D-Day Remembrance June 6,1944

 

On 06, June 1944 the Allied invasion of Normandy, code name Operation Overlord finally occurred. Code named Operation Neptune but it is more commonly known as D-Day.

The landings in Normandy by the British, Americans, Canadians, and French was the largest seaborne invasion in history.

The landings marked the beginning of the end of the war in Europe.

Operation plans began in 1943, however, the weather for the landings was not ideal. Further postponement pushed the landings back weeks. The planners studied the phases of the moon, the tide, and the time of day, learning that only a few days each month was suitable.

The Normandy Coast, under the command of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, commanded the German forces and developed fortifications along the Atlantic Wall.

The night before the landings occurred, the Allies applied pressure in the form of aerial and naval bombardment and the parachute trooper assault.

In the early hours of June 6, the beaches known as, Sword, Gold, Utah, and Omaha were slated for the landing crafts and Allied forces to storm.

Despite successfully taking the beaches, only Gold and Sword were linked on the first day. Meanwhile, Carentan, Saint-Lô, Bayeux, and Caen were still in German hands. Caen was not recaptured until the 21st of July.

The setback was only temporary, as the Allied gradually expanded over the coming months.

 

d-day landings June 6, 1945

Stories from the past

Dead Man’s Corner

Headquarters of the German paratroopers, the house is now a museum dedicated to the German paratroopers. This unique story is told using authentic artifacts. 

The men of the 6th German Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), better known as the Green Devils, fought hard and fiercely for three days against the American paratroopers of the 101st Airborne.

 On the morning of June 6, 1944, Commander Major von der Heydte established his headquarters whereas the Dr Roos set up an aid station.

June 9th, the Germans drew back to Carentan as the Americans set up headquarters. 

Villagers believe the house is haunted, claiming they feel the souls that linger. Others feel uneasy due to the reenactment, and the use of authentic artifacts that once belonged to the German paratroopers. 

Carentan was strategically necessary for the Allies, and Dead Man’s Corner was critical during the recapture of the city. 

 

click here for directions

dead man's corner

The story(urban legend) of Dead Man’s Corner-At a road junction south of Saint-Côme-du-Mont, an American Stuart tank was destroyed at the intersection and remained in place for several days, with the dead body of the commander hanging out of the turret. The Germans had taken down road signs to confuse the Allies, and needing a landmark to refer to the men began to refer to this place as “the corner with the dead man in the tank”-later “Dead Man’s Corner. 

Dick Winters-101st Airborne Easy Company

Major. Dick Winters

Easy Company of the 2nd battalion, 506th parachute infantry regiment, “Screaming Eagles” 101st Airborne Division.

Good-natured and inspiring leadership capabilities resulted in earning the devotion of the men in Easy Company. Deciding to join the paratroopers-a recent creation of the US Army, he trained in Camp Toccoa, Georgia.

After five weeks he passed and was then assigned to the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Easy company. As an experimental regiment, the 506th PIC saw brave volunteers who trained hard in parachute maintenance, how to exit an aircraft, landing techniques-to prevent breaking legs, how to read the topography and geography of a landing zone, and the rigorous Army physical.

In September of 1943, the 506 arrived in England to prepare for the Allied invasion of Europe.

In the cover of darkness on June 5, 1944, Winters and his fellow paratroopers jumped into occupied France in preparation for Operation Overload-the D-day landings.

On the 68th anniversary of the D-Day landings, France dedicated a statue of Winters to all the junior officers who gave their lives on the Normandy coast.

This statue represents his leadership, his courage, and his strong will to protect his men.

If you find yourself on a stretch of road heading towards Utah Beach this is a must-see.

Click here for directions.

 

 

 

American Cementary Omaha

The soldier’s helmet is placed on top of the rifle to represent what the soldier stood for and that their battle is over. 

Known as the battlefield cross, they were created to honor the fallen. A deceased troop’s rifle is planted into the ground, barrel first, and their helmet is placed on top.

The battlefield cross is a part of a long-standing tradition in the military.

The tradition of marking the site where a troop died began in the Civil War.  But it wasn’t until World War I, when troopers were issued rifles and kevlar helmets that the rifles were used in place of wooden crosses.

In World War II, the trooper’s dog tags were added to make it easier to give the site their name, and when able a pair of the fallen soldier’s books were placed in front of the rifle.

At the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach, you will see this display in the museum. The sand was taken right from the beach as were the rife and the helmet to represent those fallen on the beach.

It is a bittersweet and beautiful tribute to those who fought to save Europe.

D-Day
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