Americans’ D-Day heroism still takes the breath away

Jun 6, 2019 by

by Laura Perrins, TCW:

Today is the 74th anniversary of the 1944 D-Day landings. To mark it, I urge you to watch Ken Burns’s epic series on America and World War II, simply titled The War. Each episode is more than two hours long.

The series meticulously documents WWII from the American viewpoint, recording the fierce battles both in the Pacific and Europe. They fought and died in this war, ordinary, young American men, on a volunteer basis, because their country asked them to.

The D-Day landings are particularly harrowing to watch, this desperate attempt to liberate Europe from the Nazis. It was a close-run thing. Some beaches were taken with relative ease, but not Omaha and Utah. The Americans were bogged down in Omaha, shells raining down upon their heads.

The American, British and Canadian troops took it only by defying orders and moving up the beach-head, as well as bringing their military boats very close in, risking their destruction, to shell the Germans. The success of the D-Day landings was not inevitable and defeating Hitler was not inevitable. Soldiers gave their lives to make it happen.

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