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Overlord US Military History

US Military History Throughout The Years

Short bits of history you know, and some you may not. There is one fact some readers may ask why we did not include this week, but don’t worry! We’re just making sure to do our due diligence and read up on it before featuring it. Stay tuned for next weeks email!

  • The Forgotten Battle: Sunday, June 7, 1942 – Just as the Imperial Japanese Navy faced defeat during the Battle of Midway, they invaded the Aleutian Islands off the coast of Alaska. Days earlier Japanese aircraft had bombed Dutch Harbor, damaging some infrastructure. Upon landing at the islands of Attu and Kiska, the Japanese would kill 25 American troops and intern the Alaskan Unangax tribe members living on the islands. It was not till 11 May 1943 that American forces were able to conduct operations to recapture the islands. The Japanese occupation of the Aleutians is one of the two times Axis forces set foot on American land. Nazi spies were captured in New York and Florida in June 1942 during their failed Operation Pastorius.
  • Behind Enemy Lines: Thursday, June 8, 1995 – USAF F-16C Pilot, Captain Scott O’Grady is rescued by a USMC tactical recovery team in Bosnia. Capt O’Grady was shot down on 2 June, by a Bosnian-Serb army surface-to-air missile, while conducting operations as a part of the NATO led Operation Deny Flight. Capt O’Grady would put his SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape) training to great use during his evasion of the enemy. He successfully avoided the enemy and was rescued on the morning of the 8th. During his extraction the USMC Sea Stallions carrying him and the rescue team would come under enemy fire. Thankfully, no one was injured and both helicopters would return to the USS Kearsarge without serious damage. The 2001 film Behind Enemy Lines is loosely based on these events.
  • D Day: Tuesday, June 6, 1944 – The Allies of WW2 commence the largest amphibious assault in history against the German Atlantic Wall on the French coast. 38 Allied Divisions would assault 39 defending German Divisions, wading through the water of the five beach landing sectors and from the sky, parachuting into Normandy the night before the invasion began. Over 100,00 Allied troops would invade “Fortress Europe”, with casualties by the end of the day reaching over 10,000 killed, wounded or missing. The Germans would have around the same losses. Operation Overlord was only possible through 18 months of previous work where the Allies overcame the German U Boats in the Atlantic, gained air superiority over European skies and through intelligence breakthrough’s, deceiving the Germans of the time and place of the invasion. After the beaches were taken the Allies would fight through the French countryside to take key towns and cities. It would take over a month after D Day for the Allies achieve a decisive breakthrough. On 25 July they would break though German defenses at Saint-Lo, enabling the Allies to push the enemy back and push further into occupied France.

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