D-Day: 06 June 1944














It’s going to be a long day…


  1. Love that scene…great choice. I can’t imagine that moment, suddenly faced with enemy warships out to the horizon. Shit a brick? More like shit a whole new set of dragon’s teeth to hide behind.

  2. Love that scene too, it’s even funnier when his position is being shelled, and he’s screaming into the phone.

  3. Right…didn’t this one also have a scene with a pair of German fighters that make one pass at the beaches and then scram? And one of the pilots says something like, ‘So much for the mighty Luftwaffe’ as he and his wingman get outta Dodge?

  4. GL: Yep. Earlier, the pilot had been complaining to his commander that his squadron was spread all over the place and that he couldn’t do anything with only two planes. When he got the orders to go attack the invasion force, he asked where. ‘Normandy?’ he responded when told. ‘Normandy? Well, that’s it for us, then, isn’t it?’ (paraphrased)

  5. The movie missed one item. The flagship of the Desron providing fire support at Omaha intentionaly ran-aground. They could not tell who was who from normal area and the Commadore was unwilling to risk all 12 Destroyers. Even after running aground, they still could not tell where the lines were. But, 1 DD-Sherman was still operating and it fired on a pillbox. They fired a broadside at the same. The tanker poped the hatch and waved. That tanker spotted for them thru 1200 rounds of 5′. Enough to refloat the Destroyer and netralize a large number of German positions. The tanker was never identified. Only 5 of 32 DD-Tanks made it to Omaha Beach. 27 sunk. None of the DD-tankers survived to leave Omaha…

  6. DJ: That’s a great story. I’d heard it before, but I don’t know that I’d heard they fired off enough 5′ to refloat the ship. That’s what I call frikkin awesome. And there’s no doubt that many, many great stories weren’t shown. Way too many to cover them all. And that doesn’t even count all the great stories that no one knows. I would guess that filming the grounded destroyer sequence was a bit much. The naval and aerial scenes in the movie are barebones.

  7. 60 rounds per gun; 5x 5′ guns (Fletcher class); 1200 rounds at 72lbs per round (shell and powder) 74,400 pounds of ammo or 37 tons. from a 3200 ton destroyer…

  8. Funny they thought to use naval artillery even though they built airplanes by the hundreds of thousands in those days. Today we put one gun on a ship and expect 170 F-22s will handle the rest. With 170 F-22s we will probably be able to beat the crap out of some country, if we can just find one small enough…

  9. Dfens, You crack me up. Are you familiar with the phrase/tale of the elephant and the Polish question…? You’re Dfense and the Raptor Question. Although, to be fair, I would be ‘GeekLethal and the Zombie Question’. ‘Cept I didn’t work a zombie reference into a post about Normandy. Oh wait, I just did!

  10. Now now Defns, you forget what the Raptor really is. Its our generation’s great white fleet. In reality the Raptor would stand on the sidelines in all but the most major of combats. Since basically they have one role – shoot down other jets. And you can count on hand hand, those enemies with a large enough and modern enough air force to warrant a F-22. Now if at Normany we had 170 A-10’s flying in. That would be a sight.

  11. The F-22 stands alone as a joke. It provides an extremely limited offensive punch, which it makes up for with poor range, supercruise in name only, and some of the poorest aerodynamics to grace an American fighter airplane. It cost twice as much to develop as the B-2, and costs twice as much per pound to produce, and carries 1/20th the bomb load. It does not take battle damage well. It is a good dog fighter in a role that demands speed, which is what it does not have. Its stealth makes its dog fighting capability useless, but also precludes it from having IR stealth that could protect it from the most common and deadly kind of missile, which is the kind of missile it might actually have to go up against if they ever allowed it into the fight in Iraq. Worst of all, however, is the fact its gun is only capable of about a 3 second burst, which won’t kill many zombies.

  12. dfens, You seem pretty sure that the F-22 is not worth its cost. I never took to this airplane. Being from Missouri, I always liked the F-15 and was hoping the YF-23 would be selected as the next fighter. Do you have any opinions on other options? For example, was the YF-23 better? Or would it be better to upgrade F-15s with modern engines/avionics?

  13. Sorry for going off topic in the previous post. I too enjoyed the movie The Longest Day and play the theme song in my head anytime I see things about Normandy.

  14. There’s no question the YF-23 was better, but, who knows, the Grumman ATF may have been better still, yet it was disqualified from the competition because an Air Force General did like the way canards looked. Even so, I’m not so naive as to think the F-22 is the first or last time the better airplane didn’t win, but when you combine that with the 25 year development cycle it makes it much worse. Then after we’ve spent a fantastic fortune on that 25 year development they only build 170 aircraft, which is also shades of the B-2 program where they built about 20 and now that they can’t build any more, they tell us they need to start up a new program to develop a bomber just like it. If the F-22 cost twice what the B-2 cost to develop, you can just imagine what the next subsonic stealth bomber will cost. It’s not just the F-22. The same companies build ships that are thin skinned and lightly armed and have to rely on highly expensive weapons to keep from being sunk, and that’s when they build ships that are seaworthy, and then only build a handful. Everything is built around highly expensive ‘guided munitions’ of some sort. The AC-130, B-52, and A-10 are probably the last vehicles left in the inventory that have any punch, which to me explains a lot about why we are losing in Iraq. None the less, even with the litany of failures one right after another, we still manage to pay the CEOs of the companies that perpetuate this fraud $20 million a year in salary for the good job they’ve done. We failed to intercept any of the aircraft that killed 3000 American civilians on 9/11/2001 and we still do not have even 1 new air defense interceptor airplane, but we have many fewer air bases. Foreign invaders cross our borders by the thousands every day and we have no idea what might be showing up at our ports, which we are happy to allow any foreign government to control. I wonder what the soldiers who lost their lives on D-Day think of that after hundreds of thousands of them gave up their lives to establish a beach head at Normandy? I wonder what it is going to take before people have had enough?

  15. Long ago, Ike was right about the military-industrial complex. Maybe it will take an ass-kicking in a real war to fix it. Maybe a revolution. Maybe Stalin had the right idea when he had all his generals shot.

  16. That 3 second anti-zombie burst is a deal buster and not even the 8 small member bombs can make up for. Personally I thought the YF-23 was much better plane. That said, armamentwise, it would have about the same firepower as the F-22. I have a faint hope that a stretched YF-23 could be resurrected as a replacement for the F-111 / new long range bomber with stealth. Personally, I think we should toss the F-35 out the window (except for the VSTOL version) save the money and restart the F-15 lines – except have new engines and avionics. (basically make the F-15 be the ‘low’ of the standard ‘high/low’ fighter mix. With some relatively minor changes the F-15 can still remain a front line air dominance fighter while still outclassing the F-35 in every measure of worth. (Remember the F-35 enters as one of the few ‘next generation’ aircraft that are actually less capable then the aircraft they purport to replace.)

  17. One of the fundamental differences between the F-22 and F-23 is the way the intakes are routed. Since the intakes on the F-23 start on the wings and come inboard, they take up very little of the interior space in the fuselage. The F-22 routing stays completely internal to the fuselage. Given the fact you need to hide the 1st stage compressor fan in a stealth design the F-23 approach is much more space efficient. That’s why the Raptor carries so little ordinance and gas. The F-23, on the other hand, had much more room there for either weapons or gas depending on what sort of mission profile they chose to design to. They could have possibly made room for 4-2000 lb bombs and allowed tanks to be carried in 2 of the spots. Ironically, they could have put all the fancy dogfighting stuff on the F-15 including the radar and it would have really brought up the level of the F-15. Instead they put all that stuff on the F-22 where it makes no sense at all. The problem is, with the amount of regulations programs suffer under today it puts great pressure on the DoD folks to combine their pet projects into one big program. That gives them the political clout necessary to keep them clear of the regulatory oppression. Unfortunatly for the taxpayers, neither size program is a good deal for them. The small program wastes lots of money meeting the regulations. The large program thumbs their noses at the regulations and jacks the cost through the roof because they can.

  18. 4 bombs?! If my memory is correct, we used to call in A-6 Intruders for close-air support carrying 18 or 20 Mk-83 1,000 lb bombs. (about the same payload as a B-29) The Navy never put a laser sight on the A-6 so we would use the old radar ped for relative precision. We trained to use A-6’s to blast massive corridors through enemy lines before an assault. Now what?

  19. Yes, but then the A-6 was an attack bomber rather than an air superiority fighter. In addition, non-stealth aircraft can carry external weapons. You can’t really do that and stay hidden from radar, or at least they can’t right now. Even so, for a 70,000 lb airplane, the F-22 carries very little punch, in my opinion. James mentioned a stretch version of the YF-23 as a possible attack airplane. Now something like that could hold a decent amount of bombs. Again, because the intakes are not part of the fuselage the forward section can be stretched to provide additional weapons storage. The nose would need to be reshaped to maintain the aerodynamics and they’d need to add a canard to keep the cg from getting too far ahead of the cl. There has been talk of an FB-22, but that’s just blowing smoke. It would have nothing in common with the F-22. It would just be compounding the mistake they already made. Have I ever mentioned my (nutty conspiracy) theory that the reason Stonecipher got canned as CEO of Boeing was because he let Northrop have the YF-23 prototypes back? I know it wasn’t because he was screwing one of their own lobbyists. Heck, I’ve known executives to have been video taped doing it with the Director of Morale (to which I always have to add, ‘I kid you not’) on a conference room table and not get fired.

  20. I understand the difference, however, I don’t think the Air Farce does. I don’t hear about them designing new attack aircraft. I never hear them talk about survivability over a battlefield with their new planes. The A-10 appears to have been a mistake that slipped through the cracks and they will never let it happen again.

  21. You’ve got that right. Can you believe they tried to make the F-16 do that job? Talk about not killing enough zombies! All they really care about is the fighters. God forbid anything should take the glory away from them. That’s why their bomber can’t go supersonic. No way in this life time it can be faster than the F-22. As for survivability, composites suck at that. They had to go back and replace every other spar in the F-22 wing with titanium because the first time they shot a 20mm round at it with all composite spars it blew apart. It doesn’t take too many .30 cal holes to double the weight of that airplane as it is. Composite repair involves a little more than cutting a circle out of the side of a beer can.

  22. I never hear them talk about survivability over a battlefield with their new planes.’ Not true – the Air Force talks about survivability all the time. Its just the Air Force version of survivability is a tad different. Air Force survivability is based on floors, daylight and range. Bare minimum survivability is flying during daylight at around 10K feet. Moderate survivability is flying at night at around 20K feet, at a range of approximately 50 miles. Ideal survivability is at night around 50K feet, at a range of in excess of a 100 miles. At no point is survivability defined as the ability an aircraft to absorb hostile fire and maintain is mission profile. At best survivability is defined as the ability of the plane to protect the pilots ability to eject safely.

  23. To be fair, it was an Air Force requirement that the wing be able to take 1-20mm HE round. It’s not much compared to the damage an A-10 takes. Their goal was to have the best dogfighter and to hell with everything else. It’s a good example of be careful what you wish for. I recently ran across this transcript of Newt Gingrich’s interview on Fox News Sunday. He makes an interesting comparison between what we did to win WW2 vs. what we are doing to win the war on terror. It’s laughable, really: [President Bush] doesn’t methodically insist on changing things. I mean, again, take the example last week. If somebody with tuberculosis, who is actually in the computer system, can’t be stopped at the border; if you have three terrorists in New Jersey who have been here illegally for 23 years — and the Senate, by the way, voted to sanction cities and counties not asking if you’re illegal, an amendment to this — what I think is an absolute disaster of immigration legislation — you have to look at that and say, ‘We’re not serious.’ I just did, as you know, a novel on the second world war. I was out recently at Pearl Harbor and looking at the Missouri and looking at the Arizona, and they’re sitting right next to each other. And the Missouri was our answer to Pearl Harbor. We built an entire navy. We built an entire air force. We created the atomic bomb. We mobilized 16.5 million people in uniform. We won the entire war in less than four years. Now, you look at the ruthlessness, the aggressiveness, the energy that we put into that war, and here we are 5.5 years after 9/11, and the fact is I would argue we’re losing the war around the world with Islamist extremists and they are, in fact, gaining ground.

  24. Interesting link dfens. Talk about finding work for your pet project. I wonder if this will make it as a ‘bullet’ in the next power point presentation.

  25. Dfens, in another life I would have liked to have been an aeronautical engineer. Otherwise, I am just an aviation enthusiast.