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D-Day, the Normandy Landings - June 6, 1944


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Author Topic: D-Day, the Normandy Landings - June 6, 1944  (Read 7958 times)
Jorden Virdana
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« Reply #195 on: June 07, 2009, 03:57:47 am »



Utah Beach-South (back)
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Jorden Virdana
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« Reply #196 on: June 07, 2009, 03:58:05 am »

negligible and had no effect on the phasing of the succeeding waves. Enemy artillery had fired a few air bursts at sea, but otherwise there was no opposition at H Hour.

The first troops to reach shore were from the 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry. Capt. Leonard T. Schroeder, leading Company F, was the first man from a landing craft to reach the beach.[3][4] The 1st Battalion landed a few minutes later. Both came ashore considerably south of the designated beaches. The 2nd Battalion should have hit Uncle Red Beach opposite Exit 3. The 1st Battalion was supposed to land directly opposite the strong point at les Dunes de Varreville. The landings, however, were made astride Exit 2 about 2,000 yards (1,800 metres) south.
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Jorden Virdana
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« Reply #197 on: June 07, 2009, 03:58:38 am »



USS Nevada fires on positions near Utah beach
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« Reply #198 on: June 07, 2009, 03:59:22 am »

This error was potentially very serious, for it could have caused great confusion. But, in fact, it did not. The original plans, in which each assault section had a specific mission, could not be carried out in detail, of course.

Brig. Gen. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., assistant commander of the 4th Division, had requested several times, against his commander's best judgement, to go in the first wave and personally lead the initial attack on the beach strong points. His written request was finally approved by Gen. Barton, 4th Division Commanding General.

Roosevelt was the only general to land with the initial seaborne assault wave on D-Day, coming ashore in Schroeder's LCVP.[4] At age 57, he was the oldest soldier to land. When Roosevelt realized the landing craft had drifted south with the current and smoke more than a mile from their objective—and that the first wave was a mile off course—he personally made a reconnaissance of the area immediately to the rear of the beach to locate the causeways which were to be used for the advance inland.

He then returned to the point of landing, contacted the commanders of the two battalions (Lt. Cols. Conrad C. Simmons and Carlton O. MacNeely), and coordinated the attack. Roosevelt's famous quote was, "We’ll start the war from here!" These impromptu plans worked successfully and with little confusion. With artillery landing close by, each followup regiment was personally welcomed on the beach by a cool, calm and collected Roosevelt, who inspired all by humor and confidence. He pointed almost every regiment to its changed objectives. For his actions on Utah beach, Roosevelt was later awarded the Medal of Honor.

The German forces responsible for the defense of the beach were elements of the 709th Infantry Division, commanded by Generalleutnant Karl-Wilhelm von Schlieben, and the 352nd Infantry Division, commanded by Generalleutnant Dietrich Kraiss.
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« Reply #199 on: June 07, 2009, 04:00:15 am »



American troops move onto Utah Beach, carrying full equipment. A landing craft, in the background, jams the harbor.
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« Reply #200 on: June 07, 2009, 04:01:00 am »

Success

By the end of D-Day, some 23,250 troops had safely landed on the beach, along with 1,700 vehicles. Only about 200 casualties were recorded during the landings. Several factors contributed to the success at Utah compared to the bloody battle at nearby Omaha:

    * Fewer German fortifications: The defense of the area was largely based on flooding the coastal plain behind the beaches, and there were fewer bunkers.
    * Effective pre-invasion bombardment: Many of the known large bunkers, such as the coastal battery near Saint-Martin-de-Varreville, were destroyed from the air prior to D-Day. B-26 Marauder medium bombers of the U.S. Ninth Air Force, flying below 5,000 feet (1,500 m), provided close air support for the assaulting forces.
    * DD tanks: Nearly all of these swimming tanks made the beach because they were launched half as far out as at Omaha and were able to steer into the current more effectively to avoid swamping in the rough seas.
    * Mis-landings: Because most of the invasion force landed opposite Exit 2, this one was the most used; other exits were more heavily fortified.
    * Paratroopers: The most significant difference was the 13,000 men from the 101st Airborne Division and the 82nd Airborne Division already fighting inland. For 5 hours before the first Utah landings, the paratroopers (and glider forces) had been fighting their way out toward the beach, clearing the enemy from positions along the exits. The paratroopers also greatly confused the enemy and prevented any significant counterattack to the landing area.

The true cost of Utah Beach is reflected in the heavy airborne casualties: The 101st alone lost about 40% of its forces on D-Day. Also, the 1,000 casualties during Exercise Tiger, a practice run for the Utah assault, also could be considered part of the price for D-Day.
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« Reply #201 on: June 07, 2009, 04:01:27 am »

Notable people on Utah Beach

    * Philip Hart - U.S. senator
    * Elliot Richardson - Nixon-era politician, medical officer in the 4th wave ashore
    * Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. - 4th ID general, landed in the 1st wave
    * J. D. Salinger - U.S. author
    * James Van Fleet - 4th ID colonel
    * Hugh Nibley - Celebrated Mormon scholar
    * Stu Clarkson - Chicago Bears Football Player
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« Reply #202 on: June 07, 2009, 04:02:16 am »

Utah beach song

In June 1994, the town of Carentan (Normandy), near Sainte-Mère-Eglise, produced an important show to commemorate its liberation by the 101st airborne forces in June 1944. This song, written by Daniel Bourdelès, is extracted from this show.

Utah Beach

Lace waves on its bared back
the beach is soft and hurtless
pulling on it the sea rollers
as we ride up a blanket
They won't keep cold our memories
kings can born and die in the future

White balls are bouncing lights
pushed by the children laughs
These are immensely songs of peace
in this ambush world
Utah Beach colored it is almost beautiful
even with its all on edge pain

The old requiem long shivers
always undulate on the beach
Seaweed make chrysanthemum dreams
on the shell marble
Some ladies go on a pilgrimage
between Sainte-Mère-Eglise and clouds


Original French song written by Daniel Bourdelès in the CD "La mémoire du ciel".
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« Reply #203 on: June 07, 2009, 04:04:19 am »



American paratroopers in a French village at St. Marcouf, Utah Beach, France, 8 June 1944.
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