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The Masked Tulip

D-Day - 72 Years On.

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My Mother told me that 70 years ago today Swansea Bay was so full of ships that you could walk from one side of the bay to the other without getting your feet wet.

The city had become home to one of the US divisions that became the second wave to go ashore at Omaha beach.

My Mum said that people woke up on the morning of the June 6th to find the bay empty - the ships had gone to Normandy.

I remember watching a documentary where a man, who was a young sailor in charge of a landing craft, talked about taking a bunch of men ashore at night. He didn't know, at the time, who they were as they spoke no English to him but he said that he wouldn't have liked to meet them at night down a dark alleyway. He later learnt that they were Free Poles.

I often think about D-day at this time of the year. I imagine how it must have felt for those in the French Resistance who, having listened nightly to BBC radio broadcasts for over 4 years, finally heard the code-words that the invasion was coming that night. They must have been filled with incredible emotions of joy.

I also think of those across Europe who heard news of the invasion, who had they hopes raised of being liberated, but who never lived to be set free.

I think of all the millions of untold men, women and children who fought against the facists of Nazi Germany. Those millions of whom we will never know their names, what they did or how they died - just that they died so that Europe and the World could be free.

In these days, with the rise of islamofascism across the world and the persecution of those who speak out against it, I fear for the future. I am reminded of the 1930s and what that led to. I can, at least, raise a glass to those who were perhaps our greatest generation.

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I often think of the brave men on D-day at this time of year.

My uncle was in the RAF. He was a Lancaster pilot and involved in softening up the rail yards prior to D-day. He was shot down and killed over the Netherlands on 22nd June 1944, returning from bombing German oil depots in Scholven-Buer. He and his six crew are buried in the general cemetery in Oldebroek, Netherlands.

I hope he and all of the fallen didn't die in vain.

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My Mother told me that 70 years ago today Swansea Bay was so full of ships that you could walk from one side of the bay to the other without getting your feet wet.

The city had become home to one of the US divisions that became the second wave to go ashore at Omaha beach.

My Mum said that people woke up on the morning of the June 6th to find the bay empty - the ships had gone to Normandy.

I remember watching a documentary where a man, who was a young sailor in charge of a landing craft, talked about taking a bunch of men ashore at night. He didn't know, at the time, who they were as they spoke no English to him but he said that he wouldn't have liked to meet them at night down a dark alleyway. He later learnt that they were Free Poles.

I often think about D-day at this time of the year. I imagine how it must have felt for those in the French Resistance who, having listened nightly to BBC radio broadcasts for over 4 years, finally heard the code-words that the invasion was coming that night. They must have been filled with incredible emotions of joy.

I also think of those across Europe who heard news of the invasion, who had they hopes raised of being liberated, but who never lived to be set free.

I think of all the millions of untold men, women and children who fought against the facists of Nazi Germany. Those millions of whom we will never know their names, what they did or how they died - just that they died so that Europe and the World could be free.

In these days, with the rise of islamofascism across the world and the persecution of those who speak out against it, I fear for the future. I am reminded of the 1930s and what that led to. I can, at least, raise a glass to those who were perhaps our greatest generation.

Hear hear.

My grandfather was a D-day veteran and, from accounts I learned when much older and after his death from those with him and able to recount some of the first hand experiences, that what he went through must have been beyond the comprehension of me and the vast majority of todays generation.

And yet he remained, outwardly, such that you would never have guessed it. A perfect example of stiff upper lip.

I am always cogniscent of the sacrifices he and his fellows made for his children and in turn their childrens children.

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You're the Islamochurchill aren't you. The gathering storm.

Sorry you lost me there. You referring to me or the OP. In either case still not sure what the comment means - or whether it's derogatory or complementary.

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If they were around today I expect many of them would have wondered why they bothered.

Are you believing the rewriting of history that it was an ideological war against Nazism?

It was a war to protect Britain against an external threat. If we hadn't fought Germany then Germany would have conquered us as France wanted to 150 years before.

Men fought to defend their country; they successfully defended it. Job done.

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If you listen to that Churchill speech posted earlier dated 1934, he certainly thought it was against totalitarianism.

Yes, he did.

That was not the motivation of the ordinary soldier.

Spike Milligan's war diaries were a good insight into this. The only soldier actually celebrating, as opposed to being relieved that it was over, when Hitler killed himself was a Jewish soldier. It was ideological for him for obvious reasons.

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Whatever your political views I think that men/women that fought in WW2 would be astounded by how porous our borders are now.

I don't deny that. But they were fighting to defend their country against a threat, not for any idea.

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Yes! What the men of Britain were really fighting against in the 40's was immigration! Britain First told me so :)

P

Bloody immigants, coming over here, dropping bombs on us. Tally Ho!

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By all accounts, most of the soldiers in the initial wave were keen to get off their boats after the effects of the sea.... not the ideal preparation for going into battle against the German war machine.

Having said that, there were plenty of other theatres of war that were not pleasant. The Eastern front in winter.... flying bombing raids and coming up against German flak and night fighters...jungle warfare in Burma...taking Artic convoys across hostile seas to Russia....

No wonder the smart cookies got jobs in Bletchley Park ;)

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I often think of the brave men on D-day at this time of year.

My uncle was in the RAF. He was a Lancaster pilot and involved in softening up the rail yards prior to D-day. He was shot down and killed over the Netherlands on 22nd June 1944, returning from bombing German oil depots in Scholven-Buer. He and his six crew are buried in the general cemetery in Oldebroek, Netherlands.

I hope he and all of the fallen didn't die in vain.

My dad was in the RAF for a bit. He used to put the wheels on Lancasters! It's lucky your uncle never tried to land. :blink:

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My dad was in the RAF for a bit. He used to put the wheels on Lancasters! It's lucky your uncle never tried to land. :blink:

Martin Drewes, Nachtjäger, ensured that he didn't have to land. And least the last time he took off. I'm the proud owner of his medals and flying log.

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My dad was in the RAF for a bit. He used to put the wheels on Lancasters! It's lucky your uncle never tried to land. :blink:

My gran used to do pre flight safety electronic checks (From what I remember) on Lancaster's flying out of Lough Neagh in NI.

They may have crossed paths.

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My gran used to do pre flight safety electronic checks (From what I remember) on Lancaster's flying out of Lough Neagh in NI.

They may have crossed paths.

Me dad was at Leuchars! None of his planes ever came back!

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Not seen any mention of D-Day on the main news channels today. Just saying.

Why is 72 years a noticeable anniversary? There will be coverage at 75 and 80 years.

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Talking of war - Blair getting an absolute kick in on bbc just now. One off film re. Family of soldier killed in Iraq.

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