Originally published 06/10/2013
Top secret orders issued to naval captains involved in the D-Day landings have emerged after spending decades hidden in a chest in a loft, where they were discovered following a house fire.The inch-thick document – which should have been destroyed at the end of the Normandy invasion – gives a detailed account of the navy’s role in the landings.The orders were issued to Royal Navy officers who were involved in Operation Neptune – the code-name for the initial phase of the D-Day mission....
Originally published 06/07/2013
Thursday is the 69th anniversary of D-Day, when U.S. forces stormed the shores of Normandy during World War II.A project aims to save American military history. They are just a few of the thousands of stories of America's war veterans being preserved by the Library of Congress."'So don't fret and tell pa not to get hysterical. Love Butch,'" said Bob Patrick as he read aloud from a letter.It's called The Veterans History Project, and Patrick is the director."We're not trying to recreate history or rewrite history or disprove history," said Patrick. "Really, what that experience was like for those who go off to war and most importantly at the end, what did it all mean to them."...
Originally published 06/06/2013
On June 6, 1944, a massive military force arrived on the beaches of Normandy in a surprise invasion intended to overthrow Nazi Germany. The story of brave Allied forces splashing ashore under heavy fire has been immortalized in novels, memoirs, documentary films, and blockbuster movies — with American GIs cast as the unequivocal heroes of the day.A famous photo circulating the globe at the time summed things up: a happy GI embraced by ecstatic French girls.But that photo also illuminates a darker side of the story, according to University of Wisconsin-Madison History Professor Mary Louise Roberts. In her new book, "What Soldiers Do: Sex and the American GI in World War II France," Roberts writes that while heroism abounded during liberation, for some Allied troops, command of geographical territory meant command of sexual territory, as well. As they entered and occupied the port towns of Le Havre, Reims, Cherbourg and Marseilles, many soldiers took what they wanted — when and where they wanted — from the French female population....
Originally published 05/23/2013
Plans to assassinate key German figures, including Erwin Rommel, in the run-up to D-Day are revealed in newly-released British intelligence files.It was discussed in communications between the British government, military and intelligence services with the aim of aiding the landings.They planned to target those involved in the Gestapo and enemy logistics.However it was dismissed as "the type of bright idea which... produces a good deal of trouble and does little good".The letters and telegrams detailing the plans were revealed in a file, dated 1944 and obliquely entitled "War (General)", from the foreign office's permanent under-secretary of state Sir Alexander Cadogan....
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