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  1. #1
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    70 years ago today the liberation of mainland Europe began.

    The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you

    You are about to embark upon the 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 and devotion to duty and skill in
    battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!

    Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great
    and noble undertaking.

    General Dwight d Eisenhower.
    Flying the Bluehouse colors in Western Canada! Let me know if you want some rad skis!!

    "He is god of snow; the one called Ullr. Son of Sif, step son of Thor. He is so fierce a bowman and ski-runner that none may contend! He is quite beautiful to look upon and has all the characteristics of a warrior. It is wise to invoke the name of Ullr in duels!"

    -The Gylfaginning

  2. #2
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    My great uncle was a trooper with the 101st airborne and was killed that day. My uncle spoke to his best friend about 20 years ago who was just behind him and they prepared to jump into France. German anti aircraft fire hit the C47 just as the stick was exiting. My uncle was hit just as he exited the aircraft and was dead by the time he landed.

    I remember visiting his grave at the American cemetery in Colville France, overlooking the beaches. It was 1991 and we were the first family to visit. It was quite a moving experience. Years later we took my grandmother back to lay a wreath on her brothers grave.
    Flying the Bluehouse colors in Western Canada! Let me know if you want some rad skis!!

    "He is god of snow; the one called Ullr. Son of Sif, step son of Thor. He is so fierce a bowman and ski-runner that none may contend! He is quite beautiful to look upon and has all the characteristics of a warrior. It is wise to invoke the name of Ullr in duels!"

    -The Gylfaginning

  3. #3
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    My Uncle was on the beach that day. My father waded ashore in August in "Operation Dragoon" (sometimes called "Anvil") that August. Both made it through but are gone now. My Uncle lived the last 50 years of his life with a German machine-gun bullet lodged against his spinal cord in his neck.

    When my Uncle landed the landing craft hit a sandbar a couple hundred yards from the beach, they piled out, ran across the sandbar and sank in 20 feet of water on the other side. They were carring like 70 pounds of gear. He said he ran across the bottom until he hit the beach.

  4. #4
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    My uncle died that day. It broke my father's family.

    My father, a vet, still distances himself from anything remotely military.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  5. #5
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    Great Uncle went ashore DD+3.

    I spent a bunch of family summer vacations on Normandy beaches as a young kid back in the early-mid seventies. We'd often find shrapnel and bullet casings while building sandcastles. There was one quiet little beach near Arromanches where a Sherman tank was sat where it'd had been left in the dunes... just quietly rusting away.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  6. #6
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    7 years ago, actor Charles Durning gave a little description about his landing on the beach. Pretty strong stuff if you haven't seen it.

    Brought to you by Carl's Jr.

  7. #7
    spook Guest
    killin kills.

  8. #8
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    I spent some time in Normandy 5 years ago, definitely the heaviest experience of my lifetime to look down on Omaha beach and see all the windsurfers and vacationers and then turn around to see the white crosses of the cemetery.

    My mother and I laid a wreath on my Great Uncle's grave and I was able to tell my grandmother about it that evening (it was her brother) and will never forget that conversation.

  9. #9
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    And let's not forget the sacrifices made on the Eastern front by Soviet troops in a coordinated effort with the Americans and British called Operation Bagration. Some say that the D Day invasion was a mere distraction from the real war on the eastern front, where 70-80% of German losses occurred.

    Strangely absent from our grade school history books.

    Let's do some livin'
    After, we die

  10. #10
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    on a somewhat related note, the last living Navajo codetalker died on Wednesday.
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
    Strangely absent from our grade school history books.
    Very true.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
    And let's not forget the sacrifices made on the Eastern front by Soviet troops in a coordinated effort with the Americans and British called Operation Bagration. Some say that the D Day invasion was a mere distraction from the real war on the eastern front, where 70-80% of German losses occurred.

    Strangely absent from our grade school history books.
    Indeed. The Soviets won WWII in Europe, not the US. Had a grandfather that fought on the Eastern Front.

    Not to take away from the sacrifice and significance of D-Day in any way.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
    And let's not forget the sacrifices made on the Eastern front by Soviet troops in a coordinated effort with the Americans and British called Operation Bagration. Some say that the D Day invasion was a mere distraction from the real war on the eastern front, where 70-80% of German losses occurred.

    Strangely absent from our grade school history books.
    the russians lost 9 million service people

  14. #14
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    My grandfather was a combat engineer, North Africa, Italy, Southern France and Germany. He survived the war.

    ETA, in early June 1984 I was off the coast of Normandy for the 40th anniversary. My ship, CVN-69, USS Eisenhower was the center piece of US Naval force on that day. Never got to go ashore.
    Last edited by scottyb; 06-06-2014 at 01:10 PM.
    watch out for snakes

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
    And let's not forget the sacrifices made on the Eastern front by Soviet troops in a coordinated effort with the Americans and British called Operation Bagration. Some say that the D Day invasion was a mere distraction from the real war on the eastern front, where 70-80% of German losses occurred.

    Strangely absent from our grade school history books.
    Watched "The World Wars" on the History channel app the other day. Really well done documentary. I was completely ignorant of many details of the war. I had no idea how close the allies came to losing the war. Hitler really had no reason to declare war on Russia. I realize history is somewhat subjective, but this documentary really harped on all the critical mistakes Hitler made. Made me shudder to think about the 'what-ifs'

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jma233 View Post
    Made me shudder to think about the 'what-ifs'
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin

  17. #17
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    One wonders if Hitler and his generals would have committed suicide if it was the Americans or British first into Berlin instead of the Red Army.

    Let's do some livin'
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  18. #18
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    One thing that's always tripped me out is the magnitude of the coastal defenses - thousands and thousands of artillery and machine gun emplacements along hundreds of miles of coastline, all built in 5 years. Sure slave labor helped with the costs obviously but just the logistics alone are stunning.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
    One wonders if Hitler and his generals would have committed suicide if it was the Americans or British first into Berlin instead of the Red Army.
    We would have been there first you know. Allied forces stopped and allowed the Russians to take Berlin for political reasons, not military ones..

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    Hilarious. This docu actually discussed how Hitler was injured in no mans land between the trenches in WWI and a british soldier had him in his sights at point blank range and couldn't pull the trigger on a defenseless man. Who knows if its actually true but it makes quite a story.

  21. #21
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    Also not to take away from the heroes at D Day, but even ignoring the Russian Counter-offensive, the liberation of mainland Europe by Western forces started much earlier than D Day with the landings at Salerno, Calabria and Taranto.

    Invading Russia was certainly a mistake by Hitler, but not completely without reason. Russia's alliance with Hitler was a delaying tactic. Russia appeared to be working to build troops in hopes of crushing Germany and taking Europe themselves. Also, Hitler needed their oil. By 1941, Russia was building forces along the western border and preparing to turn the taps off to Germany. Had Germany lost access to Russian oil, the war would have ended quickly.
    Living vicariously through myself.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceman View Post
    We would have been there first you know. Allied forces stopped and allowed the Russians to take Berlin for political reasons, not military ones..
    Not spending lives on territory already given to Russian control at Yalta probably counts as a military reason?
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by PNWbrit View Post
    Not spending lives on territory already given to Russian control at Yalta probably counts as a military reason?
    Well Berlin was well within the Western Alliance's grasp and forward movement was stopped because of the provisions of the Yalta agreement (and much against Patton's wishes), and because we would have almost certainly been at war with Russia from that point on, not because of German resistance. Better?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by PNWbrit View Post
    Not spending lives on territory already given to Russian control at Yalta probably counts as a military reason?
    Come on now, we all know that the people calling the shots in Washington have always gotten off on spending American lives needlessly. Look at every war we've fought since WWII.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottyb View Post
    My ship, CVN-69, USS Eisenhower was the center piece of US Naval force on that day.
    Huh - my Uncle was the supply officer in charge of the Nimitz and Eisenhower based in Norfolk. Lt. Commander Paul Jacroux ring a bell?

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