Source: American History. Jun2014, Vol. 49 Issue 2, p68-71. 4p

Download 11.92 Kb.
Date conversion12.05.2016
Size11.92 Kb.

Title: D-DAY.

Source: American History. Jun2014, Vol. 49 Issue 2, p68-71. 4p.

Document Type: Article


D-Day Invasion, 1944

WORLD War, 1939-1945 -- Amphibious operations

WORLD War, 1939-1945 -- Campaigns -- France -- Normandy

EISENHOWER, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969

SLAUGHTER, John Robert


PARIS (France) -- History -- 20th century


The article discusses D-Day, also known as the June 6, 1944, invasion of France during World War II by the military group the Allied Expeditionary Force led by Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force general Dwight D. Eisenhower. According to the article, the allied forces liberated Paris, France, in August 1944. The article presents quotations from several witnesses of the invasion including Eisenhower, U.S. Army staff sergeant John Robert Slaughter, and U.S. Army sergeant Claud C. Woodring.

Lexile: 1020

Full Text Word Count: 1318

ISSN: 1076-8866

Accession Number: 95120815

Persistent link to this record (Permalink):

Cut and Paste: D-DAY.

Database: MAS Ultra - School Edition



Seventy years ago, on June 6, 1944, 156,000 American, British and Canadian troops crossed the English Channel and stormed the beaches of Normandy, France. The result of unprecedented cooperation between the United States and the Allied nations fighting in Europe in World War II, D-Day represented a renewed commitment to defeat Nazi Germany. Success was far from certain. On June 5, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, drafted a message to be issued in case the mission failed: "The troops, the air and the Navy did all that Bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone." Ike never had to make that statement, but victory was hard won. Five days after the invasion, 326,000 Allied troops had landed in France. In August, they liberated Paris from its four-year occupation by the Nazis; Berlin fell the following May. On this anniversary, we remember D-Day in the words of those who were there.

"THE SEA WAS VERY ROUGH and everybody got seasick and we were soaking wet, cold and miserable. It was June, but it felt like November, December. We were under fire all the way. When we got 200,300 yards from shore, we started taking artillery and mortars, and then as we got closer in the small arms opened up. And they cut us down pretty good. Some of the men couldn't swim, and we were carrying 60 pounds of equipment or weapons. It was a tough deal."

--Staff Sergeant John Robert Slaughter, Company D, 116th Infantry, 29th Division

"OUR LANDING CRAFT HIT a submerged mine 200,300 yards from shore and sunk. One of my buddies went overboard and I let my rifle down to help ease him up. He weighed 200 pounds; I weighed 125 pounds. He won. He was in the water with two guns, so when we abandoned the ship, so to speak, I had two Bangalore torpedoes. We swam ashore. At this point in time it was just breaking daylight. All the time there's people pushing right behind you. There are thousands coming on. Probably the only reason I survived the assault on the beach was the Germans could fire into a massive crowd behind me and they weren't worried about the first person up ahead."

--Sergeant Claud C. Woodring, 18th Infantry, 1st Division

"THEY WERE FIRING AT US from the pillboxes on the beach. You would hear the shells whirring by and when you saw them hit the water well, if you were in the wrong place, forget about it."

--Pharmacist Mate Frank R. Feduik, LST 338

"WE BECAME THE FIRST WAVE to go into Omaha Beach. The beach and the water were entrenched with booby traps and wired fences. It took a long time to try to break through. We were stymied by the artillery and the snipers on the hill looking down on the beach. When I saw Omaha, it was red with American blood."

--Sergeant Americo T. Pace, 197th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion

"WE LANDED ON UTAH BEACH in marshland. It was terrible and yet it was strangely beautiful because the iris…the blue and gold…the wild iris…you'd seethe bodies laying between all these flowers, so haunting and so still."

--Lieutenant Harvey A. Warren, U.S. Navy Photographic Intelligence

"IT TOOK THREE OR FOUR DAYS after the invasion before we started receiving casualties. I was an operating room supervisor. They kept coming and coming and we had no place to put them. We put them out in the halls and everywhere. We received the casualties, took care of them, removed the bullets and shrapnel, did the debridement, cleaned them up, poured penicillin and sulfa into the wounds, wrapped them up, and sent them inland to the Army or to British hospitals inland, or by air to the United States, especially if they were bad burn patients. We didn't keep them very long."

--Lieutenant Helen Pavlovsky, U.S. Navy Nurse, Base Hospital No. 12, Netley, England

"WE HAD ABOUT 80 pounds of equipment-grenades, food, everything that we were going to need on our own. We're not gonna have any aid, any connection with anybody until the people from the shore-the fellas that break through-come up and relieve us."

--Merwin Edwin Andrews, 101st Airborne Division

"FIVE OF NINE of our officers were killed including the captain. All of our leaders were gone. It was just a bunch of privates and sergeants and corporals trying to get something going and trying to get it to succeed. Nobody could possibly be trained for what we found that day. But you learn fast, you know. It's a quick study when your life's on the line."

--Staff Sergeant John Robert Slaughter, Company D, 116th Infantry, 29th Division


From June 21 to July 3, 2014,15 student-teacher teams from across the United States will take part in Normandy: Sacrifice for Freedom, the Albert H. Small Student and Teacher Institute organized by National History Day. In addition to independent study of the Normandy Campaign and lectures from renowned World War II historians, participants will travel to the Normandy beaches where the D-Day landings were made in 1944. Each student will research the life of a soldier, sailor or Marine buried in the American Cemetery at Normandy and make a presentation as part of the Fallen Soldier Project. Students gain "a greater understanding of the events and people who shaped their lives and the world as they know it today," said Dr. Cathy Gorn, NHD's executive director. "This program brings to life the importance of quality history education, and shows reverence and respect to those who gave their lives for their country." For more about National History Day, Sacrifice for Freedom and web pages devoted to the Fallen Soldier Project, visit normandyinstitute.htm.

D-DAY BY THE NUMBERS•13,000 Allied paratroopers dropped behind enemy lines

•156,000 Allied troops cross the English Channel

•2- to 6-foot waves forecast for channel crossing

•54 degrees Fahrenheit water temperature

•5,000 ships and landing craft

•50,000 vehicles

•11,000 planes

•50 miles of coastline in Normandy

•5 beach landing sites: Utah, Omaha, Gold. Juno and Sword

•10,377 Allied casualties

•4,000-9,000 estimated German casualties

The database is protected by copyright © 2016
send message

    Main page