Author Topic: D-Day & Beyond: Land of the Free Because of the Brave  (Read 626 times)

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D-Day & Beyond: Land of the Free Because of the Brave
« on: June 12, 2021, 11:20:54 am »
D-Day & Beyond: Land of the Free Because of the Brave

June 6, 2021 by Mike Kelvington

D-Day is certainly a day to be celebrated; but it is also important to recognize, for those who survived the jumps and beach landings, that day was just the start of a long, hedgerow to hedgerow fight across France towards Germany. This fighting included subsequent jumps behind enemy lines, including during daylight hours. After Normandy, the 101stand 82ndAirborne Divisions conducted another jump into Holland as part of Operation Market-Garden and helped hold the line during the Battle of the Bulge.  While their results in these operations did not match the success they achieved on D-Day, they continued to serve with distinction. Those who contend the Airborne was not successful in these particular battles should keep in mind their poor employment. The poor planning and misuse of the Airborne assets put these men in drastically outnumbered and outgunned fights.
Words and pictures cannot accurately capture the chaos and sacrifice our WWII veterans faced on D-Day.

Some paratroopers described the drops as “suicide missions,” and while they were well trained to perform their tough mission, many would not survive.[1]  In his book Currahee!, Donald Burgett recalls a story about three soldiers, where a captain tells them they were being sent behind enemy lines and “the reason we’re sending three of you . . . is that only one of you will get back; the other two will die.”[2]  He said, “[e]ach one of the soldiers glanced at his buddies, and thought to himself, ‘Gee, I’m going to miss these guys, and they’re such good guys, too.’”[3]  But that was the attitude of these young men.  It wasn’t going to happen to them, it would happen to the other guy.