Monday, June 06, 2005


What to write about D-Day.

At first, I was just going to post some photos made in and around the Normandy battlefields, (click for larger views):

Ste. Mere Eglise Church

Stained Glass Windows

Pont du Hoc

Pont du Hoc Battlefield

Pont du Hoc Monument

American Invader

"Crosses, Row on Row"

Crosses and Star of David
but that seemed a little bland.

So I thought I might comment on the overall level of casualties during the invasion, which was generally less than most people think. Overall, there were about 9,000 casualties (killed, wounded, missing, captured, some 3,000 killed) out of 156,000 troops landed that day--about a 6% casuality rate and a 2% killed rate. See here, here and here. A US Army website reports: "Although victorious against the first wave of invaders at OMAHA, the Germans could do little when the force on the beach began to renew itself. With many of their troops off in pursuit of the dummy paratroopers the Allies had dropped far to the rear, they could hold their own from fixed positions but lacked the numbers to drive the invaders back. Thus the Americans kept the ground they gained. Inch by inch they moved forward, up through the bluffs and onto the flatland above. In the absence of much room to maneuver, their attack had been unoriginal, a straightforward frontal assault, but the weight of their numbers and the enormous volume of supplies and equipment they began to bring to bear made the difference. By nightfall, 34,000 men were ashore on OMAHA. The beach itself was a shambles of burning and disabled vehicles, but almost all of the coastal villages located inland were in Allied hands."

Then, as I was checking the usual blogs, I realized that the battle is still going on. You can read about some recent engagements here and here.

Ah well, Blogger (the software, not the writer) is acting up and doesn't want to finish this post, so I'll quit here.

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