Today, June 5, would be the 70th anniversary of D-Day if not for the last-minute prognostication of British meteorologist James Stagg.
The planners of the Normandy landings originally designated June 5, 1944 as D-Day, basing their decision on a favorable combination of tide patterns and a full moon, which would help with pilot visibility. On the evening of June 4, however, Royal Air Force meteorologist Captain James Stagg met with Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower with a dire last-minute warning: a large storm brewing just north of Scotland would bring heavy winds, turbulent seas, and thick cloud cover over the English Channel. Ike's decision to change the invasion to June 6, on the advice of a lone meteorologist practicing an emergent and unreliable science, may have been the turning point of the war. Historian John Ross, author of The Forecast for D-Day and the Weatherman Behind Ike’s Greatest Gamble
, contends, "Had Ike listened to his countrymen's predictions and launched D-day on June 5, it would have failed with catastrophic consequences for the Western Allies and world history."
posted by eitan
on Jun 5, 2014 -
is a collaborative collection of more than 3,000 royalty-free
photos from World War II's Battle of Normandy and its aftermath. (Photos date from June 6 to late August 1944). The main link goes to the photostream. You can also peruse sets
, which include 2700+ images from the US
posted by zarq
on Mar 19, 2013 -
"[It's] all the more staggering when you realize that more people were killed in the rehearsal for the landing at Utah beach than were killed in the actual landing at Utah beach." Operation Tiger,
the disastrous secret rehearsal for D-Day, marks its 68th anniversary today.
posted by Spike
on Apr 28, 2012 -
D-Day was 57 years ago yesterday. It was 16 years before an article in the Atlantic
finally provided Americans an unvarnished account of the carnage that was Omaha Beach that day. I'm in awe of what these 19-year-olds went through.
posted by luser
on Jun 7, 2001 -
Someone at work shared this Ernie Pyle column published just 10 days after the 1944 invasion of Normandy. It put a lump in my throat. Maybe it'll do the same for you. Excerpt: "I took a walk along the historic coast of Normandy in the country of France.
It was a lovely day for strolling along the seashore. Men were sleeping on the sand, some of them sleeping forever. Men were floating in the water, but they didn't know they were in the water, for they were dead."
posted by GaelFC
on Jun 6, 2001 -