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Captured: A Woman Sniper <br />(Yank Magazine, 1944)Captured: A Woman Sniper
(Yank Magazine, 1944)
A small notice from a post D-Day YANK announced the capture of a German woman sniper named, Myra.

Click here if you would like to read about women combatants during W.W. I.

War Stories from the Second Armored Division in Normandy <br />(Yank Magazine, 1944)War Stories from the Second Armored Division in Normandy
(Yank Magazine, 1944)
An account relaying a bloody slice of life lived by the officers and men of the U.S. Second Armored Division. The story takes place on the tenth day following the D-Day landings as one armored battalion struggled to free themselves of the hedgerows, placate their slogan-loving general and ultimately make that dinner date in far-off Paris. Yank correspondent Walter Peters weaves an interesting narrative and the reader will get a sense of the business-like mood that predominated among front line soldiers and learn what vehicles were involved during an armored assault
''Invasion Fever'' <br />(Yank Magazine, 1944)''Invasion Fever''
(Yank Magazine, 1944)
"As increasing aerial bombardment of Nazi-occupied Europe mounted in Fury day after day, every American civilian was talking last week about when and how the actual land invasion of the continent would begin."

"Newspaper editors were already dragging out their largest headline type, and when more than 40 top Washington correspondents were called to the White House for what turned out to be a routine announcement, telephone lines from a dozen National Press building offices were being kept open in case this was 'it'"

Pre-Invasion Bombs <br />(Yank Magazine, 1944)Pre-Invasion Bombs
(Yank Magazine, 1944)
"Invasion, however, will not begin until the Nazis have been virtually knocked out of the sky. The target of the moment, therefore, is the German air force. ...From 500 airdromes scattered throughout Britain, Allied planes fly night and day - frequently every hour of the 24 - some in fleets of a thousand or more to battle the Luftwaffe...Air war as such is almost over in Europe; the Allied infantryman is preparing now to march across a continent, battling along a 'road' already cut wide and long by bombers and fighters four miles upward."
Four Glider Pilots on D-Day <br />(Yank Magazine, 1944)Four Glider Pilots on D-Day
(Yank Magazine, 1944)
A three page article about the unique experiences of four American glider pilots on D-Day; how they fared after bringing their infantry-heavy gliders down behind German lines, what they saw and how they got back to the beach.
American Losses at Normandy <br />(Yank Magazine, 1944)American Losses at Normandy
(Yank Magazine, 1944)
In the July 22,1944 issue of YANK the editors saw fit to release the numbers of American casualties that were racked-up during the first eleven days of the allied Normandy Invasion. In the fullness of time, the numbers were adjusted to be considerably lower than the 1944 accounting; Pentagon records now indicate 1,465 were killed, 3,184 were wounded, 1,928 were registered as missing, 26 were taken prisoner.
It is interesting to note that YANK did not sugar coat the report.

Of the total US figure, 2499 casualties were from the US airborne troops (238 of them being deaths). The casualties at Utah Beach were relatively light: 197, including 60 missing. However, the US 1st and 29th Divisions together suffered around 2,000 casualties at Omaha Beach.

Additional facts and figures about the U.S. Army casualties in June of '44 can be read in this article.

June 6, 1945: the First Anniversary <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)June 6, 1945: the First Anniversary
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
YANK correspondent Dewitt Gilpin visited the Omaha and Utah beaches exactly one year after the 1944 Normandy Invasion. The journalist interviewed some American D-Day veterans as well as members of the local French population who recalled that bloody day -while others simply tried to forget.

"Landing to the left of the Rangers on Omaha was the 116th Infantry of the 29th Division. Their 1st Battalion came in over a beach that had more dead men on it than live ones."

Read what the army psychologists had to say about fear in combat.

D-Day Plus Ten With the 82nd Airborne <br />(Yank Magazine, 1944)D-Day Plus Ten With the 82nd Airborne
(Yank Magazine, 1944)
The battle of the hedgerows as experienced by the paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division:

"They all had been fighting since D-Day. Compared with the obstacles at the beginning of their drive, the hill they had just taken was only a minor deal, but it was no push-over. "At some places," one paratrooper told me, "the fighting was so close the Krauts didn't even bother to throw their grenades, they just handed them over to us."

The 9th Air Force on D-Day <br />(Yank Magazine, 1944)The 9th Air Force on D-Day
(Yank Magazine, 1944)
An eye-witness account of the U.S. Army Ninth Air Force A-20 bombers as they made their runs on D-Day:

"There was no time to lose on this mission. Hitler's armies might well be driving over those crossroads toward the beachheads at this minute. This was not just an ordinary mission. It was the beginning of a mission that some day might end all combat missions."

"'There's London.' Rafalow announced, over the intercom."
"I glanced down. The acres of buildings looked quiet and peaceful."
"You'd almost think there wasn't a war on.'"
"A few minutes later his voice came over the intercom again, but this time it was high-pitched with excitement. We were over the English Channel where it was quite obvious there was a war on."
"'By God, look at the ships!' he yelled."

D-Day with the Eighth Air Force <br />(Yank Magazine, 1944)D-Day with the Eighth Air Force
(Yank Magazine, 1944)
D-Day for the lads of the U.S. Army Air Corps' Eighth Air Force was a time of great excitement and anticipation. Despite the exhaustion that comes with a fifteen hour day, all concerned recognized well that they were participating in an historic event that would be discussed long after they had left this world, but of greater importance was their understanding that the tides of war were shifting in the Allies' favor.

In his book Wartime, Paul Fussel noted that the Allies had placed as many as 11,000 planes in the skies above France that day.

Port of Embarcation <br />(Yank Magazine, 1944)Port of Embarcation
(Yank Magazine, 1944)
This one page article from YANK MAGAZINE by Irwin Swerdlow will give you a sense of the Herculean task that was involved in the transporting of so many men and supplies across the English Channel to breach Rommel's Atlantic Wall:

"When the port-battalion men were ordered to fall out in the compound that morning, 'Bulldozer' knew that the show had started. He had played professional baseball, and it felt like the ninth inning...The biggest job of coordination that the world has ever known was under way. Thousands of things had to happen at a certain time, things which, if they did not happen, would delay the entire movement. Every depot had to be emptied of ammunition, supplies, food, petrol, and men - funneled through ships to give preponderance in fire power and man power to smother resistance on the other side."

The U.S.S. Doyle Slugs It Out <br />(Yank Magazine, 1944)The U.S.S. Doyle Slugs It Out
(Yank Magazine, 1944)
"From the deck of the destroyer U.S.S. Doyle, this YANK correspondent watched for nearly three nights as the grim drama of D-Day unfolded on the American beachhead."

"From the Doyle's decks I could see the shells strike with the naked eye. First there would be a flash and then a puff of smoke which billowed into the sky. Several tanks and landing crafts were burning at the water's edge. Through the glasses I watched troops jump from their boats and start running up the beach."

Statistical data concerning the U.S. Army casualties in June and July of 1944 can be read in this article.

Glider Infantry on D-Day <br />(Yank Magazine, 1944)Glider Infantry on D-Day
(Yank Magazine, 1944)
A day by day account by Private George Groh, a member of the 101st Airborne, who joined the 1944 Normandy Invasion as a glider-infantryman.
French Paratroopers on D-Day <br />(The Stars and Stripes, 1944)French Paratroopers on D-Day
(The Stars and Stripes, 1944)
Written by Andy Rooney, this three column article concerned the seldom remembered efforts of a French airborne battalion that jumped into Brittany on D-Day in order to disrupt German communications.

Click here to read more about W.W. II parachute infantry...

Click here to read about the first American Paratrooper.

The German Army's Official Report on D-Day <br />(Dept. of the Army, 1945)The German Army's Official Report on D-Day
(Dept. of the Army, 1945)
Translated from German, labeled "CONFIDENTIAL" and printed in a booklet for a class at the U.S. Army Military Academy in 1945 was the attached German Army assessment of the D-Day invasion. Distributed on June 20, 1944, just two weeks after the Normandy landings, the report originated in the offices of Field Marshal von Rundstedt (1875 - 1953) and served to document the German reaction to the Allied Operations in Normandy.

The Rangers of Pointe du Hoc <br />(Collier's Magazine, 1954)The Rangers of Pointe du Hoc
(Collier's Magazine, 1954)
The triumphs of the U.S. Army 2nd Ranger Battalion on the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc on D-Day stand as a testament to the superb combat leadership skills of Lt. Colonel James E. Rudder (1910 1970), who is the subject of the attached article. As a participant in the planning the Allied invasion of Normandy, General Omar Bradley recognized that the German heavy guns situated above and between the Omaha and Utah beaches had to be silenced if the landings were to be successful; Bradley selected Rudder and his group to do the job, later remarking that this order was "the most difficult he had ever, in his entire career, given anybody".

Written ten years after that historic day, this article is about Rudder's return to Omaha Beach with his young son, and his recollections of the battle that was fought.

A good read; an even more in-depth study regarding the assault on Pointe du Hoc can be found at Amazon: Rudder's Rangers.

More about Rangers can be read here...

''About the Russians in Normandy'' <br />(Yank Magazine, 1944)''About the Russians in Normandy''
(Yank Magazine, 1944)
"About the Russians in Normandy...and they weren't much help to Adolf, either. Here are two stories, one of which tells how Russians, captured and forced to fight for the enemy, turned the tables on Jerry; the other which tells what happened when the Americans liberated Russian prisoners from a concentration camp."

Eisenhower's D-Day Report <br />(The Department of the Army, 1945)Eisenhower's D-Day Report
(The Department of the Army, 1945)
The following is an extract from General Eisenhower's report on the Allied operations from June 6 through the 26 of August, 1944:

"Many factors are woven into warp and woof of this great victory...One was the meticulous care in planning and preparation, another was the fact that we achieved some degree of surprise involving place, timing and strength of attack. The excellence and sufficiency of amphibious equipment, with measures for dealing with beach defenses and obstacles, was also important. In the air, the Luftwaffe has taken a fearful beating. Since June 6, 2378 German aircraft have been destroyed in the air and 1,167 on the ground..."

D-Day-Plus-One <br />(Yank Magazine, 1944)D-Day-Plus-One
(Yank Magazine, 1944)
"D-Day for my outfit was a long, dull 24-hour wait. We spent the whole day marooned in the middle of the English Channel, sunbathing, sleeping and watching the action miles away on the shore through binoculars. We could hear the quick roars and see the greenish-white flashes of light as Allied Battleships and cruisers shelled the pillboxes and other German installations on the beach."

"On D-plus-one we took off for shore. Four Messerschmidtts dove down to strafe the landing crafts as we headed in, but a Navy gunner drove them off with a beautiful burst of ack-ack..."

The Liberation of Cherbourg <br />(Yank Magazine, 1944)The Liberation of Cherbourg
(Yank Magazine, 1944)
The D-Day Landing Crafts <br />(Click Magazine, 1942)The D-Day Landing Crafts
(Click Magazine, 1942)
If you ever wondered why The National W.W. II Museum is located in New Orleans rather than West Point, Annapolis or the nation's capitol - the answer can be spoken in two words: Andrew Higgins. Higgins was the innovator who designed and manufactured the landing crafts that made it possible for the Allied forces to land on all those far-flung beaches throughout the world and show those Fascists dogs a thing or two. His factory, Higgins Industries, was located on Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans and it was for this reason that the museum board of directors chose to doff their collective caps, and erect their repository in his home town.

Attached is a five page photo-essay about Higgins and all that he was doing to aid in the war effort.

The First 100 Hours <br />(Collier's Magazine, 1944)The First 100 Hours
(Collier's Magazine, 1944)
Perched on the quarter deck of an LST off the coast of one of the American beachheads during the D-Day invasion, COLLIER'S war correspondent, W.B. Courtney, described the earliest hours of that remarkable day:

"I stared through my binoculars at some limp, dark bundles lying a little away from the main activities. In my first casual examination of the beach I had assumed they were part of the debris of defensive obstacles. But they were bodies - American bodies."

June 6, 1944 <br />(Pathfinder Magazine, 1944)June 6, 1944
(Pathfinder Magazine, 1944)
"That was the way D-Day began, the second front the Allies had waited for for two years. It came like a shadow in the English midnight... The Nazi news agency, DNB, flashed the first story at 12:40 a.m. on June 6, Eastern wartime. Before dawn, British and American battleships were pounding shells into Havre, Caen and Cherbourg, high-booted skymen of the [88th] and 101st U.S.A. paratroop divisions had dropped into the limestone ridges of the Seine valley and landing barges filled with American, Canadian and British infantrymen nosed up to the beaches along the estuaries of the Orne and Seine rivers."
The Invasion of Western Europe <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1944)The Invasion of Western Europe
(Newsweek Magazine, 1944)
"The focal point of the attack apparently was aimed at Le Havre, the fine port at the mouth of the Seine. Nazi reports indicated a series of drives to cut the Brittany Peninsula with the center of gravity at Caen. It seemed certain that the Reich was awaiting news of other attacks."
Burying The American Dead <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1944)Burying The American Dead
(Newsweek Magazine, 1944)
In time, the American dead from D-Day and the Normandy campaign would be buried at the larger cemetery located in Colleville-sur-Mer, but in late July of 1944, these honored dead were interred at Cardonville, France.
The First Wave <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1944)The First Wave
(Newsweek Magazine, 1944)
"'Down ramp!' shouted the coxswain from the elevated stern."

"Down it came with a clank and splash. Ahead - and it seemed at that moment miles off - stretched the sea wall. At Lieutenant Crisson's insistence we had all daubed our faces with commando black. I charged out with the rest, trying to look fierce and desperate, only to step into a shell hole and submerge myself in the channel. Luckily my gear was too wet and stinking to put on so I was light enough to come up."

This NEWSWEEK journalist was the only allied war correspondent to have witnessed the derring-do of those in the first wave.

The Canadians on D-Day <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1944)The Canadians on D-Day
(Newsweek Magazine, 1944)
"In the first 48 hours the Canadians had captured a dozen towns, taken more than 600 prisoners, stopped a small enemy tank force outside Caen and then joined the British in repeated attacks on Caen."