D-Day 75th Anniversary

A bit disheartened by the pompous tv presentations of the events.
British servicemen were fighting to defeat the Nazis, and they’d resolved to have a new Britain, but instead it was repeatedly stated that it was “for freedom”.
I’d not seen the statues before, but the American one seems more human.
Nor had I seen the purple poppy – to remind us of the loss of animals.

A shame, given all the frictions there’s been with the U.S.S.R. and with Russia over the years since, that Russia couldn’t be at the events. The Steve Bell cartoon is controversial cos it talks about freedom for Europe, when of course, the Eastern bloc did not enjoy freedom post the German surrender, but D-Day can blind us to both the Russian effort and (infamously) the allied campaign through Italy.

Maybe I missed the representation or participation of Canada, the free Poles, and all the other countries especially from the Empire at the event.
I understand a commentator on BBC Radio 5 kept saying how the Canadians reached furthest into Normandy on D-Day; at some chagrin to those who know and celebrate the Kings Shropshire Light Infantry who were in fact went the deepest and captured the ridge overlooking Caen.

My own efforts to remember have instead been to watch more documentaries from the internet, and I was particularly struck by one that explored Monty more – concluding that he was a bit useless in communicating with peers and superiors, very good with his own officers and soldiers, and has perhaps been misjudged on Caen and on Operation Goodwood.
That his objective was for the Nazis to exhaust their armies and resources in the predictable and inevitable counter-attacks to any Allied successes, so when the break-through was to come, progress was much faster. (But how Caen suffered.)
I don’t know enough, but the “Patton” movie and other films suggests huge frustration at not taking Antwerp faster to relieve the burden of the long supply lines, and Operation Market Garden seems to be very much about wanting to gain territory quickly.

One thought on “D-Day 75th Anniversary

  1. In the battle for Normandy the British and Canadians faced the toughest opposition. They were faces by numerous SS divisions including SS Hitler Jug end and SS das Reich. The battle turned out to be attrition Al. This action enabled the Americans to break out of the Cotentin peninsular and into Normandy. One must take into account massive ego’s of Montgomery and Patten. Both believed they could handle the war better. Montgomery also served during the first world war and his expieriences effected his decisions. The ethos was metal not flesh. Losses must be kept to a minimum. A democracy would not tolerate losses similar to the Russians.
    One mistake was that after taking Antwerp Monty neglected to take the Shelt eustary which remained in German hands and made the port of Antwerp unusable. Operation Market Garden, the taking of the bridge at Ahrnem was a good idea. If successful it would have opened the way to the Ruhr. However it did turn out to be a bridge too far. The Dutch resistance had told the British that an SS divsion was refitting in the area but this information was ignored as unreliable. The plan was considered very bold. Not the sort of thing that Monty did.
    Can I recommend a book on the subject of DAY. It is called D Day the battle for Normandy and is written by Anthony Beavour. It is an excellent book.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s