Saturday, June 06, 2009

June 6, 1944

Sixty five years ago, roughly 160,000 U.S., British and Canadian infantry landed in Normandy, supported by 195,000 navy men in 7,000 vessels, to drill a breach in Hitler's Atlantic Wall and liberate Europe, in what I believe remains the largest amphibious military landing in history.

Canadians landing at a beach code-named Juno faced the second highest rate of attrition on the beat (a 50% casualty rate in the first hour), but ended up the only unit to reach its military objectives by the end of the day. The highest loss of life, 60%, befell Americans at Point du Hoc. The British landed in two beaches, facing stiff resistance near Caen, which was not taken until August. Two small French contingents landed that day, one with the British in the Caen thrust, and another parachuting into Brittany attached to a British SAS commando unit.

Let us remember these men today and their awesome struggle.

1 comment:

Anne said...

I am aware of 6 June, 1944 nearly every day of my life.

Thank you for remembering, too.

In the midst of all animosity that French may (rightly, sometimes) have to the US over the years, the Normans have always remembered thankfully.

Wasn't it a good that the Germans participated in the Commemorations this year?