Thursday, June 7, 2012

Oldest Military Blogger D Day Delay

Oldest Military Blogger D Day Delay

D Day on The S.S.George E. Pickett

Today is the 67th anniversary of the Normandy Landings.

Oh yes. They knew we were coming. The 82nd Airborne had been dropped the day before. They fought their way back to the beach.They did not know that the landings would be delayed because of a little bad weather. I'll bet they were outraged beyond anything I could imagine, wondering how they were supposed to hold their objectives without the backup they had been promised, to be, "right behind them."

Waiting for the sound of bugles signifying that the Cavalry, was en route, to the rescue.

To say the least,they were upset. They were tired. They were lucky.

Let me explain where I'm going with this.

People get killed in wars.

Soldiers get killed in war.

We are not trained to see the whole picture.

Our superior officers tell us that we are a small link in the whole chain ,of what the fighting is all about. Don't get negative thoughts regarding your orders.Why are we going to do this, this way, when it seems so much easier, to do it, that way? It's not exactly like they issue a rain check, to some outdoor activity and everyone is inconvenienced for a few days.

This activity has men's lives in the balance.We should not have delayed the landings and sacrificed those men of the 82nd,101st, without a chance of relief as they expected.Somehow I suspect that the delayed landings came about because of some bad intelligence, at the last moments of this operation.

I suppose the early jumpers were told to hold their objective and we would get to them as soon as we can.

Just as these Divisions carried out their orders without question, we would have done the same and gone ashore on the 5th, in the storm, because we were trained to respond to our orders without question and, because we were immortal.

Men who have never been in a combat situation may think about death, but not about their own.

You cannot realize or perceive your own death.That only happens to someone else.

Combat changes that.

One day you understand.

A guy could get killed out here.

When you've seen enough bodies of friends or enemies, you stop running for cover when there is shelling from 88s. You get scared of getting out of your foxhole because one of your skittish neighbors is quick on the trigger.You start thinking a little differently.Your existence depends on how good the guy next to you in the field is. He and the others who are still alive, start thinking pretty much the same way. Don't worry about yourself so much, just watch out for your fellowmen, because they are the only thing that is keeping you alive.

Here we are, more than 67 years after this event and I defy you to tell me how many casualties the pre-D day invaders suffered. I'm sure that this figure is best kept with the overall population of American and Allied losses.



Anonymous said...

Well written article, us a very strong perspective of "what actually happened" and the tragedies due to the delay!!! Sad,Sad,Sad! "K"

Elizabeth Bacher said...

Dear Sol, I just spent the last hour or so rereading your past postings of the days leading up to "D" day and those that followed. Then I went and reread my dad's last mission in his blog. It's important that we don't forget. So many lessons to be learned. Thank you again...Liz

solfine said...

My Dear Liz,
It gives me pleasure to bring back memories of your Dad and his efforts, when he served in the U.S.Air Force as a Pilot in Europe during W.W.II. His Legacy is well carried by you with your Dedicated
Blogging of his Adventures.
Thank you for your kind comment.

Livingbattlefield said...

My son stood by an 88 at Dead Man's Corner a few days ago - it is a HUGE weapon, even bigger when an 8 year old boy stands by it. I can't imagine getting to the place that you would not run. Your stories are so important to those of us who were not there. Thank you for sharing.

solfine said...

Welcome to my Blog and thank you for your comment.
See my post regarding the Airborne Troops in the Rail Station while we were waiting for the Boat Train to Etretat, in France.
Search Etretat in my links.

Sgt. Mac said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
solfine said...

Hey Sgt Mac,
That's what I love about History
Buffs. They have the facts to amaze me on occasion.
Never knew about an Eisenhower Message referring to, Invasion Failure.
I just heard the Gung Ho speech on June 1st 1944 before I hopped aboard the S.S. George E. Pickett.
Thank you for your information and Happy July 4th, 2011.

Sgt.Mac said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sgt. Mac said...

I recall that the airborne guys were dropped way off course. I also recall, that the Germans had flooded many of the landing zones, and that a lot of our guys drowned. I'll have to see if I can find this info, as it was something I had never known of before.

solfine said...

The low-lands behind the fortification on the beach, were flooded by the Germans as soon as the landings took place.
Unfortunately,the flooding was initiated by the Airborne Gliders and the early parachute drop.
I don't have any knowledge of the 82nd suffering any casualties from drowning, but in the following days, many landing infantry men fought hand to hand with the enemy, in hip deep waters, after they breached the pillboxes.

Sgt. Mac said...

Thanks for the info. that had to be quite a shock to our guys, to find the lowlands, flooded and the going tough.

Every time I read about this invasion, it's wonder we made it off the beaches...Someone high up, must have been looking over your shoulder. ;)

solfine said...

Then, I remember at the start,
many moments of trying to squeeze
my shoulders into my helmet and wondering, if someone up there
knows, "I'm here".
Today I know.

He knew.

Anonymous said...

Interesting blog, but it seems that you're saying that the paratroopers jumped a day before the beach landings occurred. They actually jumped shortly after 1am on the 6th, so it was a matter of hours before the beach landings, not an entire day. The flooding both of the low-lands behind the beach and along the Merderet River had occurred long before the invasion (imagine how hard it would have been to fill those acres of lowlands in a few hours). The 82nd and the 101st suffered casualties from landing in the water along the Merderet River. When weighed down with equipment and tangled in parachute lines, you can drown in a foot of water. In some places they landed in water over their head. Very interesting blog. Keep up the good work!

Leila Shipman said...

I just woke up to the fact (that veterans blog) today as I was cruising the internet trying to find answers to the many deaths that have struck my family and I came across this site. My grandfather was in World War II and he never spoke of it. He was in the US Army and was listed as a mathematician, that's all I know. He died of cancer in 1992 at the age of 69. I was searching to find out why the cancer rates in my family were so high and was so inspired to see that there are still vets living and quite active, I'd like to say thank you for your service.
Your site is quite inspiring.
I am so sorry for the pain that you must have suffered. May G-d bless you and yours.

solfine said...

My dear Laila,
Thank you for your fine thoughts and
please come back often.