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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

...Not a German Was Shamming, Except For Erwin Rommel

We're at D-Day minus four (Memorial Day plus two), and I'm nowhere near out of cool clips to post on the topic.

By the way, my first unit's barracks was on the street at Fort Bragg named after Carentan (almost all the streets in Division's area were named after WWII battles fought by the All Americans).

Here's another fantastic piece of film making--the Omaha Beach sequence from Saving Private Ryan:

Field Marshal Von Rundstedt actually had a logical plan for countering the invasion of Fortress Europe. Thankfully, Rommel agreed with Hitler's typical "don't surrender one single inch to the enemy" philosophy, and thought success meant he had to stop the allies right on the beach. Hitler's assumption that the entire coastline of Europe could be simultaneously defended was, of course, ludicrous, even for a Wermacht not spread out on multiple fronts. This accounts for the fairly light resistance encountered at Gold, Sword, Juneau and Utah Beaches. But Omaha was a meatgrinder--the bloodiest amphibious landing in recorded history.

Spielberg's film pushes my suspension of disbelief a little too far later on, but this opening sequence is a masterpiece IMO. I've never participated in an amphibious landing, and watching this clip is as close as I ever want to get to a hellground like Omaha Beach.

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