interested in their reasons.

If you have a chance and time, read Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire. Excellent book that goes in-depth on the months leading up to dropping of the atomic bombs.

On Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Downfall-End-Imp ... 0141001461

Richard Frank is one of the foremost historians on the war in the Pacific. One of the really great things about the book is how much of it is sourced from contemporary Japanese records. It really goes into what the Japanese in high government officials and military officers were saying to each other and trying to form what were the possible meanings behind different actions by the Japanese government at the time. Phenomenal read.

Actually, in pulling up that Amazon listing, I noticed a "Suggested Title" that I hadn't seen before; turns out Frank just released a book 3 months ago that covers the history of the Japanese invasion of China to May of 1942. I hate hardcover books, but... that's a very tempting buy right now.

I've already been waiting nearly a year for the softcover version of a book by another excellent historian, John McManus, that covers the US Army in the Pacific in the early years of the war. In a small way, I take some credit for that book. lol Back in 2014, I met McManus at the 70th Anniversary of D-Day commemoration at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans (he was there giving a speech and promoting his then-just-released book, The Dead and Those About to Die - D-Day: The Big Red One at Omaha Beach). I chatted with him for a while. During our talk, I mentioned to him the two ideas for World War II history books if I ever somehow got the energy to write one, and one of those two ideas was exactly what he just wrote. :D Really great guy. When I got home, I sent him my copy of his book Alamo in the Ardennes, which he signed and sent back to me.
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