D-Day: 6 June 1944 As Reported in 2004

A bit long but an interesting read, which may add some perspective to today's war headlines.

Here's how today's media might have covered D-Day, 60 years ago. > ======================================= > > On the coast of France, June 6, 1944: > > Hundreds of paratroopers have fallen wide of their target zone. (In Washington, > the Senate Armed Services Committee is demanding an explanation. The Army > chief of staff may be called to testify.) The French village of Cerville has > been destroyed by mortar fire from a U.S. infantry platoon. Four civilians were > killed, including one elderly great-grandmother. German defenders had > retreated hours before the American attack. Army intelligence failures are cited. > > NBC Exclusive: Four bombs dropped by 8th Air Force raiders failed to > explode when they fell in an empty field close to the village of Le Challimond. An > examination indicates the duds came from an Iowa munitions factory. An > unidentified Army corporal said additional defective bombs may already be > aboard other U.S. bombers heading for France. > > Thousands of American casualties were suffered today as troops poured on > shore at Omaha Beach. (In Washington, a Nebraska congressmen charged that many > GI's were unprepared for what they encountered during the invasion. "Somebody > needs to be held accountable," he said.) > > Heavy Navy shelling from battleships and cruisers had little effect on > Nazi gun emplacements raining fire on U.S. forces, several correspondents at the > scene reported. (In Washington, a World War I veteran interviewed by a reporter > questioned the value of troop support by warships, saying "the days of > naval involvement in battles is long past.") > > CBS Exclusive: Bombs falling on the tiny French village of Entierier killed > all four cows on which residents depend for milk and cheese. Severe shortages > are feared unless U.S. forces can replace the animals by next week. > > A 411-year-old church in the village of Marsuiles was destroyed by Army > artillery fire after a German sniper was detected shooting from the bell tower. > The Vichy French government mayor of the town protested to advancing GI's, > saying the sniper surely would have ceased firing had the American soldiers > asked him to do so. He demanded an apology from Gen. Omar Bradley. > > NBC Exclusive, in a report from Paris: > Residents here fear the Eiffel Tower might be destroyed by advancing > American forces. "They probably do not appreciate the beauties of the City of > Light," said Pierre Mutrand, the mayor appointed by occupying German forces. His > sentiments were echoed by a number of Parisians and several Nazi SS > officers, interviewed while sipping aperitifs at sidewalk cafes along the > Champs-Elysées. > > A river near the French coast has been contaminated by fuel leaking from > two disabled tanks that advancing GI's pushed over the side of a bridge. > French puppet civic leaders questioned the need to clear the bridge by such > drastic action, saying it appeared soldiers could have climbed over the wreckage > had it been left in place. Correspondents were denied an interview by the young > Army captain commanding troops in the area. > > CBS Exclusive: American forces bogged down in the hedgerows of the French > countryside have been calling for reinforcements to help escape withering > German fire. Communication problems, however, have left commanders on the beach > unaware that some of their troops are in a desperate situation. It makes you > wonder whether their training was adequate - or even if there was any training at > all. > > On the home front: > > As first battle reports indicated heavy casualties on Omaha Beach, a Republican > leader addressing a Republican rally in Bloomington, Ind., told a group of > somber Hoosiers that the invasion losses are evidence that President > Roosevelt is incompetent. The Indiana congressional delegation responded by saying > it would begin bipartisan hearings to see whether Roosevelt had concealed > information that the invasion would be more costly than expected. > > In a panel discussion broadcast by NBC Radio, four White House > correspondents provided illuminating insight into the difficulties being encountered by > Allied forces in France. Jeremy Jeffords, Washington Bureau chief of a small > Midwest newspaper, said, "The decision to start the invasion this early in June is > open to severe criticism. Gen. Eisenhower and his planners apparently failed to > take into account that delaying this assault until August would have found much > of the French population on a holiday and thus removed from the path of the > fighting." > > In Chicago, the Rev. Blakely Elmera, a noted peace activist, deplored the > violence taking place on the French battlefields. "Apparently our government in > Washington gave no thought to the possibility of negotiating with German > leaders in an effort to resolve their differences," he said. "We seem to be > blindly following Churchill's affection for war." In London, the British prime > minister lit a new cigar and declined to respond.
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Nice try. "We have achieved Peace in Our Time."


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jim rozen

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