Sideglances
by SARAH GREENE
Aug 21, 2014 | 646 views | 1 1 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Does America have a particular bias toward celebrating a life lived in modern times, compared, say, to older countries such as Greece, England, or China? That struck me after the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination was observed last Nov. 22.

Another anniversary, seen from the Republican side, marked the anniversary of Operation Overlord, which took place on June 6, 1944.

I received from the Eisenhower Foundation a handsome replica of the color poster it put out, describing what happened that day.

Olive green transport planes, which seem to be the military version of the airlines’ workhorse DC-3, are shown on each side of the Bayeux and Caen cities of France. They are dropping armed troops who claimed great success, in alliance with troops from England and Canada.

This interesting quote is attributed to the supreme commander, Gen. Dwight D . Eisenhower.

“This operation is not being planned with any alternatives. This operation is planned as a victory, and that’s the way it’s going to be. We’re going down there, and we’re throwing everything we have into it, and we’re going to make it a success.”

Five beach landings are described: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword.

At all of them objectives were fulfilled except at Omaha Beach, where 34,250 troops led by the U.S. First Infantry Division suffered 2,400 casualties, 50 percent of them in the first hour of the invasion.

At Utah Beach, 23,250 troops led by the U.S. Fourth Infantry Division, suffered 300 casualties.

At Gold Beach, 24,790 troops under leadership of the British 50th Infantry Division reported 400 casualties. Juno Beach, with 21,400 troops led by the Canadian Third Infantry Division, had 1,200 casualties, 50 percent of them in the first hour. Sword Beach, where 28,845 troops were led by the British Third Infantry Division, had 630 casualties.

Lines at the top of the poster note that the events of June 6, 1944, were carried out by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower as Supreme Commander; the 156,000 troops were made up of 73,000 U. S. Army, 83,000 British and Canadian; there were 11,590 aircraft involved and 6,939 naval vessels.

There was no politics involved in materials I have read recently about John F. Kennedy and Gen. Eisenhower.

But it seems obvious that neither would have been elected president, sidestepping the usual political ladders, without their military success.

I presume that’s already in the history books.
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Charles L Bloss Jr
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October 04, 2014
Great article Sarah. This happened before I was born. It reminds me of one of my favorite Tom Selleck movies, IKE. It is about General Eisenhower's planning up to the invasion.