Overlord

The 6th of June; on this day in 1944 thousands of ordinary men did something extraordinary and stormed the enemy beaches in a landing now as legendary as the thousand ships of the Greeks beaching at Troy; the bad guys were finally going to be pushed back inch by bloody inch. Before they made that monumental charge how many others had been there secretly before them? How many agents, resistance fighters and Commandos died silently in the dark scouting those beaches to get the information needed to make D-Day work? I wonder where my old childhood hero wee George was that day with his Commando mates and again I wish I had known him as an adult and had the chance to record some of his memories. Gold, Juno, Sword, Omaha and Utah; a huge endeavour and an enormous gamble, even with the massive naval and air superiority the Allies had built up, but it worked. I remember seeing a photograph years ago in a history book – I think it was some airborne troops preparing to get into the wooden Horsa gliders; someone had chalked on the side “the Channel stopped you, but not us.” I do wonder, as time passes, in the distant future will people think that this enormous armada and legions of brave souls are just a poetic exaggeration like the Iliad? What a price was paid for our freedoms.