In two days’ time, on the 6th of June, it will be 70 years since the D-Day landings in Normandy. As anyone who has heard me rant about the utter waste of time the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have been will know, I am not a fan of any wars and think that most of them in the last several hundred years have had no justification. Possibly the only exception to that in my opinion is the 2nd World War. It is difficult to think of how else Hitler’s expansionist and genocidal policies could have been challenged without going to war against him and the tyrannical Nazi war machine he created.
Therefore, although I have no desire to glorify war in any shape or form, I have decided to write a few blogs over the next three days about the D-Day landings, which were the beginning of the tide turning against Hitler. I recently visited the D-Day landing sites, and it is quite sobering to see the memorials on and near those beaches to the thousands and thousands of men who died trying to liberate Europe from Hitler’s tyranny. Most of the men who died were barely out of their teens, and those from Canada and the United States probably had no idea where Normandy was when the war began. Yet huge numbers would lose their lives trying to liberate people they would never meet.
One of the most difficult parts of the D-Day landings was at Pointe du Hoc, which are high cliffs between what are now known as Utah Beach and Ohama Beach. These cliffs were heavily defended by the Germans, and yet vital to the assaults on Omaha and Utah beaches as the large German guns could fire shells onto the soldiers coming ashore on those beaches. Therefore it was imperative for the Allies to capture this strategic point if their landings on the beaches were to be successful.
Tomorrow I will blog about the memorials at Utah beach, to the north of Pointe du Hoc.