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Day and the Scottish Piper

What is the D Day Invasion?There’s been uk canada goose a lot of disagreement over the years as to what the meaning of the D in D Day actually is. Canada Goose sale It’s now acknowledged that it simply means Day. Strange you might think to have Day Day but it just means the code for the day of the military D Day invasion.

When was the D Day Invasion? The well known answer is the 6th June 1944, but there have been references to other ‘D Day’s’ right back into canada goose store the First World War of 1914 1918. Strategists also used Canada Goose Jackets a numbering system to show the days either before or after D Day. So, for example six days before canada goose the D Day invasion was known simply as D 6 and six days after D Day was known as D+6.

The D Day invasion was at the height of the Second World War that had been going on with huge casualties since 1939. In September 1st of 1939, Germany, controlled by Hitler, invaded Poland. Two days later Britain and France declared canada goose coats on sale war on Germany. Germany was in fact a highly effective enemy and Britain and its allies, Russia, Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand (The USA did not join them until 1943) virtually had an uphill battle until the United States joined in 1943. However, we’ll not go into the actual war here is that’s not what this article’s about.

Planning For the D Day InvasionD Day involved the crossing to the French coast of Normandy in one night as a surprise attack with, 120,000 troops, 12,000 planes and 7000 naval vessels. It’s Canada Goose online difficult when you see the numbers involved, of how the logistics could be worked through. It’s not just the numbers here, but imagine uk canada goose outlet also the forward planning required for the dead and wounded, ammunition, food, water and trasport to name just a few nightmares they must have faced upon the way. But imagine with what was involved for the D Day invasion, the incredibly secretive planning. This part I find stunning. With the involvement of so many senior commanders and yet nothing was ever divulged. But more on this latter. Germany at this time had completely dominated Europe, with the exception buy canada goose jacket of Switzerland (neutral) Italy ( an ally of Germany under the Dictator Mussolini) and Russia (too large for Germany to take at this stage). Great Britain had also just had the humiliation of losing a battle with Germany and having to evacuate 300,000 very weary troops from Dunkirk. To evacuate these men quickly before they were all slaughtered, Britain through radio and newspapers called on anyone with a seaworthy boat to cross the English Channel to Dunkirk and take as many troops as they could fit on their boats back to Britain. Thousands of boat owners responded to the message and some of these boats that went across were as small as 15 feet. There was a beautiful book by Paul Galico called ‘The Snow Goose’ on exactly this very brave mission that if you haven’t read you should. I’ll list it down below on Amazon.

Plans for the operation christened Operation Overlord (the D Day Invasion) began earnestly after the Casablanca Conference in January 1943, where the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, the US President at the time, Franklin D Roosevelt and the French President, Charles de Gaulle all met to discuss the next strategy of WW11. Stalin of Russia declined to attend due to him having his hands full buy canada goose jacket cheap with an invasion by Germany onto Russian soil.

All of Britain and all of Europe knew there was always going to be an invasion on the coast of France at some stage, but nobody knew when it was going to be, where it was going to be and how large it was going to be. So a deception game was ongoing. Under instruction from the defense department, the BBC appealed to canada goose coats the public for any old holiday snaps that they were going to display in a n exhibition. Of all of the snaps that came in, any photos to do with the beaches were seized and studied for geographical reasons.

D Day Invasion InventivenessIt was known that there were areas of the Normandy canada goose clearance beach canadian goose jacket containing ancient woodlands that had become peat. It would not be possible for heavy Canada Goose Online duty vehicles such as tanks to ride up the beach and not become bogged down in the peat. Rolls of heavy duty matting called bobbins were invented that the tanks themselves would first deploy so that vehicles behind could safely follow.

The planners of the D Day Invasion realized that they would require a port to land all the equipment, supplies and men after the initial invasion. They knew it would not be possible to just ‘take’ a handy port, so instead worked on a brilliant engineering idea proposed by a civil engineer by the name of Hugh Hughes. He designed a portable floating harbor that’s basic structure was towed across the English channel by tugboats directly after the D Day invasion and assembled by 1000 military engineers. In fact they built two of what were called the Mulberry Harbors One canada goose uk black friday for the US combat forces and one for the British. The harbors were very effectual providing a total of ten miles in available tying up facilities. Unfortunately the US harbor was destroyed in a violent storm on June 19th, but the British one survived for eight months. A remnant of this is still visible today.

Percy Hobart invented amphibious tanks. These were modified Sherman and Churchill tanks. The reason for these tanks was that the vehicle landing craft could often not get all the Canada Goose Parka way into the beachhead and so had to drop their loads beyond the surf breaks. These tanks known as ‘Hobart’s Funnies’ although successful to a degree still had cheap Canada Goose many casualties with a lot sinking instantaneously with the result of canada goose outlet sale the entire crew drowning.

Hitler was always convinced that the allies would invade down south in Calais, as it was the shortest distance by sea and air. The allies had to keep the Germans thinking that this was there plan too, so they invented inflatable tanks. While the real tanks were getting ready to be deployed for the D Day invasion of Normandy, hundreds of blow up tanks were used in a simulation to show German Reconnaissancethat that was indeed the plan. But it wasn’t just inflatable tanks that they saw. Canada Goose Coats On Sale It was also, jeeps, cannon and aircraft.

The Importance of Deception on the D Day InvasionDeception of course was imperative to this invasion. As I said earlier, all of Europe was expecting the D Day invasion for years including France and Germany but nobody knew when or where. At the time there were a lot of German agents operating in Britain but most became double agents for Britain so it was easy for Britain to fool Germany into believing that the invasion would as suspected be undertaken in Pas de Calais. An entire battalion was based in South Eastern Britain purely for deception purposes (where the inflatable tanks / landing craft etc were based and the Luftwaffe were allowed to fly over to confirm that this was indeed a training force with the express purpose of invading Pas de Calais. When Rommel inspected this wall in early 1944 he saw that the wall defended the ports well but there had been nothing done for the areas between the ports, therefore they could easily be attacked and then the Allies could take the ports from the inside. Rommel immediately ratcheted up the gaps in the Atlantic Wall by installing concrete spikes at the high tide mark, concrete reinforcing and a lot of barbed wire. In addition he had the low lands flooded. The Allies of course became aware of all this and just had to plan for the D Day invasion a little harder for these obstacles.

The defense of the wall was really relatively weak in comparison to what was about to arrive. Although Rommel had sufficient tropps at his disposal, at this time Hitler was facing defeat on his invasion into Russia and so many of the best troops were on the Russian front line. Others under Rommel’s command were Poles or captured Russian POW’s that preferred the option of fighting for the Germans instead of the conditions inside the POW camps. Additionally, Hitler never could believe that an invasion would take place on the Normandy Coast, so the best troops were placed down in Pas de Calais.

The Curious Coincidence of the Daily Telegraph Crossword:

Given the huge secrecy behind the D Day invasion it would have been a huge surprise to see in the Daily Telegraph on the 2nd May the first of five clues that would reveal themselves over the next month. The crosswords were all written by Leonard Dawe, a Surrey headmaster. The first clue for 17 across was “One of the US’ The answer was Utah. On May 22nd, Dawe’s second crossword was published. The clue for 3 down was ‘Red Indian on the Missouri’ The answer was Omaha. Finally on the 1st June the clue was ‘Britannia and he hold the same thing’ The answer was Neptune. At this point Dawes was taken in by MI5. He was released saying he had compiled the crosswords months ago. One wonder’s if this was pure coincidence or was it to do with his brother in law who was in the admiralty.

My Father’s D Day InvasionPlanning for the date of the D Day invasion was all down to the weather. Conditions had to be perfect. A full moon, slight sea, few clouds. On the 4th June, Eisenhower was ready to go the next day, but then the weather packed in with heavy low cloud and a rising sea. He consulted with Montgomery and with further consultation, the weather looked better for the 6th. The Germans took heart with the poor weather and relaxed a little, with Rommel going back to Germany for his wife’s birthday.

The Allies D Day Invasion Plan:

Operation Overlord was actually planned for the 5th June 1944. A huge invasion force was going to be taken mainly by sea overnight to land on the beaches of the Normandy coast. It was planned that the British would take Gold Beach and then team up with the Canadians to take Sword Beach. The Canadians had Juno Beach to themselves. The Americans were to take Omaha and Utah Beaches.

My Father’s Preparation for D Day:

He like most were based in the naval headquarters of Plymouth. Like all men in the forces, he had been undergoing intensive training for months in Plymouth. Plymouth, huge as it was, was full to overflowing with Battleships, Frigates, Destroyers, LCT’s (Tank Landing Craft) and LCI’s (Infantry Landing Craft). It was an LCI (LCI 540) that my father was the Captain of. An LCI is 105 feet long by 23 feet wide. They carried about 48 troops and had 20 canada goose clearance sale crew. The forward hatch was then opened, releasing the troops into the surf and then the powerful motors enabled the LCI to drag itself backwards back out of the surf again.

My father’s overall commander was Senior Naval Officer Rupert Curtis, who was in charge of 24 LCI’s for the landing. My father was a New Zealander. The Commando Unit under Lovat was known as the First Special Service Brigade and he has specially trained them in the cheap canada goose uk Scottish Highlands. Lord Lovat was a very interesting fellow. He was from an old Scottish lineage, he being the 15th Lord of the Clan. He was Oxford educated but at the outbreak of war in 1939, resigned his commission, however he quickly climbed through the ranks to become a Major by 1941. In this year he led a Commando force of 150 men onto a raid on a French coastal village of Hardelot in 1942. For this action he was awarded the Military Cross.

On the 19th August 1942, canada goose black friday sale Lovat and his Commando’s destroyed a battery of 6 150mm guns in the disastrous battle of Dieppe. Lovat for this action was awarded the Distinguished canada goose uk outlet Service order, even though the raid had gone very badly. 4000 mostly Canadian troops were casualties.

My father and the other 24 LCI’s left Plymouth along with 5000 other ships and 103 Battleships, Destroyers and Frigates, 11,500 aircraft and 3,500 gliders in 60 different conveys, setting off canada goose uk shop at varying times for the D Day invasion. The sea was rough and the journey long. Most Commando’s were very seasick. My father was in a LCI convoy with eleven other LCI’s. There mission was to navigate their way to Bernieres / St Aubin (Area Juno), hit the beach, disembark the Commando’s, then return to Plymouth to transport more troops across. In all, in that first 24 hours they would take across 156,000 troops. D Day Invasion casualties on that first day were about 30,000 were killed in the surf or on the beaches. Average age was just 22 years old.

The only way they had to recognize St Aubin was a small black and white photo of a house just off the beach. This must have been canada goose factory sale a terrifying time, approaching the beach. Remember that the German gun emplacements lined the entire French coast and by the time this Flotilla of eleven LCI’s arrived, it was an hour after the first LCT’s had arrived further up Canada Goose Outlet the beach. A couple of miles out to sea, the British and American Battleships and Destroyers were ponding rounds onto these emplacements, while the emplacements were firing heavy rounds at the LCI’s plus motors and machine gun fire.

As my father’s LCI got into the start of the surf it hit an unseen mine that immediately blew a hole in the bottom and shattered the cabin. Nine troops and crew were instantly killed along with 15 wounded.