Canadian NCOs going over a map of their objective, Courseulles.
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Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! You are about to embark upon a great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers in arms on other fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.
Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened, he will fight savagely.
But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man to man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our home fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to victory!
I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory!
Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessings of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.
— General Dwight D. Eisenhower to the Allied troops, 6 June 1944
June 06, 2012, 12:06pm / 158
Two civilians of Cherbourg welcome (and more or less maul) an American soldier of the 9th US ID upon the liberation their town.
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Operation Neptune D-Day objectives.
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Canadian troops heading towards Juno, 6 June 1944
Juno Beach was the landing area for 3rd Canadian Division and the Canadians were very concerned about their role in the invasion—and rightly so. The memory of the 2nd Canadian Division’s destruction at Dieppe was still a fresh wound to the country. However, despite the failure of Dieppe, the Canadians had learned a great many lessons from the aforementioned raid, and the 3rd Canadian Division, in spite of heavy opposition at Courselles-sur-Mer, broke through and advanced nearly to their objective—the airfield at Carpiquet, west of Caen. Perhaps it was because of Dieppe that the Canadians were the ones to make he deepest penetration of any Allied land forces on 6 June with moderate causalities.
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There was another guy beside me and we were the first two off that boat. I went immediately into the water. It was shallow enough that I was able to get up. There was nothing. No bodies—because we were the bodies.
— Michael Accordino, an Engineer who landed in the first wave on Omaha with Company A of the 299th Engineer Combat Battalion.
June 06, 2012, 8:35am / 19
My men don’t surrender. I don’t want to hear of any soldier under my command being captured unless he has been hit. Even if you are hit, you can still fight back. That’s not just bull shit either. The kind of man that I want in my command is just like the lieutenant in Libya, who, with a Luger against his chest, jerked off his helmet, swept the gun aside with one hand, and busted the hell out of the Kraut with his helmet. Then he jumped on the gun and went out and killed another German before they knew what the hell was coming off. And, all of that time, this man had a bullet through a lung. There was a real man!
— General George S Patton to men of the Third Army, 5 June 1944
June 06, 2012, 2:07am / 71