D Day

Tez3

Sr. Grandmaster
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
27,608
Reaction score
4,901
Location
England
Last night I was watching a programme on BBC2 ( the serious channel) the discussion was about D Day and the gradual 'airbrushing' out of any country other than America's involvement in the landings. Mostly I think, it's felt by the media and such films as Saving Private Ryan etc. I'm curious to know what others perceptions of this is? How is D Day taught in schools? is it taught in schools!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwtwo/launch_ani_d_day.shtml

the numbers of soldiers taking part are staggering...75,000 British and Canadian troops and 57,000 American. Four beaches, two the Americans took, two the British and Canadians.

This operation should be remembered too for it's tragic loss of life. I'm not sure this exercise is generally known about as it was initally kept secret then 'forgotten' about until relatively recently.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3656939.stm

This is not a bashing any country thread, it's about people's perceptions of history as 'molded' by the media ( not historians or the victors but just the media). I'm sure there's many other historical incidents that have been affected in the same way, hell Shakespeare probably started it when writing Richard the Third, he made him out to be the villian to please Queen Bess!
 

Carol

Crazy like a...
MT Mentor
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Jan 16, 2006
Messages
20,311
Reaction score
541
Location
NH
We learned some about D-Day in school, I learned a lot more from my dad, who was a WWII vet. I think schools now are covering D-Day and WWII in general even less than they did when I was younger. Which...is kind of harrowing.

There were so many people that did so much during that time, so many heroes from so many places, including countries other than our own. I'm afraid many stories are being forgotten...which is depressing.
 

mook jong man

Senior Master
Joined
May 28, 2008
Messages
3,080
Reaction score
263
Location
Matsudo , Japan
I watched a show last night on D- Day as well and they said there were 3000 Australians there , unless they counted them with the British. My grandfather wasn't there but , he was fighting the Japanese in the jungles of New Guinea and my great uncle Ronnie was a p.o.w in Changi . I think most of the other Aussies were in North Africa , they were the famed Rats of Tobruk .

The Australians gave themselves that nickname after the Germans said that they were caught like rats in a trap , because they were so well entrenched .

One old digger told the story of how the German tanks would roll right over the top of the trenches they were in , how scared would you be with a bloody tank rolling over the top of you ?

I have always thought of D-Day as mainly a British and American battle , I didn't know there were Canadians there as well . I wonder what the Germans call that day ? Das Arsche Kicking day.

Reminds me of a song.

Who do you think you are kidding Mr Hitler if you think we're on the run ?
We are the boys who will stop your little game.
We are the boys who will make you think again.
'Cos who do you think you are kidding Mr Hitler, if you think old England's done?

Mr Brown goes off to town on the 8:21.
But he comes home each evening and he's ready with his gun.

So watch out Mr Hitler: You have met your match in us .
If you think you can push us we're afraid you've missed the bus.
'Cos who do you think you are kidding Mr Hitler , if you think old England's done ?

Theme from Dad's Army.
 

Bob Hubbard

Retired
MT Mentor
Founding Member
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 4, 2001
Messages
47,245
Reaction score
772
Location
Land of the Free
The Canadian's scared the crap out of the Germans. The vets I've talked to said they were some of the toughest, bravest you ever saw.

http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/general/sub.cfm?source=history/SecondWar/Normandy/dday

Sadly, most of history is covered briefly in school today. The US Civil War was a week, most of which was spent discussing slavery, oh and there were some battles too. WWI wasn't even more than a reference during the WWII week, which centered on Pearl Harbor, Concentration camps, and oh yeah, we won. I spent my high school days devouring Time-Life books on the wars.
 

Archangel M

Senior Master
Joined
Dec 5, 2007
Messages
4,555
Reaction score
154
I think that the reason the US gets a lot of glory for D-Day was due to the initial landing which was heaviest in the US sector and the huge American para drop.

http://www.ddaymuseum.co.uk/faq.htm
The Allied casualties figures for D-Day have generally been estimated at 10,000, including 2500 dead. Broken down by nationality, the usual D-Day casualty figures are approximately 2700 British, 946 Canadians, and 6603 Americans. However recent painstaking research by the US National D-Day Memorial Foundation has achieved a more accurate - and much higher - figure for the Allied personnel who were killed on D-Day. They have recorded the names of individual Allied personnel killed on 6 June 1944 in Operation Overlord, and so far they have verified 2499 American D-Day fatalities and 1915 from the other Allied nations, a total of 4414 dead (much higher than the traditional figure of 2500 dead). Further research may mean that these numbers will increase slightly in future. The details of this research will in due course be available on the Foundation's website at www.dday.org. This new research means that the casualty figures given for individual units in the next few paragraphs are no doubt inaccurate, and hopefully more accurate figures will one day be calculated.

Casualties on the British beaches were roughly 1000 on Gold Beach and the same number on Sword Beach. The remainder of the British losses were amongst the airborne troops: some 600 were killed or wounded, and 600 more were missing; 100 glider pilots also became casualties. The losses of 3rd Canadian Division at Juno Beach have been given as 340 killed, 574 wounded and 47 taken prisoner.

The breakdown of US casualties was 1465 dead, 3184 wounded, 1928 missing and 26 captured. Of the total US figure, 2499 casualties were from the US airborne troops (238 of them being deaths). The casualties at Utah Beach were relatively light: 197, including 60 missing. However, the US 1st and 29th Divisions together suffered around 2000 casualties at Omaha Beach.
 
OP
Tez3

Tez3

Sr. Grandmaster
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
27,608
Reaction score
4,901
Location
England
I think the powers that be tended to keep the Aussies and the Yanks apart as they tended to fight each other at every opportunity lol! A friend of my mother's remembers running fights in London during the war and I was recently told of the Battle of Brisbane lol!
Americans, while people were grateful for their help, weren't the most popular people in the UK when they first arrived in the UK. there had already been a lot of suffering in the country from the Blitz, there was rationing and the country was getting worn down when all these fit, well fed, compartively well paid troops arrived, some made the mistake of complaining they couldn't get things like sweets or bananas to the locals and others were cocksure as youth often is that now they'd arrived to save the day everything would be fine and of course it wasn't. Aussies are down to earth, plain speaking guys who thought of Great Britain at that times as 'home' and didn't take to the newcomers. thnigs did settle down though and it was a huge joint effort that made D day and the subsequent VE day possible.

Another big problem was race, the Americans of course brought a lot of black soldiers with them who were segregated from the white soldiers as was the custom at home but of course Britain wasn't a segregated country and some white Americans were angry that the white British girls fancied the black soldiers the same as the white.There was a lot of fighting between black and whites. It seems very strange to me and others I have to add that the Americans would come over here to help free Europe from the yoke of oppression and rid the world of the Nazis yet they would treat their own people so badly. Freedom was and still is a precious commodity yet it wasn't for everyone it seems.
http://worldhistoryconnected.press.illinois.edu/5.1/gough.html

Here's the case of Leroy Henry

"The most controversial case involved Leroy Henry, a black soldier from St Louis, who was sentenced to death for raping a white woman in the village of Combe Down. Local people were aware that Leroy Henry had been having a relationship with the woman and tended to believe his story that she accused him of rape after he refused to pay her money. Others were concerned about the way he had been beaten by the Military Police during their investigation. Over 33,000 local people signed a petition calling for Leroy Henry to be reprieved. It was sent to General Eisenhower [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]and he eventually agreed to grant the soldier his freedom"[/FONT]
 

mook jong man

Senior Master
Joined
May 28, 2008
Messages
3,080
Reaction score
263
Location
Matsudo , Japan
Well whoever was there , they all did a good job . Every last one of them , otherwise you lot up there would probably be speaking German and us mob down here would probably be speaking Japanese.

All I can say is -

Bless em all , bless em all.
The long and the short and the tall.
Bless all the sergeants and W.O. Ones.
Bless all the corp'rals and their blinking sons.
For we're saying good-bye to them all.
As back to their billets they crawl.
You'll get no promotion this side of the ocean.
So cheer up my lads Bless em all.

British wartime song.
 
OP
Tez3

Tez3

Sr. Grandmaster
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
27,608
Reaction score
4,901
Location
England
Well whoever was there , they all did a good job . Every last one of them , otherwise you lot up there would probably be speaking German and us mob down here would probably be speaking Japanese.

All I can say is -

Bless em all , bless em all.
The long and the short and the tall.
Bless all the sergeants and W.O. Ones.
Bless all the corp'rals and their blinking sons.
For we're saying good-bye to them all.
As back to their billets they crawl.
You'll get no promotion this side of the ocean.
So cheer up my lads Bless em all.

British wartime song.

Damn right!
 

mook jong man

Senior Master
Joined
May 28, 2008
Messages
3,080
Reaction score
263
Location
Matsudo , Japan
You mentioned about the Battle of Brisbane , apparently there were about 20 brawls everynight between the Diggers and American servicemen . The Diggers were jealous because the Americans had nicer uniforms , got paid more and were getting all the Aussie girls .

Another thing is that the Yanks had nice well appointed clubs called P.X's that sold merchandise , food , drinks and cigarettes at very low prices . The Aussies were not allowed into these clubs . The term that they used to use about the American troops was Overpaid , Oversexed and Over here.

But the big brawl called the Battle of Brisbane happened one night when two Diggers saw an American M.P bashing a drunken U.S Soldier with a baton .
They thought thats not a fair go , so the Aussies went to the aid of the U.S Soldier. The U.S M.P's were notorious for their arrogance and brutality and their use of batons and firearms at the least provocation.

The incident was outside one of these P.X clubs where Aussies weren't allowed in , pretty soon a big crowd of Aussies gathered to support the two Good Samaritan Diggers. The MP retreated into the P.X as the crowd outside got bigger.

More US MP reinforcements showed up and the Aussies saw a chance to even some old scores with the US MP's . Suddenly it was on for young and old , the brawl lasted for three hours even fire brigade hoses couldn't stop it .

The US MP's opened fire when they couldn't bring it under control , one Australian was shot dead and there were many injuries on both sides. There were rumours that several US servicemen were beaten to death but there is no evidence to support this.
 
OP
Tez3

Tez3

Sr. Grandmaster
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
27,608
Reaction score
4,901
Location
England
You mentioned about the Battle of Brisbane , apparently there were about 20 brawls everynight between the Diggers and American servicemen . The Diggers were jealous because the Americans had nicer uniforms , got paid more and were getting all the Aussie girls .

Another thing is that the Yanks had nice well appointed clubs called P.X's that sold merchandise , food , drinks and cigarettes at very low prices . The Aussies were not allowed into these clubs . The term that they used to use about the American troops was Overpaid , Oversexed and Over here.

But the big brawl called the Battle of Brisbane happened one night when two Diggers saw an American M.P bashing a drunken U.S Soldier with a baton .
They thought thats not a fair go , so the Aussies went to the aid of the U.S Soldier. The U.S M.P's were notorious for their arrogance and brutality and their use of batons and firearms at the least provocation.

The incident was outside one of these P.X clubs where Aussies weren't allowed in , pretty soon a big crowd of Aussies gathered to support the two Good Samaritan Diggers. The MP retreated into the P.X as the crowd outside got bigger.

More US MP reinforcements showed up and the Aussies saw a chance to even some old scores with the US MP's . Suddenly it was on for young and old , the brawl lasted for three hours even fire brigade hoses couldn't stop it .

The US MP's opened fire when they couldn't bring it under control , one Australian was shot dead and there were many injuries on both sides. There were rumours that several US servicemen were beaten to death but there is no evidence to support this.


It's the thing I love about Aussies....THE FAIR GO! such a basic feeling about fairness and whats right and wrong.

I was told about the Battle of Brisbane last year when we were having breakfast in a B&B down south when we were on holiday, the subject arose when the guests were discussing things as you do and a guest from Brisbane told us about it. Seems it's still an issue among the older generation there!
 

Ken Morgan

Senior Master
MT Mentor
Joined
Apr 9, 2009
Messages
2,985
Reaction score
131
Location
Guelph
I always considered D Day landings an Allied event. Americans on Two Beaches, Brits, (English, Scots, Welsh, N. Irish), on two Beaches and the Canadians on one beach, with a scattering of everyone else mixed in. Aussies, NZers, South African, Norwegian, Polish, Free French, Czechs, and probably others I cant recall.

Shortly after the D day landings the Canadians found 90 of their comrades, (who had been taken prisoner), murdered by the SS and the Hitler youth. Unofficially, (of course), that started a no prisoners taken order by both sides, until the German unit involved was destroyed.

I think no one wants their country to be left out of what was the greatest invasion in history. Regardless of where youre from we owe hundreds of millions from that generation the freedom we have today. They sacrificed so much for all of us.
 

mook jong man

Senior Master
Joined
May 28, 2008
Messages
3,080
Reaction score
263
Location
Matsudo , Japan
It's the thing I love about Aussies....THE FAIR GO! such a basic feeling about fairness and whats right and wrong.

I was told about the Battle of Brisbane last year when we were having breakfast in a B&B down south when we were on holiday, the subject arose when the guests were discussing things as you do and a guest from Brisbane told us about it. Seems it's still an issue among the older generation there!

Yes , a lot of the old people still remember it .
On the same site that I got the info about The Battle of Brisbane , there was a funny story about this Digger in Palestine I think it was .

Apparently it was the custom over there for when a Arab family was travelling , the Arab man would be up the front riding on a Donkey by himself and his poor wife would be behind him on foot trudging along carrying all the stuff , with the kids following on .

So this particular Digger sees this , and thinks thats not right so he goes up and reefs the bloke off the Donkey and picks the blokes missus up and puts her on the Donkey and then walks off.
 

Sukerkin

Have the courage to speak softly
MT Mentor
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Messages
15,325
Reaction score
493
Location
Staffordshire, England
I know that we tend to go on about not interfering with another countries culture and not judging them by our yardstick ... but that still raised a smile and a "Quite right!" from me :).
 

searcher

Senior Master
Joined
Mar 15, 2005
Messages
3,317
Reaction score
59
Location
Kansas
I learned quite a bit about D Day in school and all those that were involved. I learned more form my Grandparents and from my Dad(a history buff).

The part that always makes mesad is that many focus on the beach landings and they forget about all of the Airborne troops that went in as well.
 

Sukerkin

Have the courage to speak softly
MT Mentor
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Messages
15,325
Reaction score
493
Location
Staffordshire, England
Aye, the focus of the grief does tend to be on the American beach-heads. It's natural because they were big frontal assaults and a lot of good chaps died in short order.

But I can assure you that this Englishman for one does not forget the poor fellows who dropped out of the sky behind the lines that day. If nothing else, in popular 'fictional' history, "Band of Brothers" must have done something to raise public consciousness of those men.
 

Archangel M

Senior Master
Joined
Dec 5, 2007
Messages
4,555
Reaction score
154
Ive read a number of Bio's and Autobio's about E co. 506 PIR or the 101st AB and actually, quite a bit of "Band of Brothers" is fairly accurate. "The Biggest Brother"...a biography about Major Dick Winters is a great book that illustrates the differences between the fiction and reality of the series...at least from Maj. Winters viewpoint.
 

Sukerkin

Have the courage to speak softly
MT Mentor
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Messages
15,325
Reaction score
493
Location
Staffordshire, England
I didn't mean to imply otherwise when I used the word "fictional", Angel. Perhaps, more carefully considered, 'dramatised' would have been a better choice? I only meant "events told as a story", not "made up".
 

Archangel M

Senior Master
Joined
Dec 5, 2007
Messages
4,555
Reaction score
154
No harm no foul. ;)

What I found interesting in Maj. Winters bio was the fact that he was pretty much "adopted" by a Brit family while he as in England...he lived with a family and was taken in almost as a "son"..he had contact with some of their descendants until relatively recently.
 
Top