Saturday, June 6, 2009

65th Anniversary of D-Day: An Alternative View

June 6, 2009 marks the 65th anniversary of D-Day. The Russian Version of the Second World War book, which Graham Lyons edited, presented an alternative version of what actually happened 65 years ago in Western Europe:

“In June 1944, when it had become obvious that the Soviet Union was capable of defeating Hitler’s Germany with her forces alone, England and the USA opened the Second Front.

“On 6 June the Allied forces, commanded by General Eisenhower, landed in Normandy (Northern France). The Anglo-American forces…advanced into the heart of France…

“…The Germans had diverted only 60 divisions to the Western front, while the Hitler command maintained 259 divisions and brigades on the Soviet-German front…”

According to The French Resistance: 1940 to 1944 by Frida Knight, during the days and weeks after D-Day in France, “towns and villages” in Normandy were “mercilessly bombed by the Allied planes;” and around the city of Caen, “the Allied Command ordered air-raids almost as cruel as those on Germany.” As a result, according to the same book, “hundreds died and thousands lost their homes;” and “when the Canadian division finally entered and `liberated’ Caen there was little left of the town” and “the population had declined from 32,000 to 12,000.”

The French Resistance book also asserted that “in Le Havre, the last Normandy town to be freed, where 1,500 tons of high explosives were dropped in two hours, there were between 2,000 and 3,000 dead, while 35,000 were completely bombed out of 10,500 homes;” and “it is now recognized but not always admitted that had the Allies understood the role of the French Resistance and incorporated its forces into their plans there would have been no need for the raids with their tolls of tragedy and harvest of bitterness…”

U.S. military casualties on D-Day included 1,465 killed, 3,184 wounded and 1,929 missing, according to The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan.

(Downtown 6/8/94)

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