If you ever wondered why The National W.W. II Museum is located in New Orleans, Louisiana 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.
From Amazon: Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies
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.
The Rangers underwent intense training in hand-to-hand combat, you can raed about about it in this 1942 magazine article.
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.
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 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..."
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.
"The Doyle had been assigned two targets -the first a 125-yard stretch of cliff on which were ensconced five pillboxes, two machine gun nests, and two concrete shelters, probably containing 88-mm. guns all of which must be neutralized before H-hour; the second another strongly fortified position up a winding draw...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."
Click here to read more magazine articles about D-Day
Statistical data concerning the U.S. Army casualties in June and July of 1944 can be read in this article.