OPERATION DYNAMO: The BEF evacuation from Dunkirk

OPERATION DYNAMO: The BEF evacuation from Dunkirk Dunkirk: The Movie and the Reality Dunkirk, along with Pearl Harbor, D-Day and Hiroshima, is one of those WWII names that still resonate with most Americans 80 years later.  If that weren’t already true, the release of a major Warner Brothers summer blockbuster by that name will rekindle memories of the May/June 1940 evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) from France in the face of the Nazi blitzkrieg. The new film is written, directed and produced by Christopher Nolan, who gave us…

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New Normandy Tour

NORMANDY TOUR ANNOUNCED   The National World War Two Museum has just announced a seven-day tour to Normandy this coming September 18 through 24. The tour will follow an itinerary designed by the WWII Museum and employ both an experienced battlefield guide and tour manager. All accommodations will be of the three-star variety, while transportation will be by first-class motor coach. Prices begin at $2,995 per person for double occupancy. Transportation to and from Paris is not included. For further information on the “D-Day: The Invasion of Normandy & Liberation…

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D-Day in France: June 3-4 Updates

By Kevin Dennehy CAEN, France–After a flight from Montreal, Canada, to Paris, rented a car and drove to Caen from DeGualle Airport in about two hours.  Passed numerous reeanactor vehicles, mostly jeeps.  Noticed that security vans and vehicles were also heading north to prepare for President Obama and other dignitaries coming.  Had dinner and saw three or four World War II vets, one a former Ranger from Point du Hoc.  Rented an apartment in Caen for the week. On June 4, registered as press at the Ibis Hotel in downtown Caen.  Started raining…on road…

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Heading to Normandy…

I will be heading to Normandy from 3 June to 12 June.  I am staying in Caen (my colleague Professor Steve Powers reminded me I have been mispronouncing it for years).  A good place to find last minute housing, especially during the 70th Anniversary, is airbnb.com.  On 6 June, I will be attending the 29th Infantry Division ceremonies at Omaha Beach, along with other members of that famed unit.

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What If You Can’t Make It To Normandy This Summer?

What if you can’t make it to Normandy this summer? Well, there are (No?) alternative sites that you might consider visiting that are closer to home. Both provide an excellent way to commemorate D-Day that are informative and can be driven to. The National D-Day Memorial: The memorial is located outside the southwest Virginia town of Bedford for a reason. One of the regiments chosen to spearhead the attack on Omaha Beach was the 116th IR of the 29th U.S. Infantry Division, a unit created from the National Guards of…

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Sunken LSTs Found

SLAPTON SANDS DISCOVERY By Stephen T. Powers The Massachusetts company Hydroid announced on 28 April that one of its underwater robotic vehicles had located the wrecks off Slapton Sands, Devon, of the two American LSTs (Nos. 507 and 531) that were sunk in April of 1944 during Operation Tiger. Tiger was the third of four training exercise for the upcoming D-Day assault on the Normandy beaches (Operation Neptune). German high-speed attack craft, Schnellboote, known to the Allies as E-boats, attacked a column of LSTs during the night of 28 April…

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The Price of Victory

The Price of Victory By Stephen T. Powers Although universally portrayed as essential and victorious, the D-Day assault on the Normandy coast was not with enormous material and human costs, and it would be an injustice merely to gloss over them. Bombing and the fighting that took place within their bounds heavily damaged a great many Norman cities and towns, most notably Caen and St. Lô. It took at least 20 years to erase the physical scars left by the contending armies, so that today that destruction is virtually invisible…

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Wild Bill Guarnere Interview

Bill Guarnere, who passed away last month, was a colorful character and a true American hero. Guarnere, along with other Easy Company members, parachuted into Normandy on 6 June 1944. He and his unit were portrayed in the HBO series “Band of Brothers.” This is an interview with Bill from 2006 in Recon Magazine. BAND OF BROTHERS HERO WILD BILD GUARNERE By Mike Van Buren The 101st Airborne Division was one of the most celebrated units of World War II. No unit exemplified the elite paratrooper attitude better than Easy…

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