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It was 63 years ago today ...

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by HejiraHenry, Jun 6, 2007.

  1. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy.

    At the end of one long day, the tide of war – and of history itself – had changed.

    I have come to feel that the planning and execution of the D-Day invasion may represent the apex of putting Western industrial power and will behind Western ideals ... and a greater triumph of logistics than even, say, putting a man on the moon.

    Just a remarkable accomplishment.

    I have long thought that Eisenhower's example carried a powerful managerial lesson - you get a good plan, you give your people all the resources they need to succeed, you let them know you'll support them regardless and then you get out of the way and let them make things happen.

    Eisenhower spent the morning of D-Day drafting a message to be read in case of failure. And smoking a lot.

    (I pointed that out to a micro-managing publisher once and he got so agitated, he started sputtering spittle in my face.)

    The loss of life on D-Day was grevious, and made worse by a lot of mistakes and bad assumptions made before the invasion began. But, as somebody (Tom Clancy, maybe, or Garry Wills?) wrote about U.S. Grant in the Civil War, at least those deaths counted for something.

    The thesis of the best writing I have read on D-Day and the days that followed contends that the margin of victory in Western Europe – and it was a thin margin, indeed – was in the American commanders' and soldiers' ability to improvise and adapt on the fly, while the regimented Germans had to wait for instructions from Berlin.

    Those of you on this board who contend that no war is ever justified are understandably distressed whenever the examples and lessons of World War II are invoked here. A pity.
  2. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    Sorry, brother: http://www.sportsjournalists.com/forum/threads/42572/
  3. Killick

    Killick Well-Known Member

    ... spnited turned 21 and had his first beer?
  4. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    Decentralized command, brother. It's what makes us tick.
  5. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    i disagree that it was a greater logistical feat than putting a man on the moon. it went from idea out of JFK's mouth to reality in eight years. and it had never been done before; technology literally didn't exist. when JFK said it, a lot of people thought it was just a pie-in-the-sky notion. it was utterly incomprehensible to many people. and it happened in just eight years.
  6. Pilot

    Pilot Active Member

    And nearly 40 years of technology later, it's not by any means easier or more common. Think about all the stuff that has been invented since then, and think about how daunting a task going back to the moon would be. Amazing.

    I was digging around and found a picture of the latest thing NASA expects to replace the shuttle, something it thinks will be able to go to the moon and/or Mars, and surprise, surprise, it looks a hell of a lot like the old Apollo stuff.

    That said, it may be a greater achievement, but I'm not sure if it was a greater logistical feat. Either way, both were amazing events.
  7. AgatePage

    AgatePage Active Member

    agreed on all previous WW2 posts. The stories are amazing. My grandfather was in the pacific theater so there weren't any european stories.

    However, today is also my birthday, so it's always been fun to pick up the paper in whatever town I'm in and read the many many amazing stories about people that I will always hold in the highest regard.

    So not only am I thankful to have made it another year today, I am glad that I can remember and honor these people every year. I've not really wanted to travel to Europe, but seeing Normandy on this day might change my mind.

    thanks again to all our soldiers, no matter where you served.
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