Before I begin, my apologies – I had planned to do a much more detailed post today, but my migraines had a different plan. So this one’s off the cuff. Hang on, this may get bumpy! :)
Firstly, there is one VERY notable anniversary today. Unless you’re from the planet next to mine (true xenophobes, they are), you know today is the 70th Anniversary of the Normandy invasion – Operation Overlord. (Fun fact #1 – the invasion actually had two operation names, Overlord for the ground and paratroop forces, and Neptune for the naval bombardment and screening forces.) You may have noticed I shy away from using the common term D-Day, as technically, ANY operation in the military has a D-Day for the day of the operation, and an H-Hour for the time it starts. (Fun fact #2 – the “D” in D-Day stands for “Day”, and the “H” in “H-Hour stands for “H”. The US military do love it’s redundancy, yes they do!) So technically, there was a D-Day for the invasion of Sicily, Anzio, the South of France, and every island assault from Guadalcanal to Okinawa. Anyway, there are TONS of information about that battle 70 years ago, so I encourage you to go seek whatever appeals to you. There are tales of paratroopers and heavy bombers for you USAF folk, anything floating from battleships to landing craft, and all sorts of infantry and armour stories. (Fun fact #3 – the British made use of a number of “specialist” tanks under the command of a Major General Hobart. The strange adaptations for everything from clearing mines to laying canvas strips for other tanks to use to avoid sinking into the sand, earned them the name “Hobart’s Funnies”. If you want a REAL nightmare image, Google “Sherman Flail Tank”. Better yet, see it in action on YouTube – and tell me you don’t want one for your rushhour commute! :D ) I would also recommend that you tune into NBC tonight, as they are running special programming from Normandy, in addition to little bits they’ve run in their regular nightly news broadcasts. Included in their stories so far this week – a three-way reunion between the pilot of a particular C-47 transport, a paratrooper who jumped out of that same aircraft, and the aircraft herself – maintained by a great group out in Geneseo, NY, (and yes, I have indeed been to their museum, and they are great people). So tune in, and enjoy.
No, the second “day of days” isn’t from WW2, though it is heavily inspired by it. This is my 100th post on my little corner of the Interwebs. I have frequently remarked at my stunned surprise that anybody actually READS this stuff, much less enjoys it, so I will just simply say “thank you” for putting up with me for these past 100 posts, “thank you” for staying with me through thick and thin, and here’s looking forward to many more posts. I’ve got a rich trove of military minutiae to bore you silly with, from a number of 70th WW2 anniversaries and the 75th of the war’s start, to the 100th anniversary of the beginning of The Great War – or the first half of the 31 years’ war, for those who believe that WW2 was just WW1, part 2. ;)
Okay, you’ve been bored to tears with military stuff, brought up to date with my blog’s status, and threatened with much more narcoleptic nonsense. I think that should cover it for today. So go hug a WW2 vet (if you can find one – they’re getting mighty thin on the ground, sadly enough), bone up on your WW1 history, and have a great weekend. And to any of you out there, whose fathers were involved in the Normandy invasion in any way, tell ‘em I’m flying their flag today. (Yes, even those of you from the Great White North and across the pond – today is one of those days my house looks like a flag store.) And to all of them – wherever they may be – thank you. (Cue “Taps” or “Last Post”, as appropriate.)