Thursday, June 5, 2014

70 years ago . . .

. . . on June 6th, 1944, our great-grandfathers, grandfathers and fathers landed in Normandy, France, in Operation Neptune, which has since come to be known simply as 'D-Day'.  The Telegraph provides these facts and figures about the events of that day and the subsequent campaign, known overall as Operation Overlord.

  • On D-Day, the Allies landed around 156,000 troops in Normandy. The American forces landed numbered 73,000: 23,250 on Utah Beach, 34,250 on Omaha Beach, and 15,500 airborne troops. In the British and Canadian sector, 83,115 troops were landed (61,715 of them British): 24,970 on Gold Beach, 21,400 on Juno Beach, 28,845 on Sword Beach, and 7900 airborne troops.

  • 11,590 aircraft were available to support the landings. On D-Day, Allied aircraft flew 14,674 sorties, and 127 were lost. In the airborne landings on both flanks of the beaches, 2,395 aircraft and 867 gliders of the RAF and USAAF were used.

  • Operation Neptune involved huge naval forces, including 6,939 vessels: 1,213 naval combat ships, 4,126 landing ships and landing craft, 736 ancillary craft and 864 merchant vessels. Some 195,700 personnel were assigned to Operation Neptune: 52,889 US, 112,824 British, and 4,988 from other Allied countries.
  • By the end of 11 June (D + 5), 326,547 troops, 54,186 vehicles and 104,428 tons of supplies had been landed on the beaches.

  • The Allied casualties figures for D-Day have generally been estimated at 10,000, including 2,500 dead. Broken down by nationality, the usual D-Day casualty figures are approximately 2,700 British, 946 Canadians, and 6,603 Americans. The US National D-Day Memorial Foundation has recently achieved a more accurate figure, they have so far verified 2,499 American D-Day fatalities and 1,914 from the other Allied nations, for a total of 4,413 dead.
  • Casualties on the British beaches were roughly 1,000 on Gold Beach and the same number on Sword Beach. The remainder of the British losses were amongst the airborne troops: some 600 were killed or wounded, and 600 more were missing; 100 glider pilots also became casualties. The losses of 3rd Canadian Division at Juno Beach have been given as 340 killed, 574 wounded and 47 taken prisoner.

  • The breakdown of US casualties was 1,465 dead, 3,184 wounded, 1,928 missing and 26 captured. Of the total US figure, 2,499 casualties were from the US airborne troops (238 of them being deaths). The casualties at Utah Beach were relatively light: 197, including 60 missing. However, the US 1st and 29th Divisions together suffered around 2,000 casualties at Omaha Beach.
  • Naval losses for June 1944 included 24 warships and 35 merchantmen or auxiliaries sunk, and a further 120 vessels damaged.
  • The total German casualties on D-Day are not known, but are estimated as being between 4,000 and 9,000 men.

    • Over 425,000 Allied and German troops were killed, wounded or went missing during the Battle of Normandy. This figure includes over 209,000 Allied casualties, with nearly 37,000 dead amongst the ground forces and a further 16,714 deaths amongst the Allied air forces. Of the Allied casualties, 83,045 were from 21st Army Group (British, Canadian and Polish ground forces), 125,847 from the US ground forces. The losses of the German forces during the Battle of Normandy can only be estimated. Roughly 200,000 German troops were killed or wounded.

    There's more at the link, including more images.

    Very few of those who took part in the invasion, or tried to prevent it, are still alive.  Let's not forget them, nor those who died on that day and in the years since then.  One has to wonder whether we could do such a thing again today . . .



    Mike Brahier said...

    I hope such a thing is never again necessary. The butcher's bill for last century should be enough to dissuade us from war, especially on that scale.

    Paul said...

    We could. I just doubt we would.

    Anonymous said...

    Since KING OBAMA wouldn't even let a small force go to Benghazi there is know way he would let a large force do anything. Might make him look bad, you know!