Imagine yourself as a 18-19 year old kid waiting in the holds of those huge ships sitting off the coast of France when you get the green light and told to board the transport boats to storm the beaches of a place you probably never heard of in a land so far away from your home… we in the modern age think of France as half a world away but in those days it felt like a different planet. Operation Overlord the invasion of North-west Europe was a go and Operation Neptune the go signal commenced. These brave men aboard these landing craft knew they had a job to do and if they didn’t get it done then “some other poor bastard” back home would have to follow behind them to do it. They got it done, in some of the most horrific battles man has fought in up until then and since took place on beaches around Normandy France, code name beach fronts like Omaha, Utah and other places the Allied troops landed like Juno, Sword and Gold beaches.
In the 2 months April and May, leading up to the actual invasion of D-1 and D Day the Allied troop loss was high at around 12,000 casualties and some 2000 aircraft.
On D Day and D+1 or D+2 Allied casualties are thought to have been around 10,000 including 2500 dead. The exact number or wounded were not known as men were patched up and returned right back to the action as soon as possible and a lot of injuries went unreported.
However recent research into have upped the casualty and dead amount to almost double, their on going work and information can be found here http://www.dday.org/
We do not have many of these fine men left in the world, they were as it has been said many times indeed the Greatest Generation and the World as we know it owes all to them for their sacrifice and their ability to keep fighting in the face of evil and tyranny.
Bless their souls.
We owe them a debt that was never repaid and could never be repaid.