[June 6, 2019] Most of the people alive today in the world were born after the year 1995. To them, the Longest Day, D-Day, must seem like ancient history. Arguably the most important date of the 20th Century for all living people, most folks don’t even understand its direct impact on their lives and the freedoms they enjoy.
Today, around the world, leaders at every level are recognizing the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 1944. There will be exceptions. The distant past is perhaps why French President Emmanuel Macron1 had planned on not attending anniversary events; despite this likely the last major D-Day event while those WWII veterans are still alive.
Everyone knew the invasion of northern France was imminent. The Allies were prepared to push the Germans out of France and destroy the Nazi war machine. Germany knew it. The world knew it. The question was, would it succeed and what would be the cost. In 1944, the only question was when would the invasion occur and where.
“The first 24 hours of the invasion will be decisive … for the Allies as well as Germany, it will be the longest day.” – German General Erwin Rommel
Day one of the invasion would be decisive. That is why German General Rommel positioned his fortifications and quick-reaction forces; to throw back any invasion. The cost in men and material would be great. It would be the longest day. For the Allies, there was no Plan B.
My respect goes out to all those involved in the Allied invasion of France on this date, June 6, 1944.