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68th D-Day Memorial Article

May 31, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 143

D-Day Memorial Article

June 6, 1944. A truly historic event in World War 2 involving the United States Of America, Britain and Canada. All would storm the beaches on D-day to try and defeat Hitler's Nazi Germany.

D-day stands for Debarkation day. The objective known as Operation Overlord was the invasion of five beaches in France. They were Utah beach, Omaha beach, Gold beach, Sword beach and Juno beach. The American troops were deployed on Utah beach and Omaha beach; the British troops attacked Gold beach and Sword beach and our Canadian troops landed on Juno beach. That's were the story begins.

Juno beach is located on the northwest coast of France, in the Normandy region and in between Sword and Gold beach. It was the second most heavily defended beach of the five. Juno's seawall was almost twice the size of the one at Omaha beach. The invasion on Juno was the only one that had all of its objectives met.

Canada's objective was to break through the Atlantic wall. At 1.00am, Canadian paratroopers would parachute into action and behind enemy lines for the first time in our country's history.

As the hours past, 14,000 Canadian soldiers in boats were waiting patiently to step on land and fight for Canada. The bombardment by the Destroyers and Airborne started at 6.00 am. Two hours later most of the German defenses were shattered. However many pillbox bunkers filled with enemy machine gunners remained.

At 8.15am, the Royal Winnipeg Rifles were the first to land on the beach. They were under heavy fire from the largest concentration of pillboxes along the beaches. Many men died getting out of the boats in just five feet of water. Some shot, others drowned from the weight of the equipment. The Germans still had a big advantage.

Later at 9.00am, the entire first wave had landed and many men would die. Roughly one hundred eighty men lost their lives on that beach.

At 10.00am, the frontlines of Juno beach were demolished and our Canadian troops had established the beachhead. Then from the beachhead on, they fought hard and fierce. Not only were our troops the first to take control of their beach, but they accomplished their mission in nine hours, while the rest of there Allies were still battling.

Three hundred and forty Canadian soldiers were wounded and sadly, five hundred more lost their lives on D-day. Husbands, fathers, brothers and sons would never return home to their families and see Canada again. To our brave soldiers who fought on D-day, we owe them our freedom, which we sometimes take for granted. I've heard it said that if together we forget our past, we are doomed to repeat it. Let us always remember their sacrifice.

(It is in my honor, that I write this article out of my personal interest and the respect of my two grandfathers who served in World War Two. Let us never forget their sacrifice.)

WWII: D-Day, June 6, 1944 by: Matt Duprau

Matt William Alexander Duprau

Source: EzineArticles
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