Normandy landings

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by r33per, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. r33per

    r33per SS.org Regular

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    They'll never read this, but to the men who did what they did on those French beaches 75 years ago today: many thanks.

    I had three uncles on Gold beach, only knew two of them. Some of the stories makes you weep.
     
  2. MetalHex

    MetalHex SS.org Regular

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    The bravest of the brave! They could have ran coward and never be heard or seen of again but they didnt.
     
  3. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Yeah, it's insane what these guys did, storming a beach just to get a toehold to move inland, knowing they were landing in front of fortified machine gun positions and that most of them were facing certain death.
     
  4. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    Well, not exactly. During WW2, the UK could legally call up conscripts of almost any working-age men (under age 41 I believe), with some exemptions for priests, people in specialist jobs which were beneficial to the country etc. Those who refused were jailed. (Better than in WW1 where you would just be shot for refusing or running away)

    That said, still requires absolute balls of steel.

    Total insanity. 10,000 casualties in the first single day. And they had done lots of training, preparation, manufactured special landing boats and tanks - so they knew exactly what they were heading into.

    By August, more than 2 million allies had landed in France, and more than 250,000 casualties. Mind-boggling really.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2019
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  5. Exchanger

    Exchanger SS.org Regular

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    So, a side of your family is German ?
     
  6. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    More likely, one didn't come back.
     
  7. r33per

    r33per SS.org Regular

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    Yes, actually. My mum's brother married a German girl after the war. Her family was from ex-Prussia and were scattered after Hitler annexed the region before the war. They did not fully reunite until the 1970s.

    Other than that, no. I'm British with a family history that we've traced back to the 1700s on both Scottish and English sides. The third uncle I never knew died before I was born. He didn't treat my aunt very well, a result of an alcohol addiction that (in hindsight) may have been caused by PTSD.

    Freedom always costs, I guess - and perhaps some pay its price long after the rest of us enjoy its benefits.
     
  8. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    MOD EDIT: Let's keep politics out of this thread. :yesway:
     
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  9. Exchanger

    Exchanger SS.org Regular

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    Just to clarify, I just thought it was funny how you didn't specify on which side of the fence your uncle were and it could easily sound like you were glorifying the German army.
    Then again, probably a big chunk of those guys thought they were doing the right thing or simply didn't have a choice. Yay, war !!
     
  10. r33per

    r33per SS.org Regular

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    Ah! No worries

    And agreed. Many of them were just boys, really - what option was there when your country came calling? Furthermore, i do believe acts of bravery and heroism are not the purview of the victor: those facing defeat are given to extraordinary feats of courage in equal measure.
     
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  11. Merrekof

    Merrekof SS.org Regular

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    Hope this is not too political but every year thuis sorta grinds my gears. I'm not trying to minimize the losses on the US side or provoke anyone. Just my two cents.

    This is probably a mighty unpopular opinion but the Allied invasion wasn't intended to free Europe from nazi reign. It was to keep communism out of Europe. The nazi occopation was already crumbling within Europe. In 1944, the nazi troops in Europe were reserve troops, POW's turned into soldiers, old men, children and wounded soldiers.
    The nazi reign was at its peak around Christmas 1941. After that the Soviets mounted a huge counter offensive wich destroyed about 90% of the entire German army. We have the Soviets to thank for freeing Europe from Hitler.
    Bear in mind that the US an Germany had a trade agreement. Germany got much needed oil refinery for the luftwaffe and the US needed rubber. Both nations sort supported each other in this manner in their wars. The US invasion would probably not have happened if Hitler stayed out of Russia.

    Credit where it's due. The US troops fought hard and well for Belgian citizens at Bastogne aka the battle of the Bulge. Hitler sent the best of his remaining army there to destroy the allied invasion and they held Bastogne against all odds.

    Some numbers; allied casualties in Europe were indeed around 250.000. There are no official numbers for the Soviet casualties but several sources claim this number is between 12 and 20 million if I recall correctly.
     
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  12. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    I don't think you're being "too political" but I also don't think I agree with you. That said, I could absolutely be wrong so I'm willing to hear you out.

    On my end, though... The United States entered World War II the day after Pearl Harbor, December 8th, 1941, when we declared war on Japan. The other Axis powers, Italy and Germany, declared war on us a few days later (as we were declaring war on their ally), and we reciprocated immediately. This is, as you point out, almost at the peak of the Nazi power. We were primarily involved in the Pacific theater for the next several years, but had been pressing for an Allied attack of Germany by way of France since pretty much the moment we declared war, while Germany was busy in Russia. While there was absolutely some playing of both sides in the early days of the war, with trade deals with the Germans but Lend-Lease with the UK, that was out the window once we were openly at war, by the end of 1941. You don't often trade with nations you're at war with, you know?

    After the war, absolutely, communism became a concern, and that was pretty evident in the peace process (look at what happened to Germany). But, when the Allies invaded Normandy in 1944, they did so in response to Soviet pleading to open a Western front to split the German defenses. I don't want to undercut the Soviet's role in this - they took staggering losses and we might not have won WWI had Hitler stayed out of Russia, but it's hard to believe we were acting to keep communism out of Europe when the Soviets themselves were asking us to invade France.

    But, as an American, I'm sure I'm getting a somewhat filtered version of events, so if there's something I'm missing then yeah, I'd love to hear about it.
     
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  13. Merrekof

    Merrekof SS.org Regular

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    As a Belgian, I also get a somewhat filtered version. For example, my grandfather grew up during the war and in his head WW2 was "Germany, France and his backyard. The Americans saved us..and there were Russian spies!" :p

    About the decleration of war. Many speculated about the intention of declaring war with the US by Hitler, there are historians who think Hitlers main goal was to get Japan to attack Russia in the east. They were losing operation typhoon at Moscow and thought Japan would help them split the Russian forces. I think this is a likely scenario because Hitler was desperate, he NEEDED the caucasus for oil resources. Otherwise his war machine would stop working.

    To be clear on trading. US-German trade was in decline in the 30's and stopped around 1939 when Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia, I believe.

    I don't know if the Soviets actually asked to invade France. I do however know about the Lend lease program where the Soviets (among other European nations) got military equipment, sometimes in exchange for ores and gold from the US.

    Communism started being a concern after WW1. For example, the communist uprising in Glasgow in 1919. If the US did not land in Nomandy, then mainland Europe could have been communist after the war. Not one leadership in Europe wanted that I guess.

    The truth might lie somewhere in between, there are things in history that we will never be certain about.

    I live close to an airbase with a US airforce squad stationed there. I have had my conversations with them before, on saturday nights at the local bar. :D
     
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  14. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire Pickup hoarder

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    Ehh not exactly.
    The US government delayed any kind of 2 front war for years, specifically because they wanted to weaken the Soviet Union, and they needed time to pump out more armaments/troops for a mass invasion. Churchill advocated against the USA and UK delaying help to the Soviets for as long as possible so that they'd be less of a threat once the Germans were crushed. The USA also used both nuclear bombs on Japan specifically because they wanted to intimidate Stalin (it worked).
    1. The Russians did do the majority of the dirty work engaging the Germans on the Eastern Front. Total german casualties from the eastern front were around 5 million (1 million dead and 4 million wounded/POW), which is nearly all of the casualties they took. Only about 750,000 casualties (150k dead, 600k wounded/POW) were taken between the Western Front and North Africa. Soviets were at 20+ million (the most recent estimate I saw said around 25million) casualties because they essentially threw a red horde to grind the germans down for the first 4 years of the offensive. Average lifespan of a Russian on the Eastern front was 6 weeks, so they had unbelievably high turnover compared to other allies.
    2. The Russian would never have succeeded without American supplies from the Lend lease program, specifically vehicles (which were basically nonexistent in the USSR) and Spam (no seriously). The Russian army treated their soldiers like shit. They barely fed them a few hundred calories a day. They barely paid them. They basically couldn't get removed from the battlefield unless they were dead, though often times the Russians would just leave their dead. Millions of soldiers never had their bodies recovered and they were marked as deserters. After 1942 or so, there was a serious purge of the politically installed officers and actually tactically proficient officers like Zhukov took their place. This lead to a huge change in doctrine/training which managed to turn the Russian army into a competent fighting force.
    3. Any troops that managed to survive past Stalingrad were seriously battle hardened and ravenous for food/loot/women due to the things I talked about in point #2.
    4. The Germans were desperate for oil due to the loss of their refineries in North Africa, so they essentially had to push into the oil fields of Ukraine. The problem was that they were in the middle of a massive spearhead towards Moscow when Hitler diverted multiple tank units to take said oil fields.
    5. The luftwaffe was of limited use beyond 1943 due to extreme fatigue of pilots (many pilots were flying for 20+hr shifts early in Barbarossa), their planes were in disarray, they lacked armaments/fuel and the losses they sustained in the Battle of Britain.
    6. There were USA companies that dealt with Nazi Germany during WW2, like Ford, Dupont and a few others, though there was no official policy that I'm aware of where we supplied them oil.
    7. As far as the troops in the Western Front being reserve troops in 1944, I've never heard that before. The Nazis were supplying reserve troops (Volksturm) made of old men and young boys mostly to the immediate area around Germany more so around 1945, right near the fall of Berlin.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
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  15. possumkiller

    possumkiller SS.org Regular

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    Also an American that was brought up with the same filtered version.

    Stalin begged the allies to invade Europe and open a western front on Hitler since 1941. Roosevelt wanted it. Churchill wanted America to help Britain in Africa and Asia and postpone helping Stalin. The Russians were allies but not friends by any means. Stalin was on the brink of defeat until the bloodiest battle in the history of humanity at Stalingrad. Once the red army began pushing Hitler back they built up momentum and came through Europe like a freight train. The war between Germany and Russia was very different than the war between Germany and the western allies. Russians and Germans had committed so many brutal atrocities toward one another that it was a brutal war of personal hatred. Germans were afraid of being captured by the soviets.

    There is no official word from anyone saying that the Normandy invasion was to keep the communists from taking the rest of Europe. However, looking at the timeline and other deals that were made and the attitude of the western allies toward the soviets, it does seem like a pretty big coincidence that Stalin begged the allies to open a second front for years and was ignored then suddenly when they are kicking ass and don't need help anymore and come closing in on western Europe, the allies scramble to get into Germany as quickly as possible.

    Check out Oliver Stone's alternative history of America I think it's called. You'd be pretty surprised by a lot of things that get rewritten or remembered quite differently so many decades after the war. Like the real circumstances around the use of nuclear weapons in Japan.

    I'm not trying to play down anyone's part in the war because it most certainly takes a crazy amount of nerves to actively take part in war. I spent three years in our last war which always seemed like a camping trip or turkey shoot compared to those 20th century epic wars. I still have a great amount of respect for American's part in WW2. However, after being educated about all sides, I have realized that the Soviets did the bulk of the fighting against Germany. This was played down in the west after the war for the obvious political reasons of the time.

    Another shitty thing is even though we ignored Stalin asking for help from 1941 to 1943, when we asked them to help finish off Japan in 1945 they had our back.
     
  16. possumkiller

    possumkiller SS.org Regular

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    Also just to put Stalingrad into perspective a bit. The bloodiest battle in American history is the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War. There were 750000 casualties from the entire war 1861-1865. The Battle of Stalingrad lasted from the middle of 1942 to early 1943. The total casualties for the Battle of Stalingrad is 1.8 million.
     
  17. wedge_destroyer

    wedge_destroyer SS.org Regular

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    Per #6, I'm not aware of any bulk oil, but there was a fuel additive that only the US refined at the time which the Germans used in tanks and ships. Never mind that it was in violation with the Trading with the Enemy Act, and they faced few if any repercussions of their trading with the enemy.
     
  18. possumkiller

    possumkiller SS.org Regular

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    Rockefeller US Standard Oil Co.

    Prescott Bush (father of H. W.) was some kind of New York banker that was put out of business under the Trading With the Enemy Act before becoming a politician.
     
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  19. wedge_destroyer

    wedge_destroyer SS.org Regular

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    Thanks I couldn't remember if it was Standard Oil or Dupont that made it.

    Yes indeed, he was with the Union Banking Corporation, which was also tied in with IG Farben.
     
  20. Merrekof

    Merrekof SS.org Regular

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    About nr 6. I did not mean oil itself, I meant the additive as mentioned above.

    Nr. 7: the reserves were at the end. Mind you, wounded soldiers from the eastern front got patched up and sent back into battle througout Europe if I recall correctly. Morale was low, as you can imagine.

    As for Soviet morale, lets say they have a different morale than us westerners..

    Like I said earlier, it grinds my gears. We celebrate the liberation every year but forget to mention the biggest contributor because "we don't really like 'm"?
     

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