So sorry Monsieur Sarkozy and Mr Obama, D-Day was a very BRITISH triumph


Blackleaf
#1
The way the Americans and French react - re-writing history to exaggerate their contribution to the events of 6th June 1944 and other events of WWII - you would think that the British (and the Canadians) were scarcely involved in D-Day.

Whether or not this stems from embarrassment at the fact that the French collaborated with the Nazis and the Americans sat on the sidelines doing nothing until Pearl Harbour was bombed is a mystery.

According to Hollywood films such as Saving Private Ryan, D-Day was an all-American affair, and the British Commonwealth soldiers - who actually landed on three of the five beaches - were all non-existent.

Even the new Inglorious Basterds gives credit to Americans for what the BRITISH did during the War.

And let's have a look at yesterday's D-Day commemorations.

The French president, Sarkozy, actually insulted the British and Canadian veterans who helped to liberate his coutry from tyranny by deciding NOT to invite the Queen to the ceremony. So the head of States of France and the US were invited, but not the Head of State of Britain and Canada.

He decided he only wanted presidents and prime ministers at the event - despite the fact that, unlike Sarkozy and Obama, the Queen actually served in the War and despite the fact that the D-Day operation started from Britain's southern coast.

The Queen is the only surviving Head of State to serve in the war and it is no surprise that the British and Canadian soldiers were very angry at Sarkozy's snubbing of their Head of State. Many of them wore little photos of the Queen on their lapels. One of the obvious advantages of the monarchy is that we don't have a politician as a Head of State. The French and the Americans, on the other hand, would have to be represented by a politician if represented by their Head of State.

The sooner the French (especially their politicians) and the Americans (such as Hollywood filmmakers) realise that D-Day was largely a BRITISH triumph, then they can maybe stop re-writing history and ignoring the people who actually did most of the planning of this great military exercise.

So sorry Monsieur Sarkozy, D-Day was a very BRITISH triumph

By Ken Ford
07th June 2009
Daily Mail

Henry Ford famously said history is bunk.

And anyone who watched Nicolas Sarkozy exploit the D-Day commemorations for a cynical photo-opportunity with Barack Obama could be forgiven for believing the French president, at the very least, suffers from politically expedient amnesia.

In a blatant attempt to cosy up to America's new President, Mr Sarkozy seemed keen to reduce D-Day to a Hollywood-friendly French and American effort to rid Europe of the evil Nazis.



Shaking off the past: Nicolas Sarkozy greets U.S. president Barack Obama on Saturday in front of Prince Charles and Gordon Brown, but the D-Day landings were a very British effort


The only surviving head of state who actually served in the conflict, the Queen, was not deemed worthy to be invited to the celebrations, further marginalising Britain's efforts.

There is no doubt that Hollywood blockbusters such as Saving Private Ryan and the TV mini-series Band Of Brothers are responsible for an unmistakable - and untruthful - Americanisation of the Normandy landings.

But there is really no excuse for Mr Sarkozy to forget that the liberation of his country was only possible because of BRITAIN'S contribution to the war.

In truth, the Parisian political elite has never quite forgiven the old enemy for liberating it from the Germans.


Ungrateful: The French president didn't invite the Queen to the D-Day commemoration, despite the fact that she served in the War before Sarkozy, and Obama, were even born

Its own collaborationist past has always been an embarrassment to whatever government is in power, for it reminds them that its army, then the largest in the world, capitulated while Britain fought on alone against Hitler.

This nationalistic attitude is in stark contrast with that of the French people themselves, who remember and appreciate the sacrifice British Tommies made.

Visit any of the towns liberated by the British and Canadians and you will find a wealth of memorials and celebrations to mark their freedom, along with great numbers of the local population who turn out to welcome any veteran who visits.



Hollywood blockbusters have led to an Americanisation of the Normandy landings. The British (including the Canadians) landed on three of the beaches and the Americans landed on the other two.
The truth is that D-Day was predominantly a British operation.


The planning for this great enterprise was begun by the office of the Chief of Staff to the Supreme Allied Commander (COSSAC) in London.

The head of COSSAC was Lieutenant-General Frederick Morgan, a British officer who had served in France in 1940. It was Morgan who was given the task of planning for the invasion of North-West Europe.

Most of the aerial reconnaissance work related to the plan was carried out by the RAF, as was the job of recording and plotting German fortifications and beach obstacles.

Intelligence about enemy troops and their coastal defences gathered by the French underground was organised, processed and supported by the men and women of the British Special Operations Executive in London.

Brave individuals from the Combined Operations Pilotage Parties visited shorelines on the other side of the Channel stealthily by night, carrying out beach reconnaissance.

These silent commandos gathered data on currents, tides and samples of sand and gravel from all the beaches, not just in Normandy but along the whole length of the coastline of North West Europe.

When the invasion actually took place, the Navy and the military knew, thanks to British efforts, exactly what to expect on the far shore.

The D-Day armada which carried the invasion force was largely made up of ships of the Royal Navy and the British Merchant Marine.

The bomber forces that pounded strategic targets inside France were a combined effort by the USAAF and the RAF. The British organised a ground support air command especially to support troops in battle.

This RAF 2nd Tactical Air Force flew low-level missions against individual road, rail and military targets all over northern France, interfering with enemy troop movements and supply columns before the invasion.

In the Channel, Royal Navy vessels continually attacked German shipping movements and swept the seas of enemy craft.

On D-Day itself three of the five landing beaches (Sword, Juno and Gold) were allocated to British Second Army which included the Canadian 3rd Division. The other two beaches (Omaha and Utah) were American.

On June 6, 1944, ten Allied divisions landed in France: five American, four British and one Canadian.

But the British and Canadian formations were much larger than the Americans for they had extra troops and armoured units attached to them - the basic U.S. division contained around 11,000 men, the British numbers were about 18,000.

The Supreme Commander for the invasion of Europe was an American, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, but he was not the first choice of either nation.

Britain favoured its most senior officer, the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, Field Marshal Sir Alan Brooke, for the task and Roosevelt wanted America's top general, the U.S. Chief of Staff, General George Marshall, as Supreme Commander.

President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill eventually decided, perhaps diplomatically after careful consideration, that these two leading soldiers were probably too valuable in their present positions to be spared, and so the job went to Eisenhower.

In recognition of the great role that Britain was to play, it was also decided that Eisenhower's deputy, Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder, and ALL the other senior subordinate commanders would be British.

Thus General Sir Bernard Montgomery commanded 21st Army Group which included all army troops both British and American that landed on D-Day; Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay presided over the Royal Navy and U.S. Navy as head of the Allied Naval Expeditionary Force and the USAAF and the RAF contingent was led by Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory.

I wonder if President Sarkozy and the Americans remember all this? I also wonder if our own children understand Britain's role in the invasion?

A recent study in schools showed a decline in the number of pupils sitting the history GCSE. Many young people now learn about our past through the prism of Hollywood.

Britain was shocked when a recent war film U-571 showed that the first German naval Enigma code machine was captured by the Americans from a German submarine.

The machine was in fact captured by men from HMS Bulldog in May 1941 before the U.S. had even entered the war.

There were 15 subsequent captures of Enigma machines during the war, only one made by Americans.

That feat was made later on in the struggle when the German naval codes had already been well and truly cracked by British code-breakers at Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire.


Re-writing history: The new Hollywood movie, Inglourious Basterds, is about an American-led group of Jewish soldiers working behind enemy lines. In reality, the Jewish soldiers were part of British No10 Commando.

The latest affront to history comes from Quentin Tarantino's war film Inglourious Basterds, (yes that is the way he spells the title) starring Brad Pitt.

It shows an American-led group of Jewish soldiers working behind enemy lines.

They delight in assassinating Germans and sickening atrocities, including the gathering of German scalps.

In fact, there was a unit of Jewish commandos, No 3 (Jewish) Group. It was part of British No10 Commando.

The men in the unit served with great distinction, not as blood-crazy scalp-hunters, but as brave and honourable professional soldiers.

A German friend of mine once told me that it is the victors who write the history of the war.

It seems now that the role is increasingly being taken over by film-makers in Hollywood - aided and abetted by Nicolas Sarkozy.

lKen Ford's latest book, in conjunction with Steve Zaloga, Overlord: The D-Day Landings, is published by Osprey, 20.

dailymail.co.uk
Last edited by Blackleaf; Jun 7th, 2009 at 12:50 PM..
 
wulfie68
No Party Affiliation
#2
I don't think of D-Day as a British triumph but as an allied one. That goes for the entire Second World War. The Americans couldn't have done it on their own, and neither could any of the other allies. Saying its a British triumph is every bit as misleading as ignoring the British Commonwealth contributions.

I agree the actions of the French gov't are a travesty and insulting to those who freed them from the Nazis. Its hadly surprising given French history and especially their outlook on the Brits, but still disappointing.
 
L Gilbert
No Party Affiliation
#3
As far as France exaggerating their "contribution" to WW2 goes, I think I should mention "Maginot Line".
 
Colpy
Conservative
#4
And there were damned few Frenchmen on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944.

The ones that were there.....were Canadians.
 
Colpy
Conservative
#5
Cheese-eating collaborating surrender monkeys.

 
YukonJack
Conservative
#6
"Cheese-eating collaborating surrender monkeys."

First, let me say that I prefer good old Canadian cheddar to anything the French call cheese.

Secondly, if the liberating forces at Normandy had Camamber or Brie in their diet, France would still be ruled by the treasonous, noodle spined Vichy government.
 
L Gilbert
No Party Affiliation
#7
wow
Impressive. Judging a people by what cheese they eat. That's childish to the extreme.
 
YukonJack
Conservative
#8
L Gilbert, only people with your limited ability to appreciate symbolism could come up with that.

Talk about CHILDISH!!
 
L Gilbert
No Party Affiliation
#9
roflmao Yup, I did mock a very childish POV.
Perhaps you could explain how anyone's choice of cheese is a reflection of wartime ability.
Last edited by L Gilbert; Jun 7th, 2009 at 05:25 PM..
 
#juan
No Party Affiliation
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by YukonJack View Post

"Cheese-eating collaborating surrender monkeys."

First, let me say that I prefer good old Canadian cheddar to anything the French call cheese.

Secondly, if the liberating forces at Normandy had Camamber or Brie in their diet, France would still be ruled by the treasonous, noodle spined Vichy government.

I love a good Camembert or Brie cheese . I just wouldn't send the French to guard my borders.
 
lone wolf
Free Thinker
#11
Eventually the Hollywood version of truth catches up....
 
L Gilbert
No Party Affiliation
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by L Gilbert View Post

roflmao Yup, I did mock a very childish POV.
Perhaps you could explain how anyone's choice of cheese is a reflection of wartime ability.

I see no explanation of the symbolism between war abilities and cheese was forthcoming, so it looks like the poster was speaking through his hat.
 
L Gilbert
No Party Affiliation
#13
BTW, the Americans and Canadians like eating cheddar and they shoot their friends.
 
EagleSmack
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by Blackleaf View Post

The way the Americans and French react - re-writing history to exaggerate their contribution to the events of 6th June 1944 and other events of WWII - you would think that the British (and the Canadians) were scarcely involved in D-Day.



WAAAA WAAAA WAAAA. If you got a problem with the French not inviting you...take it up with the French. Don't drag us into it.

The Canadians and British were very much involved in D-Day.

You're the one who is saying that the British pretty much won the whole war in this rant.

Quote:

Whether or not this stems from embarrassment at the fact that the French collaborated with the Nazis and the Americans sat on the sidelines doing nothing until Pearl Harbour was bombed is a mystery.



That's right we sat out the first few years and we had no reason to get in until the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Our aid kept you fed and our lend lease program kept the Royal Navy afloat.



Quote:

According to Hollywood films such as Saving Private Ryan, D-Day was an all-American affair, and the British Commonwealth soldiers - who actually landed on three of the five beaches - were all non-existent.



Make your own movie then. It was a US movie so who says that we HAVE to show British troops? It had nothing to do with you. It was a fictional movie so get over it.

Quote:

Even the new Inglorious Basterds gives credit to Americans for what the BRITISH did during the War.



Inglorious Bastards is a Tarentino movie and probably does not give credit to anyone. He also made a movie about two psychos that get attacked by vampires. Are you upset that there weren't any brit vampires?

Hey he had two brits in Pulp Fiction? Happy?

Quote:

And let's have a look at yesterday's D-Day commemorations.

Quote:


The French president, Sarkozy, actually insulted the British and Canadian veterans who helped to liberate his coutry from tyranny by deciding NOT to invite the Queen to the ceremony. So the head of States of France and the US were invited, but not the Head of State of Britain and Canada.



Take it up with the French then. Don't blame the US. I think they all should have been there but Normandy is in France and the French sent out the invites.

Quote:

He decided he only wanted presidents and prime ministers at the event - despite the fact that, unlike Sarkozy and Obama, the Queen actually served in the War and despite the fact that the D-Day operation started from Britain's southern coast.



She did? What was she a paratrooper? The Royal family are figure heads. The Queen was what...16?

I did see an old film clip of her playing tag with Brit Naval Officers on a ship though. Naval officers playing tag with a teenage girl. LMAO

Quote:

The Queen is the only surviving Head of State to serve in the war and it is no surprise that the British and Canadian soldiers were very angry at Sarkozy's snubbing of their Head of State. Many of them wore little photos of the Queen on their lapels. One of the obvious advantages of the monarchy is that we don't have a politician as a Head of State. The French and the Americans, on the other hand, would have to be represented by a politician if represented by their Head of State.



Yes that is an obvious advantage.


Quote:

The sooner the French (especially their politicians) and the Americans (such as Hollywood filmmakers) realise that D-Day was largely a BRITISH triumph, then they can maybe stop re-writing history and ignoring the people who actually did most of the planning of this great military exercise.

Quote:



D-Day was hardly a British triumph alone. You are no different from the French now. Once again... Blackleaf taking full credit for the brits.

I got one for you... the US, Canada, Australia and the ANZACs saved your butts. The only thing that kept the Germans from invading is that Hitler didn't even want to fight with France and England. He wanted to fight the Soviets. He laughed when you declared war on him and promptly took France and kicked the Brits off the continent. It was his desire to fight the Soviets that kept him from invading.
 
#juan
No Party Affiliation
#15
I think you've done your homework Eagle. The only thing I can disagree with is the delay of the Americans getting into the war. While America waited to get into the war some very big American companies were doing business with the Nazis. I know nothing was against the law but it hurt a little at the time.
 
johnnyhangover
Green
#16
I think some are forgetting the role of the French Resistance in WWII.

"The French resistance fighters blew up bridges, derailed trains, directed the British in the bombing of German troop trains, kidnapped and killed German army officers, and ambushed German troops. They took no prisoners, but rather killed any German soldiers who surrendered to them, sometimes mutilating their bodies for good measure. The Nazis referred to them as "terrorists." "

Sounds like a decent bunch to me. I'd share a glass with 'em.
 
EagleSmack
#17
Naaaa Johnny... The brits did it all...they saved the world. They single handedly beat the Germans with no help from anyone.
 
L Gilbert
No Party Affiliation
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmack View Post

[/size][/b]

WAAAA WAAAA WAAAA. If you got a problem with the French not inviting you...take it up with the French. Don't drag us into it.

The Canadians and British were very much involved in D-Day.

You're the one who is saying that the British pretty much won the whole war in this rant.



That's right we sat out the first few years and we had no reason to get in until the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Our aid kept you fed and our lend lease program kept the Royal Navy afloat.





Make your own movie then. It was a US movie so who says that we HAVE to show British troops? It had nothing to do with you. It was a fictional movie so get over it.



Inglorious Bastards is a Tarentino movie and probably does not give credit to anyone. He also made a movie about two psychos that get attacked by vampires. Are you upset that there weren't any brit vampires?

Hey he had two brits in Pulp Fiction? Happy?



Take it up with the French then. Don't blame the US. I think they all should have been there but Normandy is in France and the French sent out the invites.



She did? What was she a paratrooper? The Royal family are figure heads. The Queen was what...16?

I did see an old film clip of her playing tag with Brit Naval Officers on a ship though. Naval officers playing tag with a teenage girl. LMAO



Yes that is an obvious advantage.


[size=4][b]

D-Day was hardly a British triumph alone. You are no different from the French now. Once again... Blackleaf taking full credit for the brits.

I got one for you... the US, Canada, Australia and the ANZACs saved your butts. The only thing that kept the Germans from invading is that Hitler didn't even want to fight with France and England. He wanted to fight the Soviets. He laughed when you declared war on him and promptly took France and kicked the Brits off the continent. It was his desire to fight the Soviets that kept him from invading.

Don't get me wrong, Eag, I love the US people (even my relatives there), but I think the admin sucks the big one. In the least, it has given the entire planet the impression the USA is self-serving and the only time it does anything for any other nation is if it can gain something financially.
 
johnnyhangover
Green
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmack View Post

Naaaa Johnny... The brits did it all...they saved the world. They single handedly beat the Germans with no help from anyone.

teehee. Sarcasm noted. There seems to be a definite lack of respect for the Americans in this discussion. After all, it was the yanks who took the brunt of the casualties that day. In fact, the canadians and brits had a bit of a cake walk compared to what the americans had to deal with.

Decisions about entering the war were political. American servicemen (according to friends of gramps) were eager to join the fight long before Pearl Harbour.

I say without the french and americans, D-day would have been a disaster.
 
lone wolf
Free Thinker
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmack View Post

Naaaa Johnny... The brits did it all...they saved the world. They single handedly beat the Germans with no help from anyone.

That Brit who did it all would have been hard pressed to do it all without the Canadian convoys to feed him or airspace to train them, the American equipment to do the job and the French who risked their lives to get him back home if he came second best to a Messershmitt. Brits don't even like to give proper credit to the "British Empire" troops who fought alongside them.
 
lone wolf
Free Thinker
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by johnnyhangover View Post

teehee. Sarcasm noted. There seems to be a definite lack of respect for the Americans in this discussion. After all, it was the yanks who took the brunt of the casualties that day. In fact, the canadians and brits had a bit of a cake walk compared to what the americans had to deal with.

Decisions about entering the war were political. American servicemen (according to friends of gramps) were eager to join the fight long before Pearl Harbour.

I say without the french and americans, D-day would have been a disaster.

That "cake walk" had a lot to do with precision bombers who missed an entire beach and its defences. Agreed.... Bloody Omaha was a mess. In a 1 kilometre wide beach, there was not one bomb crater in which to take cover.
 
johnnyhangover
Green
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by lone wolf View Post

That "cake walk" had a lot to do with precision bombers who missed an entire beach and its defences. Agreed.... Bloody Omaha was a mess. In a 1 kilometre wide beach, there was not one bomb crater in which to take cover.

Really? so the americans went in without air support? geesh, what a nightmare.
 
lone wolf
Free Thinker
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by johnnyhangover View Post

Really? so the americans went in without air support? geesh, what a nightmare.

Oh they had lots of air support. They had no cover from still intact coastal fortification. Really success was by virtue of some Rangers who came ashore at the wrong place and managed to flank the shore batteries.
 
EagleSmack
#24
What is hilarious is a dispictcable way is that the brits say that the Americans do not give them enough credit but when you listen to them they say that they did it all and didn't need any help from anyone.

What saved the Brits was Hitler wanting to invade the Soviet Union. If Germany brought it's full weight to bear on England the brits would not have stood a chance. The Anglo-Allies in general take a lot of credit for the victory but it was the Soviets that gobbled up German troops by the millions.
 
EagleSmack
#25
Just look at the brits post...

American and France do not give us the recognition and D-Day was a "very" BRITISH triumph.

No mention of Canadians in that title...the brits did it all.
 
lone wolf
Free Thinker
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmack View Post

Just look at the brits post...

American and France do not give us the recognition and D-Day was a "very" BRITISH triumph.

No mention of Canadians in that title...the brits did it all.

We're used to it....
 
lone wolf
Free Thinker
#27
The triumph was they actually got agreement among several Brits....
 
EagleSmack
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by lone wolf View Post

Brits don't even like to give proper credit to the "British Empire" troops who fought alongside them.

They never do... you guys were replacement troops to them.

Just like WWI...Canadian troops were massacred by silly outdated brit tactics.

"Over the top gentlemen!"

They wanted to use up Americans as replacement troops as well to fill gaps in their lines but Pershing told them to stick it.
 
L Gilbert
No Party Affiliation
#29
That, too.
 

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