Download FREE briefings. Have an account? Please log in. Text Size: A A A

Remembering D-Day


Remembering D-Day

In the June 2019 issue of WWII History Magazine we remember the sacrifice and heroism of the men who assaulted the Normandy beach.

By Michael E. Haskew

Few events in human history have been so fraught with drama as the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944.  And in the June 2019 issue of WWII History Magazine we remember the sacrifice and heroism of the men who assaulted 50 miles of otherwise nondescript beach to begin the liberation of Nazi-occupied Europe three-quarters of a century ago.

The fight to capture the Les Moulins Draw was indicative of the struggle to gain a foothold in Normandy, and the desperate fighting at Omaha Beach left a legacy of courage seldom equaled in the annals of warfare.  Kevin Hymel’s homage to those men of Omaha and the 29th Infantry Division makes riveting reading.  But the drama had begun to unfold many months prior to the actual commencement of Operation Overlord.  American military leaders were favoring a landing in France as early as 1942, but the wise counsel of the British commanders prevailed until sufficient forces might be marshaled, while the dress rehearsal at Dieppe, the ill-fated Operation Jubilee, left the planners with many points to ponder – and these lessons were put to good use by the time of Operation Overlord two years later.

When Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower had overseen months of training, stockpiling of weapons of war, and deliberations over the location of the invasion and the makeup of the forces launching the bid for freedom, Mother Nature intervened to compound his command crossroads.  With only a narrow window of passable weather to launch the invasion force across the English Channel, Eisenhower made two fateful decisions, first postponing the operation 24 hours, and then giving the order to unleash its pent-up energy with the simple words, “Okay, we’ll go!”

Eisenhower addressed his troops with stirring words, telling them they were embarking on the “Great Crusade” that would free not only Europe, but the entire world from the specter of Nazi oppression.  While the Soviet Red Army advanced steadily toward the frontier of the Third Reich from the east, the armies of the United States and Great Britain, along with forces of numerous nations, would carry the fight to the German Fatherland from the west.  Less than a year later, the Nazis were vanquished.

However, total victory was a distant aspiration for the Allies on D-Day, and Overlord unfolded like most complex battle plans – with unforeseen circumstances and a determined enemy responding.  Airborne troops were scattered across Normandy by high winds and enemy antiaircraft fire.  Invasion forces hit the beaches under fire.  The stiffest opposition was encountered at Omaha and Juno beaches, where Canadian troops led the way.  Countless acts of individual heroism made the difference for the Allies, particularly at Omaha, where General Omar Bradley briefly considered withdrawing the troops due to heavy casualties and stubborn German resistance.

This issue of WWII History provides a glimpse of D-Day’s struggle, and there will be more to come in the future.  Elsewhere, we present stories of the Battle of the Bulge, the technique of skip bombing, the naval Battle of Guadalcanal, Operation Torch and the Allied invasion of North Africa, and much more.  Many thanks for your support of our publication.   We are confident you will enjoy your time with us.

Add Your Comments

One Comment

  1. Gail Madsen Ahrens
    Posted May 11, 2019 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    My dad missed D-Day by a few days but fought wit Patton’s Third Army, 358th Division? He fought all the rest of the war & was in the Battle of the Bulge. Reading your magazine helps me to realize what the men went through. He didn’t talk about it much!

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

Issue Previews

Felice Benuzzi’s Extraordinary Climb of Mount Kenya

Felice Benuzzi’s Extraordinary Climb of Mount Kenya

During a strange series of events in Januray 1943, Felice Benuzzi broke out of Camp 354, climbed Mount Kenya… and then returned to his camp.

The Polish Cavalryman: Lance-Wielding Anachronism?

The Polish Cavalryman: Lance-Wielding Anachronism?

The World War II Polish cavalryman was a well-trained and highly motivated elite mobile infantryman.

Civil War Spies: Timothy Webster

Civil War Spies: Timothy Webster

Timothy Webster, one of the country’s greatest Civil War spies, met a hard but not uncommon end at the hands of his enemies.

More on Paul Allen’s Discovery of the Musashi

More on Paul Allen’s Discovery of the Musashi

Michael Haskew expands on how the watery grave of the Japanese super battleship Musashi was found by billionaire Paul Allen.

facebook gplus twitter youtube rss

Enter Your Log In Credentials

Forgot your Password?