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Xayvache #21 Posted 05 June 2015 - 06:54 PM

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Over 125,000 U.S. ground forces paid the ultimate price during the battle of Normandy that was a result of operation overlord. Over 83,000 soldier's from the 21st army group comprised of British, Canadian, and Polish forces also gave their lives in the operation. Many of these soldiers are shown in the picture above.  

During the first day alone of operation Neptune which was the assault operation or h hour for operation overlord. 2499 american casualties have been confirmed. 1914 allied forces casualties have been confirmed. For a combined count of 4413. What puts this in to perspective for me is that it would take three entire communities in my area to equal 4000 people.



Nightlinger 72 #22 Posted 05 June 2015 - 06:55 PM

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The Duplex Drive tank (also known as the DD or Donald Duck tank) was used on Normandy beach to finish the transport of tanks from ship to shore. This was a British tank using the M4 Sherman medium as its basis. The outer cover could be lowered once the tank reached shore. It came with a propeller that moved the tank forward in the water.

 

More information can be found on Wikipedia:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DD_tank



The Sexy Sergal #23 Posted 05 June 2015 - 06:57 PM

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Operation Neptune, Also known as D-Day and Overlord was the Allied invasion of France. It was a combined effort with soviet forces to put pressure on the German Army in return the Soviets would press against the Japanese army also. It was one of the most important turning points of the war and one of the best known battles being displayed in tons of games and movies and tv shows alike even a map in both Warthunder and the game we know and love World of tanks!

 

To get it started the Allies had a phantom army set up at the narrowest part of the channel, and in charge was the most feared General, George S. Patton, the Germans feared once ashore that Patton would lead the troops so the allies put him in charge of this "phantom army" to trick the Germans with fake tanks, men, radio transmissions and by the time the invasion came it was too late. Hitler didn't release the Key panzer divisions and the allies stormed the beaches at Normandie led by General Bradly. 

 

On June 6th 1944 hundreds of landing craft holding thousands of men, Gear, and tanks stormed the beaches, by the time those armored doors dropped of the crafts if they actually made it to the beach a timer started six seconds of life left for the unlucky. MG-42's Riddled the sands and bodies, Mines, Traps, Artillery all filling the beach, bodies of fallen hero's being washed around in red sea water. Men climbing up harsh cliffs, men fighting up the sands even some tanks pushing their way up.

 

Operation Neptune was the greatest invasion with out it the war would of gone on for a lot longer than it did. The Allies were determined and wanted that beach and with out that determination and planning the invasion would of been a shooting gallery for the Germans and France wouldn't of been liberated. Tomorrow is a day we should remember, a day that men died to help the world, my great uncle was on those beaches and my grandpa goes there and reenacts stuff with his friends, with out these games, movies, people and history classes some of these facts would never be learned.

 

 


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MoodyDale #24 Posted 05 June 2015 - 06:59 PM

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REINFORCEMENT LAND

 

Tomorrow will mark the 71st anniversary of Operation Neptune.  It was the largest seaborne invasion in history.  The invasion consisted of a 50 mile long target that was divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword Beach.  On the first day, the Germans lost around 1000 men while the Allied forces lost around 10000.  The invasion was originally supposed to happen on June 4th but was rescheduled due to weather conditions.  The invasion was to infiltrate the Atlantic Wall.  The Atlantic Wall was the fortification by the Germans and extended from Norway through France on the coast. The invasion consisted of eight different Navies.  The Allied invasion was spearheaded by Admiral Bertram Ramsey.  Hitler had placed German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in command of the German forces in developing fortifications in anticipation of an Allied assault along the Atlantic Coast.  There was a military deception codenamed Operation Bodyguard to mislead the Germans as to the date and place of the landings.  It was considered the turning point of the Second World War.

 

I picked this picture because if showed the importance of the day and time of the invasion.  Weather was an important factor as to when and where.  They wanted a full moon for the highest possible tides so when they invaded just before dawn so that it would minimize the amount of time they had to spend out in the open.  It wasn't too far for the men to get to cover as portrayed in the photo.  This coupled to Operation Bodyguard were two of the biggest reasons for the victory.  A lot of men where lost that day and we need to remember our fallen troops for our freedom we have today.


Edited by MoodyDale, 06 June 2015 - 04:07 PM.


b1ometric #25 Posted 05 June 2015 - 07:03 PM

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It's images like this which define the event to me.

Just the sheer force of will to mount an invasion of this magnitude defies belief.

I am deeply grateful to anyone who was involved.



SirDieALot53 #26 Posted 05 June 2015 - 07:09 PM

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Come on people...we're supposed to be honoring the soldiers that fought on D-Day, and some of you copy your "essay" from Wikipedia??? :facepalm:

Edited by AnarchYxDieALot, 05 June 2015 - 07:10 PM.


Pontiac Pat #27 Posted 05 June 2015 - 07:13 PM

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One of the most famous airborne operations of World War II was Operation Neptune, the assault of Normandy, part of Operation Overlord on June 6, 1944. The task of the airborne forces was to secure the flanks and approaches of the landing beaches in Normandy, thus hindering any German attempt to reinforce the beach. The British paratroopers secured the eastern flank. The American 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions, though widely scattered by poor weather and poorly marked landing zones, secured the western flank of VII Corps with heavy casualties. All together, airborne casualties in Normandy on D-Day totaled around 2,300.

 

The reason this part of the story speaks to me is that many talk of Bloody Omaha (beach), but the casualty rate amongst the airborne forces was similar.  They faced the enemy first, and went the longest without support.  I find it near miraculous that their losses weren't even higher.  Just as General Eisenhower honored them with a personal farewell visit, I honor them with this entry.


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Lord Skratulia #28 Posted 05 June 2015 - 07:25 PM

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This d-day/operation neptune post is going to reference Juno beach. Everyone knows about the onslaught at Omaha beach, but few know of Juno beach and the brave battle that was waged there.

 

Largely this assault on the beach of Juno was preformed by Canadian forces supported by British intelligence. They faced the German/Nazi 716th infantry and a reserve of the 21st panzer division. The beach was to be softened up by aerial bombardment then assaulted with Canadian infantry supported by their amphibious tanks. Their goal was to link up with British forces on Sword beach and Gold beach with an overarching goal of taking the French city of Caen.

The inital bombardment proved largely to be a failure as they were plagued with poor weather conditions, as a result many of the German defenses remained intact. The Canadians took heavy losses when they landed, but after two hours of fighting and with some much needed artillery/tank support; the defenses were crushed. With the landing secured allied forces managed to consolidate and push inland facing tough resistance from the 716th German infantry division. Despite this, these Canadian warriors achieved excellent results pushing further inland than all the other assaulting groups. 

 

Much more of a city environment, many close hand-to-hand engagements occurred. The support of tank armor proved invaluable! Go tanks!! Speaking of tanks, the 25th Panzer grenadiers division had infantry and some German tanks to counterattack with, and did! Finding the flank of the Canadians they attacked and pushed allied forces out of the French cities of Authie and Buron. With some artillery support from a British Cruiser, the assault was once again in allied favor.

 

Hope we all learned something, I know I did.

Even though Juno was probably the easiest assault of the 5 beaches, it was a hard fault battle on both sides!

Thanks WG for this historical opportunity! :)


 

 


Freybourne #29 Posted 05 June 2015 - 07:27 PM

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     Preparations began in earnest after the fall of France in 1940 to bolster the Atlantic Coast which became to be known as the Atlantic Wall. One of Germany's most prestigious generals, Field Marshall Erwin Rommel whose nickname was "The Desert Fox" for his exploits in North Africa was in charge of the defense.

     Along with fortified concrete bunkers, 517,000 obstacles with over 30,000 equipped with mines. Artillery and Mortar were also pre-ranged so to know exactly were to fire. Also, killing zones were established to trap the Allied troops in crossfires. Rommel's ultimate goal was to plant over 2 million mines on the French Coast. Rommel also flooded key areas behind the coast where he anticipated airborne invasions to make it much harder to land troops in the German rear of the battlefield.

     Later on in the battle the Allies had difficultly breaking through hedgerow country. A hedgerow is basically a fence made out of bushes that divided property in France for centuries. Hard to break through the hedgerow and an excellent place for ambush, the days after the invasion crawled to a halt.

      U.S. engineers and tankers schemed a way to use the captured Iron Cross beach obstacles to the allies advantage. The engineers welded pieces of iron in basically the shape of a fork on the bottom plate of Sherman Tanks. After that, the tankers were able to simply drive through a hedgerow and more effectively aid the infantry.

      This was a key innovation which ultimately led to Patton's breakthrough and the race for Paris.

 



Saint Michaell #30 Posted 05 June 2015 - 07:30 PM

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A few hours after the decision to launch ‘Operation Overlord’, the invasion fleet was in final preparations to slip out to sea. The convoys of ships laden with troops, along with their powerful escorts, concentrated off the Isle of Wight and then turned south along channels that had been swept clear of mines. The naval assembly area just south of the island was fittingly named "Piccadilly Circus".

The crossing was accomplished without serious loss or interference by the Enemy, whose air and sea patrols had been cancelled because of the bad weather. The leading minesweepers came within sight of the French coast early in the evening of 5th June. Manned midget submarines were used to guide shipping to the correct beaches, although adverse weather and sea conditions limited the success of this part of the plan.

Troop ships had been loaded for several days, with over 150,000 men in readiness for the crossing. From Falmouth in the West through to the Thames Estuary in the East, thousands of ships of all sizes waited at readiness for the order.

Although several United States warships were used, notably the older battleships, USS Nevada & USS Arkansas, it was the Royal Navy which bore the brunt of D-Day operations. In total over 4,000 ships and a further 3,000 light crafts took part in what was the largest seaborne invasion of all time.


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Smoneyyyyy #31 Posted 05 June 2015 - 07:43 PM

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This is a picture of Pointe du Hoc from the vacation I took with my wife's family last spring.  When we decided to go to Europe, I had one destination on my must see list and it was Normandy.  We spent a wonderful day touring the American beaches with a great tour guide.  I love this picture because you get both the American and German perspectives.  The Germans had heavily fortified this area.  About 200 American Rangers assaulted the cliffs, which are about 100 ft tall.  As you can see from the background in the picture, the cliffs are essentially straight up and down, which made the climb very difficult.  The Germans had many bunkers that were interconnected by an underground railway on which they used mine carts to transfer ammunition and supplies.  This area was flat before the Allied bombardment.  After the Rangers succeeded in driving out the Germans and destroying the artillery that was their primary target, they then had to fend off German counter attacks for two days until reinforcements arrived.  By the time that happened, they had used all of their ammunition and were by then using the German's weapons against them.  When the Germans pushed the Americans back past the main supply bunker, the Americans destroyed it with explosives so the ammunition and supplies wouldn't fall back into German hands.  Not pictured is the roof of that bunker, over 5 ft thick, which blew off and landed in several huge pieces spread out as far as 50 yards from the bunker.

 

Touring Normandy was one of the greatest experiences of my life, and I would highly recommend it to anyone planning to visit Europe.  Seeing the cliffs that the Rangers assaulted and the empty beaches that all of the other troops had to cross while under heavy fire from German fortifications gave me a great appreciation for the bravery, courage, and devotion of the "Greatest Generation."



Painted Villain #32 Posted 05 June 2015 - 08:10 PM

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Operation Neptune preparation

 

"The allied naval officers receive, on April 10, 1944, the confirmation of a landing in the North of France, precisely on the Calvados area coasts. This operation, codenamed Neptune, will be supervised by the commander in chief of the allied fleet: admiral Bertram Ramsay.

Very quickly, British general Bernard Montgomery informs the allied command that the capture of Cherbourg is a priority for the good course of this operation, knowing that it is the only deep water harbor near these four invasion beaches. He wants to create a landing beach : it is the birth of the Utah beach sector, which will be an American one.Initially, four landing beaches are selected, located between the Vire and Orne rivers in the Calvados area and are indicated by a specific code name: Omaha (American sector), Gold, Juno and Sword, British, Canadian and Free France sectors)."

 

From what I could tell,  the battle was split into two operations.  One of which was Neptune the other overlord.  God Bless all the troops who fought.  I have looked at many pictures of the battle,  pictures of ship and blimps everywhere and also some heart felt photos.  This was a pivotal point for the war and was very important the Allies achieved victory.

 

 

 

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UnkeptCanine96 #33 Posted 05 June 2015 - 08:14 PM

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     “Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—“   Franklin D. Roosevelt on the bombing of Pearl Harbor.   "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few." Winston Churchill on the sacrifice so many pilots made during the battle of Britain.   The history of World War II is littered with quotes like this that are still remembered to this day.  Oddly enough, Operation Neptune, or D-Day as most would think of it, didn’t seem to spawn those same iconic quotes.  Now, if you look through the history books, you find many quotes from the day, but none that are as widely known among the population.  There is a reason for this.  First, let us get a little bit of history.

 

     Operation Neptune was the code name for the amphibious assault of Normandy.  More than 160,000 allied troops participated in this invasion to push the Germans back out of France.  On that one day almost 4,500 allied soldiers lost their lives, 2,500 of them American.  By the end of the battle of Normandy, 29,000 Americans had lost their lives.   In contrast, a little over 4,400 American soldiers lost their lives during the entirety of the Iraq war.  I think that the reason there are no iconic quotes that come to mind from this battle is that the sacrifice speaks for itself.  When celebrating this day now, it is looked at as more of a solemn occasion, not a day for celebration, but a day of reflection.  People still remember what was given in order to ensure freedom for millions.  I think Ronald Reagan said it best when he said “History teaches that war begins when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap.”  If we all remember Normandy, and the true cost of war, maybe we can avoid such a large conflict in the future.

 

     The reason I chose this photo, is that you can almost feel the battle raging in it, and see the sacrifice that some made.  You get a sense of what it must have felt like going ashore.

 

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L0STR3CIPT12 #34 Posted 05 June 2015 - 08:16 PM

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     The Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe was Dwight D. Eisenhower. In the picture above he is with members of the 101 airborne "The Screaming Eagles" who would get there baptism of fire" in the pre-dawn hours of the D-Day invasion. The soldiers loved this man who was raised in Kansas and had an easy style that related easily to the men that made them feel comfortable and easily to relate too. In the picture above he is building morale and asking men about themselves and where they come from. Boasting the men's morale right before there departure.

     Eisenhower was hand picked by Churchill and Roosevelt for his lack of ego and his ability to work with other generals. Getting them to bend their will without hurting there egos. A very hard thing to do, and an important contribution to winning the war.

     It was Eisenhower's sole call to make to go or postpone the June 6th invasion. An unbelievable responsibility. After many postponements this was the last feasible month to successful launch the invasion. More delays could cost the success of the invasion or even delay the invasion all tougher until 1945. 

    Although, bad weather was expected, Eisenhower was told that a small window of good weather will be available so the allies could cross the channel and have maximum air power for the invasion. At this point all the allied troops were ready to go most in troop transports, many seasick waiting for his word to "go" Eisenhower gave the command to commence the invasion and the rest is history.

.   Eisenhower, an incredible leader of men, knew how important Churchill and Roosevelt were to winning the war wrote a letter to be broadcast  on the radio in event that the Allied mission failed. Excepting full responsibility. Blaming himself and only himself for the disaster that occurred. That letter in it's self sums up the character of Dwight D. Eisenhower

    



Mule #35 Posted 05 June 2015 - 08:26 PM

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      Operation Epsom was a British offensive that took place between 26 and 30 June 1944, during the Battle of Normandy.  The offensive was intended to outflank and seize the German-occupied city of Caen, an important Allied objective in the early stages of the Anglo-American invasion of Europe.

      Operation Epsom began early on 26 June with units of the 15th Scottish Division advancing behind a rolling artillery barrage.  Air cover was sporadic for much of the operation, because poor weather in the United Kingdom forced the last-minute cancellation of bomber support. Accompanied by the tanks of the 31st Tank Brigade, the 15th Scottish Division made steady progress and by the end of the first day had overrun much of the German outpost line, although some difficulties remained in securing the flanks. In mutually costly fighting over the following two days, a foothold was secured across the River Odon and efforts were made to expand this, by capturing strategic points around the salient.  In response to powerful German counterattacks, by 30 June some of the British forces across the river were withdrawn, bringing the operation to a close.

 

Led by their piper, men of the 7th Seaforth Highlanders, 15th (Scottish) Division advance during Operation Epsom in Normandy, June 26, 1944.

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lll Duckman lll #36 Posted 05 June 2015 - 08:31 PM

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One of the things that has always impressed me about Operation Overlord was that it depended heavily on deception, namely making the Germans think the invasion would take place at Pas de Calais rather than Normandy.  To do this General Eisenhower took his best general, Patton, and placed him in charge of FUSAG (First United States Army Group).  FUSAG was not however an actual army, it was fictitious.  Eisenhower knew how much respect the Germans had for Patton and used that against them, he also knew that if the Germans were able to support Normandy in a timely fashion we would not be able to get the foot hold needed to make the invasion successful.  The deception was so successful that at a meeting held on June 9th Hitler still thought the main invasion would come at Pas de Calais and ordered troops there to remain and any reinforcements for Normandy to be diverted to Pas de Calais.

 

It goes without saying that this operation saved many lives and without it the outcome of the invasion would have been drastically different.  History has many examples of how deception has helped win battles and wars, but for Eisenhower I can only imagine how hard this must have been when thinking about the number of lives it could cost and what was at stake.

 

 

 

 


Edited by Duckman31998, 05 June 2015 - 08:32 PM.


Von Leunam III #37 Posted 05 June 2015 - 08:34 PM

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An A-20 from the 416th Bomb Group making a bomb run on D-Day, 6 June 1944. (U.S. Army)Bombardments

Bombing of Normandy began around midnight with over 2,200 British and American bombers attacking targets along the coast and further inland. During this period, 3460 heavy bombers and 1650 light bombers drop hundreds of tons of bombs on the Norman coast, targeting the batteries and the fortifications of the Atlantic Wall.

At 05:30 a.m., whereas the day rises 28 minutes later, the 200 war ships direct their guns towards their objectives in Normandy, located between Barfleur and Le Havre, and open fire. The spectacle is terrifying, the shore blazes up and the allied soldiers who move into the landing crafts manage with difficulty to breathe: the stress tightens their stomach and the shells of the guns create such air drainages that it becomes difficult to breathe.

The barges move towards the five landing beaches, while the naval bombardment continues, until the moment of the landing. Some landing crafts are equipped with rocket launchers in order to bombard the German positions until the last moment.



ii Am The Ping #38 Posted 05 June 2015 - 08:37 PM

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Normandy Landings

This photo says a lot to me. It displays the incredible bravery of these men that took part in Operation Neptune. They had no idea what was waiting for them and it's makes me sad to look at this picture and know what happened to the majority of them. This picture also places me in a sense of helplessness as the picture shows them heading into battle. It also highlights the rough weather that was occurring on the day and I can't help but think what was going through these soldier's heads. I chose this photo specifically as it shows the soldiers before they landed, it's both haunting and inspiring as you look at them prepare for something that took incredible bravery and courage, but it's also harrowing to know what actually happened to these noble men.

 

Planning for the largest seaborne operation (Opertion Neptune) began in 1943. Allies mislead the Germans prior to Neptune taking place to stop the Germans figuring out the exact date and location of the operation, this was codenamed Operation Bodyguard. The weather was terrible on the day that Operation Neptune was set to take place, but they could not delay it. Delaying would have cost them even more time as they had certain requirements for the phase of the moon, the tides and the time of day, which left them with only a few days in each month to actually perform Operation Neptune. Unfortunately none of the allies plans were achieved on time, a major objective was not captured until July 21st (15 days after the invasion started). Eventually the allies did gain a foothold over the Germans, which they expanded on as the months progressed.



john12pm #39 Posted 05 June 2015 - 08:38 PM

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Operation Neptune and the Duplex Drive (Donald Duck) Tank

 

D-Tank.jpg">

 

During the Normandy landings, code named Operation Neptune, various military equipment was used by both the Allies and Germans. There was much planning that went into Operation Neptune, which would be the largest invasion by sea in history. Planning of the operation began in 1943 and the actual landing occurred on June 6, 1944.  One interesting innovation was the use of Duplex Drive tanks to help take the beaches during the invasion.

 

The British developed duplex Drive (DD) tanks during World War II. Duplex Drive tanks were nicknamed “Donald Duck” tanks by the troops. The design involved a canvas “flotation screen” that would be erected around the tank to allow it to be amphibious. It was first tested on the British Valentine tank, which subsequently sank during testing. Later it became apparent that the M4 Sherman tank was a better candidate for this technology.  Some of the modifications that were necessary beyond installing the “floating screen” was sealing the lower hull and adding a propeller drive for propulsion through water.

 

Duplex Drive tanks main use was during Operation Neptune. During that time eight tank battalions including American British and Canadian forces equipped the Duplex Drive Sherman. Four to Five DD tanks were carried by landing craft to a distance of around 2 miles off shore. From that point the DD tanks would launch and “swim” to shore to then assault from land. DD tanks had a mix of success and failure.  Omaha beach landing was the most disastrous, resulting in loss of almost all 112 tanks assigned to the landing. This was a major contributing factor to the high casualty rate and the slow advance from the beach.



UnkeptCanine96 #40 Posted 05 June 2015 - 08:40 PM

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View PostDuckman31998, on 05 June 2015 - 03:31 PM, said:

 

 

One of the things that has always impressed me about Operation Overlord was that it depended heavily on deception, namely making the Germans think the invasion would take place at Pas de Calais rather than Normandy.  To do this General Eisenhower took his best general, Patton, and placed him in charge of FUSAG (First United States Army Group).  FUSAG was not however an actual army, it was fictitious.  Eisenhower knew how much respect the Germans had for Patton and used that against them, he also knew that if the Germans were able to support Normandy in a timely fashion we would not be able to get the foot hold needed to make the invasion successful.  The deception was so successful that at a meeting held on June 9th Hitler still thought the main invasion would come at Pas de Calais and ordered troops there to remain and any reinforcements for Normandy to be diverted to Pas de Calais.

 

It goes without saying that this operation saved many lives and without it the outcome of the invasion would have been drastically different.  History has many examples of how deception has helped win battles and wars, but for Eisenhower I can only imagine how hard this must have been when thinking about the number of lives it could cost and what was at stake.

 

 

 

 

 

They went so far as to even create patches for the ghost units.

 

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