Anniversary of D-Day
It had been anticipated for a long time during the ravages of World War II. The final assault that would lead the Allied forces on the way to Berlin to end the bloodiest global conflict in human history, showcasing some of man’s greatest technical achievements, unfortunately for the purpose of killing millions. Never before had mankind been on the brink of such technical mastery, but at the cost of human life and dignity. Never the less, a carefully planned operation that would use brilliant counter-intelligence and misdirection would ensue so that thousands of soldiers would not end up stranded on the beaches waiting to be wiped out by German Panzer divisions.
General Patton, forced to sit out part of his command for slapping a soldier who had lost his nerve in battle would be used as a decoy with thousands of perfectly rubber molded tanks, jeeps, and trucks sitting out in the open to be photographed by German reconnaissance flights over the coast of Great Britain were just part of the façade. For German high command so feared the might of General George Patton that they kept constant tabs on his whereabouts and the Allies wanted the Nazis thinking that Patton’s army would be massing at a point that would target Pas de Calais rather than the beaches of Normandy, where General Dwight Eisenhower and his staff had planned.
Worst of fears
The worst nightmare of Allied Command and Dwight Eisenhower would be another Dunkirk, the ill-fated amphibious invasion launched by England and France in 1940 that had ended in disaster and had left more than 60 thousand French soldiers stranded after nearly 300 thousand British soldiers had to be evacuated by private ship owners, merchant freighters, and fishermen who were bombed relentlessly by Goering’s Luftwaffe as they withdrew with Britain’s last hope in uniform. The Allies resorted to leaving corpses dressed as British officers where they knew German units might discover the bodies. On those dead bodies top secret documents would be planted to intentionally mislead German military intelligence.
The Allies even resorted to Astrology to try and anticipate what Hitler’s next moves would be. The Nazis used spiritual practices to try and deceive Churchill and his military strategy as well. A horrid Demonic worship was embraced by many of the SS and Nazi commanders who had embraced the idea of a Thousand Year Reich that would reign over the entire world. There was no doubt that every avenue was being explored and the forces of darkness and light were about to engage in mortal combat!
On June 6, 1944 in the cold early hours of the morning after days of North Atlantic storms the largest invasion fleet in human history set out to liberate Europe from the iron fist of the Nazis and the horrific genocide that had been unleashed against the Jews. It was perhaps the defining moment of the 20th Century when good was poised to finally triumph over evil lest the world be plunged into darkness and the cruel grasp of fascism for untold decades to come. Battleships and Destroyers brought Canadian, American, and French troops just beyond range of the massive guns on the shore of Normandy and the infantry began to off load onto the Higgins Boats (landing crafts) made of plywood to take them to their rendezvous with fate.
Before the fighting men would ever wade the cold waters onto the Normandy beaches a fantastic barrage of shelling by the combined fleet transformed the shores into a dark grayish cloud of explosions. Allied airpower strafed the Germany emplacements and dropped 500 hundred pound bombs onto the bunkers trying to soften up the formidable defenses that would await the soldiers who would wade ashore braving precise machine gun fire that peppered the waters with bullet splashes and left many a floating corpse staining the ocean with their blood as the battle wore on.
Beaches strategically labeled by Allied planners as “Juno” “Omaha” “Sword” and “Utah” were stormed by American, British, Canadians, and French only to meet the expert range of German marksmen and the deadly MG 42 general purpose light rapid fire machine gun which ravaged the ranks of some 160 thousand troops that somehow found a foothold on the hellish gauntlet of death and began over-running the fixed defenses of the Wehrmacht. Yet, many US Naval personnel came within close range to rescue the wounded that were piling up on the beaches and drifting in the tide as the desperate fighting raged on.
Reactions of leaders
General Eisenhower had planned on resigning if the massive amphibious assault failed. President Roosevelt led the entire nation in a 5 minute prayer on coast to coast radio to God for the victory of the combined Allied efforts. Winston Churchill, who had been the guiding force during the dark days of the beginning of the war who had exhorted the British people to prevail through the German aerial bombings and V-2 rocket attacks chewed his cigar sipped brandy and often times barked at the Royal family who had considered him to be too fierce and impulsive to be a public leader! Yet, by the sheer force of his personality Winston Churchill had forged a united belief in the cause of his people, America, and the ideals of freedom against an evil foe that threatened the entire world!
Truth in the aftermath
The invasion of Normandy on D-Day was not just a hard won battle that signified the strength of one army over another. It was not a matter of attrition and who could spill more blood in order to win than the other aggressor. D-Day was about a conflict that evoked the power of faith in God, of prayer as men went into combat most likely to die, and the defeat of an evil that was not just about the sadism of men or the genocide perpetrated against those maligned for their differences. Judeo-Christian morals were at the root of this massive operation to liberate Europe and the rest of the world. Without that moral commitment Europe and even Japan may have ended up very differently as the victor may very well have not been as gracious and forgiving. The wounds might have healed while the dead were being buried and the cities being rebuilt, but without the guiding hand of the creator to sooth the aching hearts, to quench the fires of hatred, or to allow mercy to be shown to an enemy that would not have extended the same consideration-this is an aspect that is as truthful as it is ignored by the secular historians but well recalled by the fighting men who endured unimaginable horrors on the battlefield.