D-Day - 75th Anniversary

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PlayerRep
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D-Day - 75th Anniversary

Post by PlayerRep » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:42 am

Miss Montana, the C-47 plane, is in Normandy. I read that 2 paratroopers who jumped at D-Day, now age 96 and 97, were jumping today.

"in the first year following the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1947 over 40,000 more Montanans joined the military. Before the end of the war there were over 57,000 enlisted soldiers from Montana which constituted 10 percent of our population at that time, one of the highest numbers per capita of any state. At least 1,500 died during the War"

"When the D-Day forces landed, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was asleep.None of his generals dared order reinforcements without his permission, and no-one dared wake him.Crucial hours were lost in the battle to hold Normandy. When Hitler did finally wake up, at around 10am, he was excited at news of the invasion - he thought Germany would easily defeat the Allies."

"In fact, the forecast was so bad that the German commander in Normandy, Erwin Rommel, felt so sure there wouldn't be an invasion he went home to give his wife a pair of shoes for her 50th birthday. He was in Germany when the news came of the invasion."

"Casualties varied widely - on "Bloody Omaha", where around 4,000 men were killed or wounded, one US unit landing in the first wave lost 90% of its men."

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-48215675

The Normandy beaches are a great place to visit. Very historical. Very spiritual. Great museum in Caen. Pointe du Hac. Edit: the Cemetery above Omaha Beach.
Last edited by PlayerRep on Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

SWeberCat02
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Re: D-Day - 75th Anniversary

Post by SWeberCat02 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:07 am

Thanks for sharing. I have a big interest in WW2 and was hoping to be in Normandy for the 75th anniversary, but didn't make it. Hope to make it there someday.

CatGrad-UMGradStu
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Re: D-Day - 75th Anniversary

Post by CatGrad-UMGradStu » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:11 am

Thank you for posting this; as a product of MSU's ROTC Detachment and having spent a great deal of time with Stan Milesnick of Belgrade who received the Distinguished Service Cross as a Company Commander at the The Battle of the Bulge after Normandy, this plaque always gives me pause:

https://msubobcats.com/news/2018/5/25/t ... ifice.aspx

RABIDAWG
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Re: D-Day - 75th Anniversary

Post by RABIDAWG » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:21 am

Absolutely the greatest generation. You can follow Miss Montana on Facebook....lots of pictures & videos.
Now, dammit, get out there and HURT somebody!

PlayerRep
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Re: D-Day - 75th Anniversary

Post by PlayerRep » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:34 am

From Reagan's speech at the 40th anniversary:

"Reagan spoke with each of them afterward, and what moved him most wasn’t all the ceremonies. It was that a bunch of young U.S. Army Rangers had, the day before, re-enacted the taking of the cliffs, up there with ropes and daggers, climbing—and one of the old Rangers who’d been there on D-Day and taken those cliffs 40 years before got so excited he jumped in and climbed along with the 20-year-olds."

From Peggy's Noonan's Wall St Journal op-ed a few days ago, Which Way to Pointe Du Hoc:

"A second thing I think of: My friend John Whitehead once told me, in describing that day, of a moment when, as a U.S. Navy ensign, he was piloting his packed landing craft toward Dog Red sector on Omaha Beach. They’d cast off in darkness, and when dawn broke they saw they were in the middle of a magnificent armada. Nearby some light British craft had gone down. Suddenly a landing craft came close by, and an Englishman called out: “I say, fellows, which way to Pointe du Hoc?”

Jaunty, as if he were saying “Which way to the cricket match?”

On John’s ship they pointed to the right. “Very good,” said the Englishman, who touched his cap and sped on.

John remembered the moment with an air of “Life is haphazard, a mess, and you’re in the middle of a great endeavor and it’s haphazard, a mess. But you maintain your composure, keep your spirit. You yell to the Yank, ‘Which way to Pointe du Hoc?’ and you tip your hat and go.’ ”

He would think of the Englishman for the rest of his life, and wonder if he’d survived. But of course he survived in John’s memory, then in mine, and now, as you read, in yours."

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kemajic
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Re: D-Day - 75th Anniversary

Post by kemajic » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:53 am

PlayerRep wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:42 am
"in the first year following the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1947 over 40,000 more Montanans joined the military. was in Germany when the news came of the invasion."
1941, of course.
"I woke up still not dead again today." - Willie Nelson

tourist
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Re: D-Day - 75th Anniversary

Post by tourist » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:57 am

SWeberCat02 wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:07 am
Thanks for sharing. I have a big interest in WW2 and was hoping to be in Normandy for the 75th anniversary, but didn't make it. Hope to make it there someday.
I've also had the same interest. The more I read, the more I want to know. 'The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,' by Wm. Shirer, 1959, is excellent and probably the best work on the subject ever made. Not something for the casual reader, it is over 1400 pages long, and can be found at Barnes and Noble's, on the shelf.

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Paytonlives
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Re: D-Day - 75th Anniversary

Post by Paytonlives » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:49 am

True heroes...

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Bobby Hauck 2008 (After beating the kittens)

"I wish there were 5 quarters in this game, so we could kick their asses some more!"

PlayerRep
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Re: D-Day - 75th Anniversary

Post by PlayerRep » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:06 pm

kemajic wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:53 am
PlayerRep wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:42 am
"in the first year following the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1947 over 40,000 more Montanans joined the military. was in Germany when the news came of the invasion."
1941, of course.
Obviously correct, but I had just copied the quote, without noticing the mistake.

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Re: D-Day - 75th Anniversary

Post by dbackjon » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:18 pm

D-Day - absolute bravery. I have read many histories on it. Still in awe of the sacrifices made
Lumberjacks!

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Re: D-Day - 75th Anniversary

Post by PlayerRep » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:27 pm

Three of my uncles came home from the war, two from the Pacific and one from Italy, and established or re-established three enduring businesses in MT. One re-established our family ranch at Fort Peck, which had fallen apart during the Depression/War. He was at Iwo Jima, but not in the early waves. Another, along with my aunt, founded the Ranch Supper Club in Polson on the river, in 1948 (after he recovered from shrapnel wounds in his back). Another bought the flat land at Big Sky in about 1974, and this is where his sons, my cousins, are developing the Town Center at Big Sky. Either he had saved a friend's life, or vice versa, in Italy. My dad, who had been kicked out of the army in the early 40's for high blood pressure, also helped re-establish the ranch/farm. He died of a heart attack when I was 10.

The Greatest Generation. I liked the book by the same name by Tom Brokaw.

Again, I can't say enough about visiting Normandy and the D-Day beaches. We went in Dec. when there were no crowds, but still a decent number of people. It was totally cool. My young son and I watched the The Longest Day multiple times before the trip. The movie depicts the landing at Dog Green sector on Omaha Beach in front of the Cemetery. If you look at the words on the screen, as the viewer watches the beginning of the landing in silence and through the eyes of the German machine gunners, you'll see the time date/time and Dog Green sector. The little villages and their narrow winding streets above the landing beaches still look just like they did in old photos and movies.

SWeberCat02
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Re: D-Day - 75th Anniversary

Post by SWeberCat02 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:02 pm

tourist wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:57 am
SWeberCat02 wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:07 am
Thanks for sharing. I have a big interest in WW2 and was hoping to be in Normandy for the 75th anniversary, but didn't make it. Hope to make it there someday.
I've also had the same interest. The more I read, the more I want to know. 'The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,' by Wm. Shirer, 1959, is excellent and probably the best work on the subject ever made. Not something for the casual reader, it is over 1400 pages long, and can be found at Barnes and Noble's, on the shelf.
Haven't ever tackled Shirer, but I have two books on my summer reading list, The First Wave by Alex Kershaw, and The Storm on Our Shores by Mark Obmascik.

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Re: D-Day - 75th Anniversary

Post by maroonandsilver » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:02 pm

I'm on the Board of the Rocky Mountain Museum of Military History at Fort Missoula.

If you are in the Missoula area Thursday (June 6, of course) night at 7:00, the RMMMH will present a program at Heritage Hall on the Fort campus: "D-Day Plus 75 Years: An Evening Retrospective". This program will include a short documentary film "The Normandy Invasion" produced by the U.S. Coast Guard in 1944; a talk by Jimmy Grant on his grandfather's landing craft: "777, The Voyage of a D-Day LCI"; and showing and historical discussion of the Utah-Omaha-Juno beach landing dramatization from "The Longest Day" 1962.

And we will have cookies!

I just watched "The Longest Day" again recently. It is a great movie and pretty accurate historically. And what a feat to gather all those prominent actors together in one movie!

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Re: D-Day - 75th Anniversary

Post by mcg » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:03 pm

PlayerRep wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:34 am
From Reagan's speech at the 40th anniversary:

"Reagan spoke with each of them afterward, and what moved him most wasn’t all the ceremonies. It was that a bunch of young U.S. Army Rangers had, the day before, re-enacted the taking of the cliffs, up there with ropes and daggers, climbing—and one of the old Rangers who’d been there on D-Day and taken those cliffs 40 years before got so excited he jumped in and climbed along with the 20-year-olds."

From Peggy's Noonan's Wall St Journal op-ed a few days ago, Which Way to Pointe Du Hoc:

"A second thing I think of: My friend John Whitehead once told me, in describing that day, of a moment when, as a U.S. Navy ensign, he was piloting his packed landing craft toward Dog Red sector on Omaha Beach. They’d cast off in darkness, and when dawn broke they saw they were in the middle of a magnificent armada. Nearby some light British craft had gone down. Suddenly a landing craft came close by, and an Englishman called out: “I say, fellows, which way to Pointe du Hoc?”

Jaunty, as if he were saying “Which way to the cricket match?”

On John’s ship they pointed to the right. “Very good,” said the Englishman, who touched his cap and sped on.

John remembered the moment with an air of “Life is haphazard, a mess, and you’re in the middle of a great endeavor and it’s haphazard, a mess. But you maintain your composure, keep your spirit. You yell to the Yank, ‘Which way to Pointe du Hoc?’ and you tip your hat and go.’ ”

He would think of the Englishman for the rest of his life, and wonder if he’d survived. But of course he survived in John’s memory, then in mine, and now, as you read, in yours."
It's important to remember that the point of the Pointe Du Hoc mission was to eliminate a German artillery battery positioned to dominate the beaches. When the Rangers got there, they discovered there was no artillery, just telephone poles laid out to fool the planners. The point is that war is a stupid and messy thing.

grizghost
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Re: D-Day - 75th Anniversary

Post by grizghost » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:37 pm

...on my bucket list to see Normandy..these were absolutely the finest American man that gave it all..we
salute them now and forever..let us never forget the ones who sacrifice for us!... God Bless Our Military!

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Re: D-Day - 75th Anniversary

Post by PlayerRep » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:57 pm

mcg wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:03 pm
PlayerRep wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:34 am
From Reagan's speech at the 40th anniversary:

"Reagan spoke with each of them afterward, and what moved him most wasn’t all the ceremonies. It was that a bunch of young U.S. Army Rangers had, the day before, re-enacted the taking of the cliffs, up there with ropes and daggers, climbing—and one of the old Rangers who’d been there on D-Day and taken those cliffs 40 years before got so excited he jumped in and climbed along with the 20-year-olds."

From Peggy's Noonan's Wall St Journal op-ed a few days ago, Which Way to Pointe Du Hoc:

"A second thing I think of: My friend John Whitehead once told me, in describing that day, of a moment when, as a U.S. Navy ensign, he was piloting his packed landing craft toward Dog Red sector on Omaha Beach. They’d cast off in darkness, and when dawn broke they saw they were in the middle of a magnificent armada. Nearby some light British craft had gone down. Suddenly a landing craft came close by, and an Englishman called out: “I say, fellows, which way to Pointe du Hoc?”

Jaunty, as if he were saying “Which way to the cricket match?”

On John’s ship they pointed to the right. “Very good,” said the Englishman, who touched his cap and sped on.

John remembered the moment with an air of “Life is haphazard, a mess, and you’re in the middle of a great endeavor and it’s haphazard, a mess. But you maintain your composure, keep your spirit. You yell to the Yank, ‘Which way to Pointe du Hoc?’ and you tip your hat and go.’ ”

He would think of the Englishman for the rest of his life, and wonder if he’d survived. But of course he survived in John’s memory, then in mine, and now, as you read, in yours."
It's important to remember that the point of the Pointe Du Hoc mission was to eliminate a German artillery battery positioned to dominate the beaches. When the Rangers got there, they discovered there was no artillery, just telephone poles laid out to fool the planners. The point is that war is a stupid and messy thing.
The guns had been moved, but were still in the immediate area. The Rangers quickly found 5 of them (the 6th was being repaired elsewhere) and took them out. See the timeline below. Originally, there'd been a bunch more Rangers for the attack, but things got goofed up and they landed at Omaha Beach. The Rangers on the Pointe were told to hold the position. They fought off several counterattacks. The bulk of the other Rangers didn't get to them for relief until June 8. Only 90 of the original 225 Rangers were still able to fight at that point.

Timeline

6 June 1944

Surviving observation bunker at the Pointe du Hoc
D+2, after relief forces reached the Rangers. The American flag had been spread out to stop fire of friendly tanks coming from inland.

06.39 – H-Hour – D, E and F companies of 2nd Ranger Battalion approach the Normandy coast in a flotilla of twelve craft.
07.05 – Strong tides and navigation errors mean the initial assault arrives late and the 5th Ranger Battalion as well A and B companies from 2nd Battalion move to Omaha Beach instead.
07.30 – Rangers fight their way up the cliff and reach the top and start engaging the Germans across the battery. Rangers discover the casemates are empty.
08.15 – Approximately 35 Rangers achieve the secondary objective of building a roadblock.
09.00 – Five German guns are located and destroyed using thermite charges.

For the rest of the day the Rangers repel several German counter-attacks.
During the evening, one patrol from the Rangers that landed at Omaha beach make it through to join the Rangers at Pointe du Hoc.

7 June 1944
The Rangers continue to defend an even smaller area on Pointe du Hoc against German counter-attacks.
Afternoon – A platoon of Rangers arrives on an LST, with wounded removed.

8 June 1944
Morning – The Rangers are relieved by troops arriving from Omaha beach.

Spanky2
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Re: D-Day - 75th Anniversary

Post by Spanky2 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:16 pm

My uncle was in the invasion and the Battle of the Bulge.

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Re: D-Day - 75th Anniversary

Post by PlayerRep » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:11 pm

Spanky2 wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:16 pm
My uncle was in the invasion and the Battle of the Bulge.
From tonight's Missooulian article:

"One who stayed back in Montana was wishing he hadn’t.

“I’d jump now if my knees were real good,” Ed Seifert, 97, said Wednesday afternoon from his room at the Polson Health and Rehabilitation Center.

Seifert, who grew up on a farm west of Pablo, was a staff sergeant with the 101st Airborne Division that dropped behind enemy lines that dark June morning. Their target was Saint-Martin-de-Varreville above Utah Beach, the westernmost landing spot of five along a 60-mile stretch of coast.

It’s an hour-plus drive from there to Sannerville near Gold Beach, the most easterly of the five.

“When we jumped Normandy, we all jumped at night from those C-47s,” Seifert recalled Wednesday. “There was about 20 guys in each plane. Them pilots, they had contact all the time, and they took us back quite a ways from where the Germans were.

“We jumped and just started fighting our way back. The ground was harder than heck.”

Seifert, who later suffered frostbite at Bastogne in the Battle of the Bulge, said he lost half a dozen buddies at Normandy.

In all, some 13,000 Allied troops parachuted out of 800 or more “Dakotas” in advance of the beach assaults on June 6.

“I was proud to be a paratrooper who jumped at Normandy and finally come out alive,” Seifert said."

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Re: D-Day - 75th Anniversary

Post by PlayerRep » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:32 pm

A good opinion piece on WWI movies, including the ones mentioned in this thread.

"‘Saving Private Ryan’ Got My Dad to Finally Talk About the War"

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/05/opin ... e=Homepage

Spanky2
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Re: D-Day - 75th Anniversary

Post by Spanky2 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:40 am

My uncle who was a 1st sergeant in the army didn’t talk much about the war.

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