D-Day is enough to remember today

Attach whatever numerological (in)significance you choose to this being 6/6/6. To me, it just means it’s 62 years since 175,000 of our finest young men launched history’s greatest amphibious assault on Hitler’s Fortress Europa, with outcome dubious. Mistakes were made, intelligence was woefully lacking (hedgerows? what hedgerows) and losses were heavy, especially at Omaha. But our boys kept pressing on, and got the job done.

I will always, always be in awe of them.

Down in New Orleans, they’ve changed the name of the D-Day Museum to the National WW II Museum, apparently in an effort to draw more visitors.

But D-Day should have been enough. New Orleans is the home of the Higgins Boat, which is what put the troops on the beach and helped win the war in the West. (The main reason Hitler hadn’t taken out Britain four years earlier was that he didn’t have such sealift capacity — that, and the Luftwaffe’s failure to take out the RAF.) That should be enough for anyone to want to see. It’s enough for me, anyway.


16 thoughts on “D-Day is enough to remember today

  1. Lee

    First this morning, I got out my old Enfield No. 1 MkIII that went ashore on June 6, 1944, and stood it in the corner with its owner’s Tommy hat, as a reminder.
    South Carolina will have its military museum open soon. Until then, if you know some vet who set foot on France today, or the 7th or 8th, buy them a cup of coffee. I am.

  2. Aaron

    While I appreciate the efforts made by every man of the Allies in WWII, once again I find the version of history Americans seem to know is not that of what actually happened.
    Even if Hitler had plenty of resources to build these boats, how exactly would have pushed past the dominant Royal Navy in and around the coast of Britain? Britain’s efforts at air and naval superiority meant the war would eventually have been won (as long as Russia didn’t fail) because Nazi Germany was trapped and also did not have control of the skies thanks to the efforts of mainly British, Canadian and American manufacturers.
    It’s a great museum, but I hope it gives credit where it’s due.

  3. Lee

    The notion of keeping Hitler “bottled up” dates back to Neville Chamberland. While it is true that he pretty much let the British go at Dunkirk, and repeatedly said he was ready to stop the war with them there, Churchill’s refusal to do anything but fight to the death had spurred Hitler to proceed with the development of the atomic bomb and the aircraft to deliver it.
    By 1944, the Nazis had cruise missiles and light and radio-guided bombs hitting targets in England. They had a stealth bomber flying through radar over London, and a plan to refuel it over the Atlantic and bomb New York City, if a nuclear incineration of some British city did not bring an Allied surrender.
    Our intelligence did not know all of that at the time, and many historians do not know it today. The invasion of France ended those efforts.
    Today, we have those who say we should have kept Saddam Hussein “bottled up”, and should negotiate with Iran over their timetable for delivering a nuclear bomb to us.

  4. BLSaiken

    Lee, what is the published source of your citation about German “stealth bombers”, as well as the “plan to refuel over the Atlantic”. In all the studies I’ve read, the only German weapon with the potential to hit NYC was a long-range missile, which (as von Braun later noted) existed in the Fuhrer’s mind. Both Hitler and Saddam seem to have shared a penchant for deploying nonexistent forces and/or weapons, and executing those generals who failed to deliver.

  5. Spencer Gantt

    A very good post, Mr. Warthen. Saaaaa-lute. And I mean that. To you, to those who have served and those who serve now.
    Oh yes, an additional significance of D-Day for me is that it was scheduled for 05 June 1944, when I was three.

  6. Dave

    Aaron, the germans had subs.. Wolfpacks that would have starved England into submission. No ships, no food.

    God Bless every person who has served and especially those who paid the ultimate price to protect all the rest of us.

    I also would say God Bless to all those who love this nation and what it stands for, liberal or conservative, Dem or GOP, in the end, we all will work together to maintain this blessed country regardless of political or cultural differences.

  7. Lee

    The only surviving German bomber delta wing jet bomber sits in a warehouse in Maryland.
    It was finally studied by the team designing our B-2.

  8. Capital A

    I read that issue, too, Lee. Captain America had the good smarts to put sugar in its gas tank. The day was saved. Some moxie that guy had.
    And the Red Skull? Ohhhhh, was he sore about it?! And how!
    Seriously, thank you, American veterans, of all battles, those fought and those still to fight.
    Especial thanks to my grandpa. I only wish you’d survived your service so that I could know to what degree being a wiseacre was genetic.

  9. Brad Warthen

    By the way, Aaron, I didn’t mean to exclude our friends across the pond when I referred to “our finest young men.” That 175,000 included the British at Gold and Sword, and the Canadians at Juno.
    Omaha was the roughest, especially around Dog Green, but the lads at the above beaches, and Utah, were all heroes, and always will be.

  10. Aaron

    That’s understandable, Brad. The audience of your blog probably doesn’t include that many Britons, I just wanted to point it out.
    Also I must value the humor of the situation that the Nazis had any chance of winning the war with the mythical V-2 bombers, and secondly their submarine forces were all but a token force by 1942.
    The British had developed depth charges during the Mediterranean naval conflict, which severely curtailed the German navy. The statistics prove this analysis, with the rate dropping severely. Would Britain have starved between 40 and 42? Quite possibly. Afterwards? Nowhere near the same threat, and it was this success that enabled any invasion of “Fortress Europe”

  11. Lee

    Aaron, you need to read enough history to not confuse the V-2 rockets with the German bombers.
    The B-2 is the U.S. Air Force stealth bomber, which employs design features of the Nazi jet bomber.

  12. bud

    I find it interesting that everyone likes to slam Neville Chamberlin for his attempt to maintain peace in Europe. Yes, his appeasement strategy failed and war came anyway. But let’s consider the other party to the Munich Accords, the Germans. They were the ones that ultimately broke the agreement and launched a pre-emptive strike against Poland. Using the same right-wing logic used to support the Iraq war the Germans should have won World War II. Obviously that didn’t happen. It was the British, the peace loving appeasers that ultimately were on the winning side of that conflict, not the hawkish Germans. Ultimately the most important lesson that should be learned from WW II is not how diplomacy failed but how aggression and pre-emptive attacks on non-threatening countries failed. After all, if Chamberlain had not tried to appease Hitler he would have launched his war anyway and many people around the world may have had sympathy for the Nazi cause. But by attempting peace first all doubt was removed as to the monstrous nature of Nazi Germany. And in the end the Germans, not the British, paid a far greater price for their failure at Munich.

  13. Lee

    Kind of like GW Bush giving Saddam Hussein one last chance to turn over the WMD and terrorists he was harboring.

  14. Aaron

    Lee, I accept the mistake I made in saying V-2 bomb(ers). They were rockets, to be specific. Thanks for pointing it out.
    Conflicts between states and ideologies – British liberal (in the true sense of the word)-capitalism and Nazi fascism is not like that between states and individuals or between just plain ideologies.
    Saddam should have been deposed in 1991 during the Gulf War, then all this mess would never have happened.

  15. Lee

    Several Democrats have compared G.W. Bush to Hitler. Such outrageous rhetoric had become so common from the Seditious Left, as to be expected by the general population.


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