20:00 – June 6, 1944 (Last Update)

Later in the day, General Eisenhower authorizes release of communiqué announcing the commencement of the invasion:

Communique Number 2

 6 June 1944

Shortly before midnight on 5 June, 1944, Allied light bombers  opened the assault. Their attacks in very great strength  continued until dawn.

Between 0630 and 0730 hours this morning, two Naval Task  Forces, commanded by Rear-Admiral Sir Philip Vian, K.B.E.,  D.S.O., flying his flag in H.M.S. Scylla (Captain  T.M. Brownrigg, C.B.E., R.N.), and Rear-Admiral Alan Goodrich Kirk,  U.S.N., in U.S.S. Augusta (Captain E. H. Jones, U.S.N.) launched
their assault forces at enemy beaches. The naval forces which  had previously assembled under the overall command of Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, made their departure in fresh weather and were joined during the night by bombarding forces which had previously left northern waters.

Channels had to be swept through the large enemy minefields. This operation was completed shortly before dawn and, while minesweeping flotillas continued to sweep towards the enemy coast, the entire naval force followed down swept channels behind them towards their objectives.

Shortly before the assault, three enemy torpedo boats with armed trawlers in company attempted to interfere with the operation and were promptly driven off. One enemy trawler was sunk and another severely damaged.

The assault forces moved towards the beaches under cover of heavy bombardment from destroyers and other support craft, while heavier ships engaged enemy batteries which had already been subjected to bombardment from the air. Some of these were silenced. Allied forces continued to engage other batteries.

Landings were effected under cover of the air and naval bombardments and airborne landings involving troop carrying aircraft and gliders carrying large forces of troops were also made successfully at a number of points. Reports of operations so far show that our forces succeeded in their initial landings.

Fighting continues. Allied heavy, medium, light, and fighter bombers continued the air bombardment in very great strength throughout the day with attacks on gun emplacements, defensive works, and communica-tions [communications]. Continuous fighter over [cover] was maintained over the beaches and for some distance inland and over naval operations in the Channel. Our night fighters played an equally important role in protecting shipping and troop carrier forces and in intruder operations. Allied reconnaissance aircraft maintained continuous watch by day and night over shipping and ground forces. Our aircraft met with little enemy fighter opposition or anti-aircraft [antiaircraft] gunfire. Naval casualties were regarded as being very light, especially when the magnitude of the operation is taken into account.

 

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07:35 – June 6, 1944

07:35 Update

05:30 H – Allied warships begin shelling German coastal fortifications
06:00 H – Sunrise. Aerial bombardment of German fortifications along Utah and Omaha Beaches
06:30 H – American landings begin on Utah and Omaha Beaches.
06:52 H – First reports of conditions on the beaches reach Admiral Ramsay. American forces on Omaha Beach meeting stiff opposition, and suffering heavy casualties.

Omaha Beach

07:00 H – German radio broadcast initial report of the landing
07:10 H – U.S. Army 2nd Ranger Battalion begins assault on Pointe du Hoc

Pointe Du Hoc

07:25 H – British landings begin on Gold and Sword Beaches
07:35 H – Canadian landing begins on Juno Beach

British Troops on Sword Beach.

05:00 – June 6, 1944

Update of Overnight Operations

00:05 H – Allied air forces begin bombing of coastal batteries between Le Havre and Cherbourg.
00:10 H – reconnaissance groups dropped by parachute – Lieutenant Poole becomes first allied soldier to set foot on French soil.
00:20 H – British commandos under the command of Major Howard arrive by glider and begin attacks on Pegasus and other bridges over the River Orne.

Allied Glider

01:00 H – U.S. 82nd Airborne Division lands by parachute west of Saint Mere Eglise.

C47 Dakota

C-47 Dakota ( a military version of the DC-3) used to transport airborne troops to Normandy at: Musee des Troupes Aeroportees – Sainte Mere Eglise

01:11 H – First reports of American airborne assault reach headquarters of the German 84th Army Corps at Saint Lo.
01:30 H – U.S. 101ST Airborne Division lands by parachute near Utah Beach.
01:50 H – Main body of the British 6TH Airborne Division lands by parachute east of the River Orne.
02:45 H – Troops bound for Omaha Beach board landing craft.
03:00 H – Allied warships arrive at assigned positions for the assault.
03:20 H – Heavy equipment and reinforcements for paratroops arrive by glider.
03:25 H – German naval observers report presence of Allied task force off the coast of Normandy.
03:50 H – British paratroops begin attack on the village of Ranville.
04:30 H – Sainte Mere Eglise captured by 505th Regiment, U.S. 82nd Airborne Division. Marcouf islets off Utah Beach occupied by Americans.

“(American) paratroopers began jumping out by the hundreds. I saw one paratrooper land in the road but a German killed him before he could get untangled from his parachute. Another (paratrooper) was as killed near me. I will never forget the sight.” – Raymond Paris, resident of St. Mère-Eglise

04:45 H – Two miniature submarines drop off beachmasters and equipment for signaling landing craft. British knockout German shore battery at Merville.

22:00 – June 5, 1944

Commencement of Operation Neptune – Five fleets of assault ships cast off and depart their English port bases.

“We slipped anchor and headed into the Channel to overtake the grey columns of troops transports and landing craft, which now stretched to the horizon and beyond. They filled the scene as far as the eye could see. Overhead, the sky was filled with an aerial armada of bombers.”

John Gough, radio operator on board a destroyer.

LCI Convoy - D-Day

Quick New Year Update

Back in June, I was afflicted by Bell’s Palsy.  Initially, my doctor told me it would take up to 6 months to recover 90%.  Well, I made 90% within 4 weeks.  However, there are still some lingering effects in my face. Hopefully they clear up.  I look in the mirror, and I have jowls. I look like an old hound dog.

Bleh.

Anyway, Happy New Year to everyone!!!

 

David, 1. Bells Palsy, 0.

I went to the doctor yesterday morning, for my follow-up visit.

According to the doctor, he sees a 50% improvement in my face, from last week’s visit.  He said that another 10-12 days, and I will be at 90%.

It’s amazing to go from zero muscle function to being able to drink without a straw, chewing on the right side of my mouth, and being able to smile…even if it is still a little lopsided.

When this happened, I put everything in God’s hands.  I DID still take the antiviral medicine, and the nasty steroid pills (Bleh).  To go from being told that it would take 6 months to recover…to being told that it will take 3 weeks is truly a blessing.

D