Ze Nazis

Discussion in 'Historian's House' started by Tanasa, May 1, 2013.

  1. Tanasa

    Tanasa Mind Creeper

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    I saw a documentary not long ago about Erwin Rommel (aka the Dessert Fox). It said there that he had fortified Omaha beach 1 month before the D-day because he saw that the beach had the exact shape as a beach in Italy where an invasion was made not long before that time (by the Allies).

    Can someone please tell me more about this landing? What was it's purpose and how did it turn out? I didn't find any info on the internet. Mabye some of you know:D.
     
  2. Greybeard

    Greybeard Geezer

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    Invasion of Sicily
    Invasion of Italy
    Anzio

    I've never heard that story, but it wouldn't surprise me. These are the Allied invasions in Italy during the war, and the story could refer to any of them.

    My father participated in the first two.
     
  3. Tanasa

    Tanasa Mind Creeper

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    Yeah I think it was the Invasion of Italy.
    The documentary said that if Rommel wouldn't have fortified Omaha beach, D-day would be a piece of cake for the Allies.

    In my opinion, if the Allies didn't lure the Nazi forces to the channel, D-day would have failed.
     
  4. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

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    D-day definitely resembled the allied invasion of Italy in 1943 (how couldn't it).

    Omaha beach is renowned for having seen the most fighting: it had the strongest defence and the most forces attacking. I have heard recently that the Nazis had seen a weakness around that coastline and that drawing them off had been absolutely crucial. The canadian parachutists were also very important, landing behind enemy lines and opening roads for the troops coming from the coast.

    Battleships and planes bombarded the area as well.
     
  5. JIM

    JIM zombie Turncoat

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    my Grandfather was a Rat of Tobruk
     
  6. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

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    My grandfather stood on a street corner shouting "Give us your gum chum!" at the american soldiers.

    Neither of my grandfathers were actually old enough to fight.
     
  7. Tanasa

    Tanasa Mind Creeper

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    The bombers failed badly. I read that they missed all the targets (Nazi ammo deposits among the coast)
    Another thing that lead to the deaths of hundreds was the fact that these stuff (I don't know their name in English. The things they launched from the boats onto the cliffs, so they can climb onto them) got wet on the rope and thus heavy. Only a few made it out functional and others managed to put hooks on the cliffs after a lot of tries. The Nazis shot at them during the process.

    As for the parachutists, they got misplaced. Many landed where they were not supposed to, but they rallied up pretty fast, so no big deal.
     
  8. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

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    Many bombers actually bombed the beaches and the Nazi lines and those proved very useful.

    As to the landing on the beaches, Omaha is actually a beach with cliffs further back and most men ran out of the landing craft into the sea and up the beach.

    Most of the parachutists landed in Brittany and Normandy and it was impossible for them not to separate. They certainly had big problems at the beginning, but their help proved invaluable.
     
  9. Tanasa

    Tanasa Mind Creeper

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    Well, there were some sides of the landing spot where the cliffs were really close to the beach. That's what I heard.

    It's kind of unusual for me though. In Romania we haven't got these cliffs really close to the sea.
     
  10. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

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    Yes, there are also cliffs, although the attacks on those will have been launched to neutralise the bunkers. The cannons they had there really were rather large.
    And as to the roped getting heavy with water, I had heard of that too. Luckily, the Allies did it in the end.
     
  11. Greybeard

    Greybeard Geezer

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    I think the cliffs near the sea were at the west end of Utah beach, or possibly between Utah and Omaha. It's an unforgettable scene in The Longest Day, of the Rangers climbing those cliffs in the face of stiff resistence.

    Omaha was the only place the allies had trouble getting off the beach itself. On the other beaches, soldiers managed to get into the bunkers quickly, but at Omaha they really had to fight their way off the beach. Another part of the problem was that they only got two tanks onto the beach. If the Americans hadn't gotten off Omaha it would have left the Allies in two pockets, three American divisions around Cherbourg and four Commonwealth divisions farther east, easy to chop up.

    The heavy bombers dropped their loads long, usually hitting the area behind the German emplacements. The fighter-bombers were more successful because they were aiming by eyeball and could adjust to take targets of opportunity.

    The key to the victory was Patton at Dover. His presence there convinced the Germans that the attack would come at Calais, and Hitler believed the Normandy invasion was only a diversion and refused to release the panzers until the Allies were too well established to be driven off.
     
  12. Tanasa

    Tanasa Mind Creeper

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    Patton was the one that said "Men, we are being killed on the beaches. Let us go inland and be killed" ?
     
  13. Greybeard

    Greybeard Geezer

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    General Norman Cota, assistant commander of the US 29th Infantry Division which was one of the two divisions that hit Omaha.
     
  14. Greybeard

    Greybeard Geezer

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    8th Army forever!
     
  15. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

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    I have been to Omaha, Sword and Gold and seen the others: the cliffs were at the edges and ends of most of the beaches, with the bunkers in or on them. Omaha is a much, much larger beach however, so it had loads more defence.

    They also bombarded the beaches just before the attack so that they could try to remove as much barbed wire and tank traps as possible, as well as provide cover for the soldiers.
     
  16. Greybeard

    Greybeard Geezer

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    You didn't go to Juno? My country is offended.
     
  17. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

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    There were too many bears on the beach. No idea how they got there...

    I saw it, but being british and not having that much time for the beaches (Bayeux and other places to see too) we went for one of our beaches and for the biggest most famous beach.
    I did much admire the work of the canadian parachutists however, which are shown to play a very important role in the museums there.
     
  18. Tanasa

    Tanasa Mind Creeper

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    I feel really dumb right now, but what is Juno?
    FAIL.
     
  19. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

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    Juno was the Canadian beach.

    The beaches were mainly "separated" like this, although there were soldiers from those four and other countries on all the beaches.

    Omaha, Utah: USA
    Gold, Sword: UK
    Juno: Canada
     
  20. Tanasa

    Tanasa Mind Creeper

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    Weren't Canadians paratroopers only?