Friday, June 06, 2014

70th Anniversary of D-Day

If you can go to the beaches, go before France collapses or the Muslims take over. Check them out. The topography is off because of vegetation growth, but the beaches are narrow, and at some points, the rise up that cliff looks so steep. The towns are still quiet, rinky dink towns. Driving out there, you'll see a bombed out stone church or old farmhouse. At the British landing beach where they built the artificial harbor, the giant pieces that created that artificial wonder are still there. A great book on the invasion is Ambrose's book. It was recommended by one of my grandfathers that served and went in D+2 or D+3. If you do ever go, pay attention tot he massive re-organizing of the ground that the bombardment of the coast performed. Holes big enough to swallow you up still there. Be sure to walk the entire length of the cemetery. Realize that's one cemetery for one campaign for one nation in one theater of one war. Civilization is built on a mountain of skulls that men sacrificed for you.

6 comments:

Portlander said...

I've become entirely sympathetic to the idea what WWI & WWII were essentially civil wars.

I wonder at the conclusion of the current immigration policy will all Europeans feel as much, or whether there will even be enough Europeans left for it to even matter.

Son of Brock Landers said...

Excluding the Asian theater, I tend to agree. It was the battle of the german worldview vs. the Anglo worldview for running the show.

Portlander said...

I didn't forget the Asian-Pacific, but would it have happened in the scale and fashion it did sans what was going on in Europe?

I think it was riding the coattails of events in Europe. I don't believe it would have happened in isolation.

Son of Brock Landers said...

Plenty of US policymakers planned for confrontation with Japan. Their war plans were awful and made obsolete by the Japanese perfection of blitzkrieg tactics and a great military culture. Now the conflict did happen because both the us and japan saw the coming decolonization and wanted to be in the saddle, so maybe the fall of europe did set it all up.

Anonymous said...

It was the battle of the german worldview vs. the Anglo worldview for running the show.

In impotent protest as they move rapidly towards extinction, the krauts come up with a serious man like Sarrazin, while the poms provide a jokester named Farange for our entertainment.

True to form.

eah said...

Go a shade outside the off-peak summer months and you'll avoid most American tourists (not all of course) -- that was certainly a goal of mine. Also the Normandy area in general is great to visit, with many nice chambres d'hôtes where you can stay for a good price. Two suggestions: Étretat and Honfleur (get there early enuf for lunch). And as long as you've gone that far you might as well keep heading south to Mont St-Michel.