Today is June 6, 2014. Three score and ten years ago the allied forces assaulted what was then known as "Fortress Europe." Adolph Hitler had spent years and materials creating concrete bunkers, walls, steel obstacles and gun emplacements along the French side of the English Channel. Hitler was certain that an invasion was coming he just did not know where.
The D-Day Invasion of June 6, 1944, was fraught with errors and bad judgement on both sides of the conflict. For example, a significant number of the airborne troops who jumped into France the night before the invasion missed their assigned drop zones by miles.
One group that missed their assigned drop zone landed in the middle of a French town that was occupied by German troops. Many of these brave Americans were killed by withering German fire before they hit the ground.
The pre-invasion naval bombardment that was supposed to take out the concrete bunkers overlooking the landing beaches overshot their intended targets and failed to soften up the German defenses.
Some Allied Troops were landed on one beach, the wrong beach, and their support equipment did not follow them and was landed on their assigned beach.
The German Fifteenth Panzer Regiment was stationed near the Pas de Calais, the narrowest span of the English Channel. Hitler was convinced that the invasion would land at the Pas de Calais. Despite requests from his commanders in the field he would not commit the 15th Panzer Regiment to Normandy to repel the landings where the actual invasion took place. Had he done so, the invasion would have been successfully repelled and the invasion would have ended in disaster.
The German Air Force fighter planes were pulled back from the French coast to protect them from allied bombing raids. This made it impossible for the German Air Force to effectively support the German ground troops at the coast.
Despite all these SNAFU's the invasion was successful by the narrowest of margins. The battles fought on D-Day could really have gone either way. However, the allies did prevail and established a beach head and thus began the fall of the Nazi occupation of Europe and the fall of Nazi Germany.
So on this seventieth anniversary of that great day, I remember those brave men who so valiantly served. I honor their memory. Most of all I thank them for stepping forward when their country called. I am proud to be an American, to be from a people that produced such great men. May God continue to so bless the United States.