In support of my concept of “sacrificial devotion” and in keeping with his consistent criticism of all the generals on all the sides in World War One, Richard Koenigsberg has sent me a video clip of US troops storming and blundering onto Omaha Beach at Normandy on D-day 6th June 1944. It is an unfolding picture of fear, faith, bravery, death and carnage. You see men kissing their rosaries and crosses as the landing craft approach the beach — you see guys shot to pieces, limbs being torn asunder, a man with entrails hanging out shouting “Mamaaaaaa” …
It is actually a set of scenes from Saving Private Ryan with Tom Hanks involved. However its is realistic fiction involving the use of contemporary film pyrotechnics to capture the horrors of war. So those young bucks who head for war zones and chauvinists and patriots who push for insurgency do need to absorb the effects.
You can click either of these links
- Excerpt from Saving Private Ryan—Omaha Beach Landing, June 6, 1944 (1998) (Video)
- OR https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHvqS2kk1rs
But, a WARNING …the film’s realism is horrible.
NOTE: David Hart, an authority on war movies, had this to say: “The stir caused by Spielberg’s WW2 combat movie “Saving Private Ryan” (1998) has been caused by the unflinching depiction of the nature of combat for those American soldiers who landed at Omaha Beach in Normandy on 6 June 1944. For many viewers it is the first time in 54 years that the nature of an amphibious assault under fire by modern weapons has been depicted in such graphic detail on the screen.”
For more on and by HART see http://www.libraryofsocialscience.com/assets/pdf/Hart-ProPatriaMori.pdf
ALSO SEE http://www.warhistoryonline.com/war-articles/surviving-d-day-omaha-beach-1944-full-documentary.html AND use the material to reflect upon “The Will to War…”
Omaha Beach was the code name for one of the five sectors of the Allied invasion of German-occupied France in the Normandy landings on 6 June 1944, during World War II. Omaha is located on the coast of Normandy, France, facing the English Channel, and is 5 miles (8 km) long, from east of Sainte-Honorine-des-Pertes to west of Vierville-sur-Mer on the right bank of the Douve River estuary. Landings here were necessary in order to link up the British landings to the east at Gold with the American landing to the west at Utah, thus providing a continuous lodgement on the Normandy coast of the Bay of the Seine. Taking Omaha was to be the responsibility of United States Army troops, with sea transport and naval artillery support provided by the U.S. Navy and elements of the British Royal Navy.
On D-Day, the untested 29th Infantry Division, along with nine companies of U.S. Army Rangers redirected from Pointe du Hoc, were to assault the western half of the beach. The battle-hardened 1st Infantry Division was given the eastern half. The initial assault waves, consisting of tanks, infantry, and combat engineer forces, were carefully planned to reduce the coastal defenses and allow the larger ships of the follow-up waves to land.
The primary objective at Omaha was to secure a beachhead of some five miles (eight kilometres) depth, between Port-en-Bessin and the Vire River, linking with the British landings at Gold to the east, and reaching the area of Isigny to the west to link up with VII Corps landing at Utah. Opposing the landings was the German 352nd Infantry Division, a large portion of whom were teenagers, though they were supplemented by veterans who had fought on the Eastern Front. The 352nd had never had any battalion or regimental training. Of the 12,020 men of the division, only 6,800 were experienced combat troops, detailed to defend a 33-mile-long (53-kilometre) front. The Germans were largely deployed in strongpoints along the coast—the German strategy was based on defeating any seaborne assault at the water line. Nevertheless, Allied calculations indicated that Omaha’s defenses were three times as strong as those they had encountered during the Battle of Kwajalein, and its defenders were four times as many.
Very little went as planned during the landing at Omaha. Difficulties in navigation caused the majority of landing craft to miss their targets throughout the day. The defenses were unexpectedly strong, and inflicted heavy casualties on landing US troops. Under heavy fire, the engineers struggled to clear the beach obstacles; later landings bunched up around the few channels that were cleared. Weakened by the casualties taken just in landing, the surviving assault troops could not clear the heavily defended exits off the beach. This caused further problems and consequent delays for later landings. Small penetrations were eventually achieved by groups of survivors making improvised assaults, scaling the bluffs between the most heavily defended points. By the end of the day, two small isolated footholds had been won, which were subsequently exploited against weaker defenses further inland, thus achieving the original D-Day objectives over the following days….. SEE http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omaha_Beach FOR REST