THE STORY OF A FRENCH BEACH

THE STORY OF A FRENCH BEACH

Astonishing to realize this was so long ago; the last survivors of this epoch- shattering thing will leave us some day, owing to their great age – surely, that’s the only way any of us wishes to go.  Over 166,000 Allied and Axis men went at it, hammer and tongs, during “Operation Neptune”.  The heartbreak of it: roughly 2,500 Americans (including a distant cousin of mine), two thousand Britons and Canadians, and something like four thousand to nine thousand Germans were “dispatched to Valhalla” from the sand and surf of Normandy.  Rent fiction movies like The Longest Day or Saving Private Ryan, for a “dramatic” look at these cataclysmic events; better, look up authentic “newsreel” footage – the WWII precursor to television news – to see how folks back then were kept informed.

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