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D Day plus 70 years


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For many of us here on GB Forums we owe our freedom to the young men (and women) who stormed ashore and dropped out of the sky along the Normandy coast to free Europe and the World from a dark evil cancer enveloping it.

Most of us would have near ancestors who fought in this conflict and some will have grandfathers and grand uncles who would storm ashore in Normandy.

For me having a grandfather who served and a grand uncle injured badly, I now fully appreciate the sacrifice they made along with their fellow brothers in arms.

Their generation thoroughly deserves the moniker:

THE GREATEST!

We can never say thank you enough. :)

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Maximum Respects to the British Armed Forces and all those who fault alongside us. You have saved this World and deserve every inch of respect from the whole Human Race. The Armed Forces are very close to my Heart, as my Great Grandad was in the War, both Great Grandads. One of them died about 10 years before I was born and the other one died when I was two years old. Thank You Alex for this tribute, it's the least we can all do. So again, maximum respect to the British Armed Forces and all those on our side.


Correction: Fought.

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Please also remember the ca 50 000 civilian casualties in Normandy of allied bombings before, during and after the d-day. Bombing raids that were largely inefficient and counter-productive. For some reason, they never seem to be mentioned in all those great documentaries and TV shows.

While each and every allied soldier risking their lives did something honourable and extremely important, it's discomforting to see a story generally told so partially. It's understandable that we want to glorify the generation that liberated europe from the nazis, but there was lots of rape and looting in Normandy as well done by some allied liberators( http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/new-book-reveals-dark-side-of-american-soldiers-in-liberated-france-a-902266.html , http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/jun/05/women-victims-d-day-landings-second-world-war ). War is ugly, and it's very hard to come out of it deserving to be called heroic. Many individuals deserve that term and more, but few war efforts should be glorified too much, this one being no exception.

As for the military operation, there were so much incompetence going on during that operation, on both sides, it's almost hard to wrap one's brain around. Omaha beach must've felt like something out of Dante and it's unimaginable to have to go through that hell.

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Maximum Respects to the British Armed Forces and all those who fault alongside us. You have saved this World and deserve every inch of respect from the whole Human Race. The Armed Forces are very close to my Heart, as my Great Grandad was in the War, both Great Grandads. One of them died about 10 years before I was born and the other one died when I was two years old. Thank You Alex for this tribute, it's the least we can all do. So again, maximum respect to the British Armed Forces and all those on our side.

Correction: Fought.

Aaheee...I can see where you are comming from T. Not the best wording buddy...as a GI would say.

My post is to cover all Allied forces who arrived in France that day. Remember over 54% of the troops were American, 30% British and Canadian, 16% French and free euro allies.

And yes not forgotten are the secert Allies waiting in France "getting the ground ready" for when freedom landed. Brave they are ALL.

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Aaheee...I can see where you are comming from T. Not the best wording buddy...as a GI would say.

My post is to cover all Allied forces who arrived in France that day. Remember over 54% of the troops were American, 30% British and Canadian, 16% French and free euro allies.

And yes not forgotten are the secert Allies waiting in France "getting the ground ready" for when freedom landed. Brave they are ALL.

Yeah, I thought the wording was a bit sketchy too. He made it seem like everyone else was fighting under the British flag. Funny considering Juno Beach is one of the defining examples of Canadian autonomy from Britain.

It's funny how events like these bring together even the most unlikely of couples, like Putin and Obama, who ran into each other in Normandy today.

But all that aside, there aren't enough ways to say thank you for the sacrifices that all Allied men made on that day. Your commitment to your countries and the greater good of humanity will never be forgotten.

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Please also remember the ca 50 000 civilian casualties in Normandy of allied bombings before, during and after the d-day. Bombing raids that were largely inefficient and counter-productive. For some reason, they never seem to be mentioned in all those great documentaries and TV shows.

While each and every allied soldier risking their lives did something honourable and extremely important, it's discomforting to see a story generally told so partially. It's understandable that we want to glorify the generation that liberated europe from the nazis, but there was lots of rape and looting in Normandy as well done by some allied liberators( http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/new-book-reveals-dark-side-of-american-soldiers-in-liberated-france-a-902266.html , http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/jun/05/women-victims-d-day-landings-second-world-war ). War is ugly, and it's very hard to come out of it deserving to be called heroic. Many individuals deserve that term and more, but few war efforts should be glorified too much, this one being no exception.

As for the military operation, there were so much incompetence going on during that operation, on both sides, it's almost hard to wrap one's brain around. Omaha beach must've felt like something out of Dante and it's unimaginable to have to go through that hell.

Not sure where you are getting 50,000 in the pre-invasion, since totals for Operation Overlord is around 40,000 civilians at maximum.

War crimes were committed by all sides. The unfortunate part of that statement is that those crimes were necessary for 'the greater good'. Sin eaters to keep the rest of the world clean as it were.

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Yeah, I thought the wording was a bit sketchy too. He made it seem like everyone else was fighting under the British flag. Funny considering Juno Beach is one of the defining examples of Canadian autonomy from Britain.

It's funny how events like these bring together even the most unlikely of couples, like Putin and Obama, who ran into each other in Normandy today.

But all that aside, there aren't enough ways to say thank you for the sacrifices that all Allied men made on that day. Your commitment to your countries and the greater good of humanity will never be forgotten.

Well, let's not get into that.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Normandy

According to Antony Beevor in his book D-Day, "The British bombing of Caen beginning on D-Day in particular was stupid, counter-productive and above all very close to a war crime. There was an assumption, I think, that Caen must have been evacuated beforehand. That was wishful thinking on the part of the British. There were more than 2,000 casualties there on the first two days and in a way it was miraculous that more people weren't killed when you think of the bombing and the shelling which carried on for days afterwards. French civilians, caught in the middle of these battlefields or under Allied bombing, endured terrible suffering. Even the joys of liberation had their darker side. The war in northern France marked not just a generation, but the whole of the postwar world, profoundly influencing relations between America and Europe."[3]

The bombings also destroyed 96% of Tilly-la-Campagne (Calvados), 95% of Vire (Calvados), 88% of Villers-Bocage (Calvados), 82% of Le Havre(Seine-Maritime), 77% of Saint-Lô (Manche), 76% of Falaise (Calvados), 75% of Lisieux (Calvados), 75% of Caen (Calvados).[4]

It is estimated that the bombings in Normandy before and after D-Day caused over 50,000 civilian deaths. The French historian Henri Amouroux inLa Grande histoire des Français sous l’Occupation, says that 20,000 civilians were killed in Calvados department, 10,000 in Seine-Maritime, 14,800 in the Manche, 4,200 in the Orne, around 3,000 in the Eure. The most deadly allied bombings under the German occupation were these: Lisieux (6-7 June 1944, 700 dead), Vire (6-7 June 1944, 400 dead), Caen (6 June-19 July 1944, about 3,000 dead), Le Havre (5-11 September 1944, more than 5,000 dead)[5][6]

For many families who lived through the war, it was the arrival and passage of British and American forces that was by far the most tormenting experience. It was profoundly traumatic for the people of Normandy. Think of the hundreds of tons of bombs destroying entire cities and wiping out families. But the suffering of civilians was for many years masked by the over-riding image, that of the French welcoming the liberators with open arms.[7]

You can see the references on wikipedia. I don't know why the estimates vary, but whether it was less than 40 000 or 50 000 isn't significant.

I agree that war crimes are generally part of war, however I think we should have come far enough to tell the entire story of the war, even when our side fought a regime that was an embodiment of evil.

There was a culture of total destruction with little to no concern for civilian loss among officers in the british and american air forces. In the trade off between "our soldiers" and the security of civilians, the former won complete allegiance. Which is also part of the reason why many of these bombing raids were useless, the bombers didn't dear bomb close enough the german lines since they were afraid of hitting their own soldiers. What positively separated the allied forces from the axis forces was a political leadership that were generally more concerned with loss of civilian life and moral accountability than obviously its axis counterpart, but this didn't always translate to the battlefield.

While we should of course understand the losses and horrors associated with liberating europe and getting rid of Hitler, in no way were many of the war crimes, especially those inflicted upon the civilian population after the axis forces were driven away, necessary or of any military value. Any excuse of them being done, must be seen in a very dynamic, fatalistic perspective where we accept our own inevitable evil to drive out a greater evil. There should be room to criticize the many specific actions that were not only war crimes, but morally disgusting from our point of view, especially since the propaganda associated with war efforts have done so much to overshadow these actions that many are completely unaware of them or don't want to hear anything about it. It's important to get rid of the long lasting notion of moral exceptionalism that is often attributed to the allied forces, and which has perhaps in part enabled a number of devastating war efforts post WWII. This should be done without in any way belittling the importance of what the allied forces fought for.

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Its been widely reported that British and Canadian troops stormed the beaches over the last few days. I wouldn't want any Canadian on here to think that we in Britain underestimate the contribution you and other commonwealth counties made in the wars. The war was a shared endeavour based around common values and principles.

I think the fact that Putin was there and at least some progress seems to have been made on moving towards a peaceful solution in Ukraine is the greatest legacy of these events.

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Well, let's not get into that.

Well learn your history first before making a statement like that...you have offended other members here with what you have written and clearly didn't think it out before you wrote it...hit the library books!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Normandy

You can see the references on wikipedia. I don't know why the estimates vary, but whether it was less than 40 000 or 50 000 isn't significant.

I agree that war crimes are generally part of war, however I think we should have come far enough to tell the entire story of the war, even when our side fought a regime that was an embodiment of evil.

There was a culture of total destruction with little to no concern for civilian loss among officers in the british and american air forces. In the trade off between "our soldiers" and the security of civilians, the former won complete allegiance. Which is also part of the reason why many of these bombing raids were useless, the bombers didn't dear bomb close enough the german lines since they were afraid of hitting their own soldiers. What positively separated the allied forces from the axis forces was a political leadership that were generally more concerned with loss of civilian life and moral accountability than obviously its axis counterpart, but this didn't always translate to the battlefield.

While we should of course understand the losses and horrors associated with liberating europe and getting rid of Hitler, in no way were many of the war crimes, especially those inflicted upon the civilian population after the axis forces were driven away, necessary or of any military value. Any excuse of them being done, must be seen in a very dynamic, fatalistic perspective where we accept our own inevitable evil to drive out a greater evil. There should be room to criticize the many specific actions that were not only war crimes, but morally disgusting from our point of view, especially since the propaganda associated with war efforts have done so much to overshadow these actions that many are completely unaware of them or don't want to hear anything about it. It's important to get rid of the long lasting notion of moral exceptionalism that is often attributed to the allied forces, and which has perhaps in part enabled a number of devastating war efforts post WWII. This should be done without in any way belittling the importance of what the allied forces fought for.

The grand essay is not necessary.

This thread was for showing respect to the brave Allies who arrived in Normandy 70 years ago. Remembering at all times that this was the begining of the end game to bring a conclusion to the bloodiest conflict, all round ever known, to an end. This was started by an Evil that was never known before. We all know and understand the heavy price paid by all during this time.

Normandy was no different to other fierce battles being waged, its size and scope was, and to finally make it ashore if did require mass sacrifices, not just to soldiers, but to the people of France who were willing and brave enough to take it, and they did. I don't have any particular empathy towards Germen troops stationed along the coast and who took it hard especially the SS, monsters one and all...But always feel for the civilians who knew this is what it would take to free them.

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The grand essay is not necessary.

Then we disagree. I've seen many deserved tributes to those who sacrificed their lives during the landing of Normandy, but too often and for too long has the war crimes inflicted upon the civilian population been an untold story. The bombings of Normandy were not a necessary evil and usually overlooked.

The SS divisions especially were monsters, and we presumably all agree that the regime they represented was pure evil if it ever existed. The general sentiment is though, as evidenced here, that whichever evils we did were necessary, which I vehemently disagree with, although I recognize the occasion is perhaps a wrong one for this view and for that I'm sorry. Empathy? Well, I don't believe in free will so I feel sympathy with any being that suffers for whichever reason.

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Get into what? Are you telling me that Canada fought under the Union Jack? Because we didn't.

It is more complicated than that. We entered the war only 8 years after the Statute of Westminster. It was not as sub-servant and under appreciated as in WWI, it was still not independent or equal. That being said, there is still a tremendous recognition of what Canada did, especially in Southern Italy and the Netherlands.

Its been widely reported that British and Canadian troops stormed the beaches over the last few days. I wouldn't want any Canadian on here to think that we in Britain underestimate the contribution you and other commonwealth counties made in the wars. The war was a shared endeavour based around common values and principles.

I think the fact that Putin was there and at least some progress seems to have been made on moving towards a peaceful solution in Ukraine is the greatest legacy of these events.

I do not think underestimation is the issue, but lack of knowledge. History tends to be taught with a lens of nationalism that taints any truth that could be ascertained. My final history project in high school was an analysis of Canada's importance to the Entente 'victory' in WWI. I had to lead a seminar on the subject and went through the process for about an hour, the patriotic fervour pervasive throughout the presentation and discussion. I finally asked if Canada should have been in the War to begin with, what interest to us, the colonial oppressed and discarded to come to the aid of our Master's honour and interest?

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It is more complicated than that. We entered the war only 8 years after the Statute of Westminster. It was not as sub-servant and under appreciated as in WWI, it was still not independent or equal. That being said, there is still a tremendous recognition of what Canada did, especially in Southern Italy and the Netherlands.

I do not think underestimation is the issue, but lack of knowledge. History tends to be taught with a lens of nationalism that taints any truth that could be ascertained. My final history project in high school was an analysis of Canada's importance to the Entente 'victory' in WWI. I had to lead a seminar on the subject and went through the process for about an hour, the patriotic fervour pervasive throughout the presentation and discussion. I finally asked if Canada should have been in the War to begin with, what interest to us, the colonial oppressed and discarded to come to the aid of our Master's honour and interest?

Sure there was a lot of fighting as a Commonwealth nation under Britain initially. But I was under the impression that the landing on Juno, in addition to the Liberation of the Netherlands and the Italian Campaign were defining moments of Canadian autonomy. Those were examples of Canada fighting as an independent faction for the common goal of the Allied side as opposed to "coming to the aid of our master". In fact, these events, in addition to the new flag and constitution, were the major stepping stones in getting us to where we are today.

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Well learn your history first before making a statement like that...you have offended other members here with what you have written and clearly didn't think it out before you wrote it...hit the library books!

The grand essay is not necessary.

This thread was for showing respect to the brave Allies who arrived in Normandy 70 years ago. Remembering at all times that this was the begining of the end game to bring a conclusion to the bloodiest conflict, all round ever known, to an end. This was started by an Evil that was never known before. We all know and understand the heavy price paid by all during this time.

Normandy was no different to other fierce battles being waged, its size and scope was, and to finally make it ashore if did require mass sacrifices, not just to soldiers, but to the people of France who were willing and brave enough to take it, and they did. I don't have any particular empathy towards Germen troops stationed along the coast and who took it hard especially the SS, monsters one and all...But always feel for the civilians who knew this is what it would take to free them.

How? They took it the wrong way and deliberately made something big out of it, to cause trouble. My purpose of what I wrote was to respect British Soldiers and everybody else. I didn't mean it how it came across, to be honest, I don't care if you took it the wrong way, because I never meant it the wrong way. Some people on this site have issues. My post was meant to shine a light and respect the Soldiers.

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Sure there was a lot of fighting as a Commonwealth nation under Britain initially. But I was under the impression that the landing on Juno, in addition to the Liberation of the Netherlands and the Italian Campaign were defining moments of Canadian autonomy. Those were examples of Canada fighting as an independent faction for the common goal of the Allied side as opposed to "coming to the aid of our master". In fact, these events, in addition to the new flag and constitution, were the major stepping stones in getting us to where we are today.

You are confusing WWII with WWI. It was in the fires of Vimy the Somme and Ypres that Canada was forged as separate from and independent to Britain as they uselessly sent our boys to slaughter as they did their other dominion subjects at Gallipoli. The First World War was when Canada was defined and demanded the changes that lead to The Statute of Westminster. Though our sacrifice and importance was summarily ignored in those six dreaded months in Paris and before and during the war Canada was treated and talked about as something that could be given to the Americans to appease and placate them.

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Exactly. It's much the same as Australia. That's why we commemorate the Anzac landings in Gallipoli first then the events of World War II. That was our defining moment and why we have a day off and remember Anzac Day, whilst just having a moment silence on Remembrance Day.

That's also why the Vimy memorial is on one of your banknotes. Aside from the obvious to please the Frenchies, it's was a clear and defining moment for you Canadians.

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How? They took it the wrong way and deliberately made something big out of it, to cause trouble. My purpose of what I wrote was to respect British Soldiers and everybody else. I didn't mean it how it came across, to be honest, I don't care if you took it the wrong way, because I never meant it the wrong way. Some people on this site have issues. My post was meant to shine a light and respect the Soldiers.

Of course we have issues on this site, hence why it exists. However you think the big wide world swivels around your beloved England. You're still some years way from forming a world view on life, you're still young.

Exactly. It's much the same as Australia. That's why we commemorate the Anzac landings in Gallipoli first then the events of World War II. That was our defining moment and why we have a day off and remember Anzac Day, whilst just having a moment silence on Remembrance Day.

Likewise for New Zealand.

All three nations had their baptism of fire during WWI...Ignorants such as the young Tony E. Would care pay a visit to the Imperial War Museum to learn up on history.

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It was necessary, yet unnecessary if you think about.

Imagine if Britain and France kept their end of the bargain at the start of World War II and indeed formed a 2nd front for Germany. There would have been optimism that the "war would be over by Christmas" much like the belief was in World War I. That may have not been the case, but it would have given the Poles the courage to fight on and given them that much needed morale boost and some hopes of survival. Imagine if the bulk of the Holocaust never occurred (some aspects were already underway prior to the war starting) in it's entirety. Imagine a post World War II without the Iron Curtain, Eastern Bloc and Soviet supremacy.

Well as the saying goes "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" - George Santayana

Let's hope such a tragic event never occurs again...

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What end of which bargain are you referring to... would that be the deal struck between Hitler and Stalin to share Poland between themselves.... seems to me when it comes to claiming the moral high ground it was Britain who made the decision to stand alone against Hitler in 1940, and we have always respected and been grateful for the support which was gladly offered by Can / Aus and NZ. At the time its difficult to imagine, given the cultural, familial and economic ties, the outcome being any different to what it was. There probably was an element of taking that support for granted by the British, which wouldn't be the case now...for example I don't think there were any other Commonwealth soldiers deployed to the Falklands. It was a different relationship and a different mind set and a different attitude towards lands that were very much regarded to be dominions, rather than nation states. I'm not surprised Can / Aus and NZ were defined by war, so was modern day Britain.

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