As President Obama heads to Normandy, here are some numbers to think about, from D-Day.org:
D-Day: It is hard to conceive the epic scope of this decisive battle that foreshadowed the end of Hitlers dream of Nazi domination. Overlord was the largest air, land, and sea operation undertaken before or since June 6, 1944. The landing included over 5,000 ships, 11,000 airplanes, and over 150,000 service men.From Wiki's page on the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial we learn there are 9,387 young men and boys buried there. Of those buried there, 307 are unknown soldiers. More information on casualties, numbers of troops and equipment landed on the beaches can be found at the DDayMuseum site.
After years of meticulous planning and seemingly endless training, for the Allied Forces, it all came down to this: The boat ramp goes down, then jump, swim, run, and crawl to the cliffs. Many of the first young men (most not yet 20 years old) entered the surf carrying eighty pounds of equipment. They faced over 200 yards of beach before reaching the first natural feature offering any protection. Blanketed by small-arms fire and bracketed by artillery, they found themselves in hell.
When it was over, the Allied Forces had suffered nearly 10,000 casualties; more than 4,000 were dead.
The numbers are mind-boggling. And it was supposed to be the war to end all wars....not really, but it should of been. After the big power countries finished carving up Europe, it would never be the same, would it? Such death and destruction...