Little known stories and facts of D-Day. Liberation of France. Second World War.

Major general Barton had to urge his men, "we have got to fight for our country just as hard as the Germans are fighting for theirs."

Anthony Beevor wrote the bestseller Stalingrad in 1998. Now he comes up with D-Day: The Battle for Normandy. His book brings out many interesting, hitherto little known facets of that part of the Second World War.

Courage of the German soldiers: They fought well. The allies had 5000 landing ships and assault craft, 6 battleships, 23 cruisers, 104 destroyers, 152 escort vessels, 277 minesweepers that cleared the waters of mines. Despite all this the German soldiers fought well and earned the bitter admiration of the allied soldiers.Major general Barton had to urge his men, "we have got to fight for our country just as hard as the Germans are fighting for theirs." He also talked of the overwhelming superiority in number of arms and fighting men. "We outnumber them 50 to
1 in artillery, 10 to 1 in infantry and infinite number in the air."
Military analyst Sir Basil Liddell Hart opined that the allied soldiers were not willing to make sacrifices. The Germans were, in contrast, very well motivated.

Allied disregard for property and lives of French civilians. The American and British soldiers used to blast everything to smithereens before they came into the scene so as to avoid casualties. 70,000 french civilians died in Allied action in the war.

French Resistance: General George Patton said their contribution was "better than expected and less than advertised". Beevor says they did much. They loaded ammunition, cleared snipers,secured bridges, provided intelligence and generally hurt the Germans.

French mobs in liberated towns behaved badly. in epuration sauvage, 14,000 alleged collaborators were killed. Specially targeted were women whose heads were shaven, faces tarred black and they were stripped half naked and paraded in the streets.

This was done by Frenchmen who had partied and made merry during the occupation and turned patriotic suddenly as the Allied forces landed on the Normandy beaches.

Source: The Economist
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Points To Ponder


It is difficult to distinguish between the quality of both the German and Russian soldiers. Both were motivated by their love for their motherland. But there were others factors that drove the two sides to such desperate fighting.

One, both sides knew that this was a no-holds bar war. Not fighting was thus not an option.

Second, both Hitler and Stalin had squads that killed any deserter. Turning away from fighting was just not possible.

Thus was seen some of the most bitter, brutal and desperate fighting on the WW2 eastern (Russian) Front.
"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
-- George Santayana


"Be polite; write diplomatically; even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness."
--Otto von Bismarck

"When the enemy advances, withdraw; when he stops, harass; when he tires, strike; when he retreats, pursue.'
--Mao Zedong


"The main thing is to make history, not to write it."
--Otto von Bismarck

"When you have to kill a man it costs nothing to be polite."
--Winston Churchill


"In time of war the loudest patriots are the greatest profiteers."
--August Bebel

"God is not on the side of the big battalions, but on the side of those who shoot best."

Quotes about War....

"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think hard before starting a war."
---Otto von Bismarck


"Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
--Hermann Goering


"To conquer the enemy without resorting to war is the most desirable. The highest form of generalship is to conquer the enemy by strategy."
--Tzu Sun

"All men are brothers, like the seas throughout the world; So why do winds and waves clash so fiercely everywhere?"
--Emperor Hirohito