Wednesday, June 6, 2012

On This Date - A Day That Altered History...

I usually write about the events of June 6, 1944 whenever this date appears on the daily calendar, due to its impact upon the remainder of the twentieth century, let alone this very day:
No need, of course, to reflect in detail Operation Overlord, as it has been thoroughly documented countless times since that Longest Day.
However, some strange events emanate from that day that may be of interest to some of you - upon the beginning of the greatest amphibian operation in history, with about 150,000 men landing, within hours, in France to initiate the liberation of millions, no one in Hitler's entourage could summon the courage to awaken the dictator. He was told of the landings in Normandy only after he had awakened himself.
In addition, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel was back in Germany to celebrate his beloved wife Lucy's fiftieth birthday. If he had been in France during that momentous morning , would he have altered the nature of the ultimate successes the Allies engendered - would the Longest Day be different from that which our world is so familiar with? Historians continue to mull over that fascinating clutch of possibilities.
Finally, when one considers the enormity, dimensionally, of that operation, which enlisted some 5,000 ships transporting not only the fighting men but also staggering amounts of equipment and supplies, one might consider the horror of the magnitude of casualties resulting from such an event.
Actually, the casualties were less than those suffered both in the battle of Okinawa and the so-called Battle of the Bulge. As a matter of fact, the Americans lost more of its hallowed warriors in Belgium during the Christmas period in 1944 than in any operation in all of World War II.
Still, the sixth day of June, 1944 continues to bear the symbolism germane to the liberation of suffering humanity more eloquently, perhaps, than any other event in that momentous conflict.



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