Invasion Of Normandy


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invasion of normandy General george s. patton

General George S. PATTON

Soldier, General, Pilot, Athlete, Father, Gun Owner, Hero, Legend
UNLIKE many war heroes who had no intention of ever becoming famous, George Patton decided during childhood that his goal in life was to be a hero. This noble aim was first inspired by listening to his father read aloud for hours about the exploits of the heroes of ancient Greece. Homer's Iliad and Odyssey were particular favourites of young Georgie, who could recite lines from both texts long before he could even lift a sword. These classic images were filled out by recent war stories of living soldiers, particularly those of John Singleton ''Ranger'' Mosby. John often visited the Patton house and would entertain Georgie for hours with tales of his Civil War adventures. With this steady diet of combat regalia, Georgie was convinced that the profession of arms was his calling.




GENERAL PATTON'S PERSONAL SIDE ARMS. THE IVORY HANDLED REVOLVERS BECAME HIS TRADEMARK DURING WW2. TOP SMITH & WESSON .357 MAGNUM. BOTTOM COLT .45 MODEL 1873.
Young George didn't want to be just any soldier; he had his sights fixed on becoming a combat general. He had one major obstacle to overcome, however. Though he was obviously intelligent (his knowledge of classical literature was encyclopaedic and he had learned to read military topographic maps by the age of 7), George didn't learn to read until he was 12 years old. It was only at age 12 when George was sent off to Stephen Cutter Clark's Classical School that he began to catch up on his academic skills; he managed to find plenty of time for athletics as well. While at school, the path toward his goal became focused he planned on attending West Point as the next major step in the pursuit of his general's stars.

When he graduated from high school, however, there were no appointments open to West Point in his home state of California, so he enrolled at his father's alma mater, Virginia Military Institute. As a first year "rat" at VMI, young Patton did quite well despite his late start at formal learning. However, spelling and punctuation were to give him problems throughout his life. An appointment to West Point opened the next year and George was awarded it. He reported to ''Beast Barracks'' in 1904. During his career at the Point, George developed into an expert fencer. His football career suffered due to his aggressiveness he suffered three broken noses and two broken arms playing end. Due to deficiencies in mathematics, he had to spend an extra year at West Point, but this deficiency was no detriment to his superb military skills which gained him the cadet adjutancy his final year. When he graduated in the class of 1909 he ranked 46th out of a class of 103. As would befit one with a love of heroics, Lieutenant Patton chose the cavalry as his special branch, no doubt picturing himself leading hell-for-leather charges against the enemy. He also married Bee Ayer, whom he met while at the Point, in 1910. The next two years saw the dashing young cavalry of officer become one of the Army's best polo players.

Patton also represented the United States in the 1912 Olympics at Stockholm in the Modern Pentathlon. This event, which includes five traditional military skills shooting, fencing, swimming, riding, and running was considered a rigorous test of those skills most necessary for an officer. Patton did quite well, but lost points on perhaps his best event shooting. The competitors were allowed to choose whatever pistol they wished, and most used .22 revolvers. Patton, however, felt that he should use a true military weapon, which at that time was a .38 revolver. Consequently, Patton's handgun punched larger holes in the target, which probably cost him points in the shooting finals since he supposedly missed with one round; in actuality the "missing" round had passed through a cluster of holes he had already put in the target. Still, Patton finished fifth overall, an excellent finish in an event traditionally dominated by European marksmen.

After the Olympics, Patton kept busy by visiting the French cavalry school as an observer and studying French sword ... more

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D-Day

As Supreme Expeditionary Forces Commander, General Dwight D. Eisenhower had the top military men of Great Britain and the United States under his command. These men would help him play out the great plans for the long awaited invasion. Their orders from the Combined Chiefs of Staff were very simple; they were to land on the coast of France and destroy the German armies.
The Nazis General Field Marshal Erwin Rommel took many different measures to prepare for the attacks by the Allies. He was the only General under Hitler’s command that believed Normandy not Pas Del Calais would be the invading point (Skipper 42). His troops worked feverishly to strengthen defenses. The entire coastline was littered with land mines. Their beaches had deadly obstacles and their weapons and bases were camouflaged. They felt that on shore they were invincible.
By early 1944 almost one million Allied soldiers arrived in the United Kingdom. That brought their total there to almost three million. The Allied airforce strength had grown from a few thousand planes to more than 15,000 planes. The 5,000 bombers were ready to drop over 100,000 bombs. All the available space in Britain was used for storage.
Newly thoughts up ideas were in the makings to be used at Normandy. One idea was to create artificial harbors on the coasts of Normandy. They would use heavy machinery to break German obstacles and destroy mines. These new ideas would be very useful in aiding Allied troops.
The men themselves were trained under conditions that would be similar to the ones they would soon be fighting at. These exercises were different from the ones they had known in the US. Troops continually worked at operating as a whole with other infantries. In some cases the men were even toughened up by having sessions of hand to hand combat. Paratroopers were also mentally and physically toughened up for their missions. The thirteen thousand plus men were said to be the greatest up to that time.
The heavy air attacks on the Germans coal railroads began in April of 1944 nearly two months before the actual invasion. These attacks were the first steps in the disruption of the Nazis communication centers. The three days that the Allies thought would be best for the invasion were the 5th, 6th, and 7th of June. If the weather did not meet their standard they would have to postpone the invasion. They believed that if they had to postpone the invasion that the consequences would be terrible.
On June 1st and 2nd the troops left their camps and headed straight for the Forts of embarkation. They were transferred under heavy surveillance of the military police. The day before the scheduled attack the weather turned terribly bad. General Eisenhower soon decided that the attack would have to be postponed. The weather soon cleared and the decision was made to go ahead with the act on June 6th.
The first men to see action would be the paratroopers from the American 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions who were scheduled to drop behind enemy lines (Skipper 53). To move the 175,000 troopers across shore over 4,000 ships were used. Weapons and artillery were also boarded onto ships so they could aid the troopers once they landed. At the end of June 5th the preparations for the invasion had been finished.
Air fighters were used to knockout key points that were to seal off roads and highways to the shores. They were also very useful as scouts. Next gliders were to be sent carrying soldiers and anti tank weapons before the troops had reached the shores. There were serious loses due to the fact that the fields where they were forced to land were so terrible. Sainte-Mere-Eglise was the first German town to be captured by paratroopers.
The Germans who were surprised by the invasion were quick to prepare. The coastal defenses that they had prepared for this very moment were readied quickly. Soon Allied destroyers were used to try and fight the coastal defenses that the air force attacks did not destroy. As the battle raged on the transports prepared to bring their troops onshore. After the air fighters and warships had done their jobs the fate of ... more

invasion of normandy

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