Author Topic: Revisiting the Grim Heroism of Saving Private Ryan, 20 Years Later  (Read 2780 times)

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Offline daftandbarmy

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Revisiting the Grim Heroism of Saving Private Ryan, 20 Years Later

Steven Spielberg’s World War II epic was a box-office smash and an Oscar winner that clearly informed the darker tone of his future projects.

https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2018/07/saving-private-ryans-grim-view-of-heroism-20-years-later/565925/
"Now listen to me you benighted muckers. We're going to teach you soldiering. The world's noblest profession. When we're done with you, you'll be able to slaughter your enemies like civilized men." Daniel Dravot

Offline Czech_pivo

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Having been to Normandy last summer and visiting family buried at Bretteville sur Laize in Cintheaux, I was finally able to better grasp the enormity of what occurred there during the months of June, July and into August and the terrible cost that we Allies paid. 

Offline NavyShooter

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I visited Juno beach with my family last year.  Humbling.

A few years prior, I visited Omaha Beach.  I was at a loss for words, looking up the hill that those soldiers fought their way up.

Insert disclaimer statement here....

:panzer:

Online mariomike

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As you travel further into France, ( Aisne, Aube, Haute-Marne, Marne, Meuse, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Oise, Seine-et-Marne ) you come across RCAF graves in the communal cemeteries who were KIA that summer in support of the Normandy invasion.

Tiny cemeteries, but also humbling.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2018, 14:36:05 by mariomike »
In any war, there are two tremendous tasks. That of the combat troops is to fight the enemy. That of the supply troops is to furnish all the material to insure victory. The faster and farther the combat troops advance against the foe, the greater becomes the battle of supply. EISENHOWER

Offline Czech_pivo

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I was able to visit the village, Criquebeuf-sur-Seine, where my family members were killed. They were killed during the rush for the Seine crossings. They were 20yr old twin boys, one was killed on the 26th of Aug. building a Bailey bridge and the other twin on the 28th charging the guns that shelled the bridge that his brother died trying to build.
The little church there had a plaque to 84 villagers that were held hostage by the SS unit that held the village until the 25th. Reprisals for the sentry that had been killed the day before.

Online mariomike

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I've been to Robert-Espagne,
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massacre_de_la_vall%C3%A9e_de_la_Saulx

It's in French. But, it sounds similar to what happened at Criquebeuf-sur-Seine.



« Last Edit: July 26, 2018, 19:06:31 by mariomike »
In any war, there are two tremendous tasks. That of the combat troops is to fight the enemy. That of the supply troops is to furnish all the material to insure victory. The faster and farther the combat troops advance against the foe, the greater becomes the battle of supply. EISENHOWER

Offline daftandbarmy

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French civilian casualties were also enormous, and estimated at up to 20,000:

Taking a wider view, during the Battle of Normandy over 425,000 Allied and German troops were killed, wounded or went missing. This figure includes around 210,000 Allied casualties, with nearly 37,000 killed amongst the ground forces and a further 16,000 deaths amongst the Allied air forces. German losses of around 200,000 were killed or wounded; a further 200,000 were taken prisoner during the Campaign. Looking just at the fierce fighting which took place around the Falaise Pocket (or Falaise Gap) in August 1944, the German Army suffered losses in excess of 90,000 men, including those taken prisoner.

French civilian casualties are even more difficult to measure accurately. Most civilian casualties resulted from Allied bombing, especially in and around Caen. It is believed that between 15,000 and 20,000 French civilians were killed during the Normandy Campaign, although many more fled their homes to escape the main combat area. Those who were able to return found extensive destruction left in the wake of the allied advance to Paris.

http://d-dayrevisited.co.uk/d-day/cost-of-battle.html
"Now listen to me you benighted muckers. We're going to teach you soldiering. The world's noblest profession. When we're done with you, you'll be able to slaughter your enemies like civilized men." Daniel Dravot

Online mariomike

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Most civilian casualties resulted from Allied bombing, especially in and around Caen.

My uncle flew on the Caen raid with RCAF Bomber Command. From what I understand, the first plan was to bomb the fortified village strongpoints north of Caen. But, because of the proximity of friendly troops, and the possibility of bombing error, the bombing area was moved back closer to Caen. The weather was clear for the raid, which took place in the evening. The two Aiming Points were well marked. It was considered to be a very accurate raid. Dust and smoke obscured the markers, but bombing remained concentrated. 2,276 tons of bombs were dropped.

As we now know, it was afterwards judged that the bombing should have been aimed at the original targets.

To keep French civilian casualties to a minimum, coded messages in radio programs were broadcast.

An example was, "Nous allons rendre visite a Maginot ce soir." It was broadcast by the BBC during the afternoon of 18 July, 1944.

( Andre Maginot, the French Minister of War who gave his name to the famous "Line", had been born in Revigny. )

It was a warning, given as one of the conditions for the continued bombing of French railway centres.

That night, 24 of the Lancasters sent to Revigny were shot down. 22 per cent of the force.

The question is, if French officials knew that an attack was heading for Revigny that night, did the Luftwaffe also know?

St. Dizier airfield, barely 15 miles from the target, was home to an experienced Luftwaffe night-fighter unit.

Bomber Command had previously attacked Revigny on the nights of 12/13 and 14/15 July, 1944. Both raids had been failures with 17 Lancasters shot down.

Of the 290 aircrew in the 41 Lancaster that were shot down, only 59 men survived.

Six French civilians died in the bombing, ( a 39 year-old woman, two railway workers, a woman and her son, age 7, and an old woman ). Three others were slightly injured.






« Last Edit: July 27, 2018, 08:39:57 by mariomike »
In any war, there are two tremendous tasks. That of the combat troops is to fight the enemy. That of the supply troops is to furnish all the material to insure victory. The faster and farther the combat troops advance against the foe, the greater becomes the battle of supply. EISENHOWER