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Power point by Robert L. Martinez Primary Content Source: Speaking of America: Vol. II, by Laura Belmonte

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Presentation on theme: "Power point by Robert L. Martinez Primary Content Source: Speaking of America: Vol. II, by Laura Belmonte"— Presentation transcript:

1 Power point by Robert L. Martinez Primary Content Source: Speaking of America: Vol. II, by Laura Belmonte

2 On June 6, 1944, the Allied Invasion of western Europe (known as D-Day or Operation Overlord) began.

3 U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower coordinated a huge force of 2,000 ships, 10,000 planes, 4,126 landing craft, and hundreds of tanks and other vehicles in an attack on the shores of Normandy, France.

4 One hundred and thirty-two thousand American, British, and Canadian troops were transported across the English Channel.

5 They assaulted five beaches code-named Utah, Gold, Juno, Sword, and Omaha.

6 While the British and Canadian contingents met little opposition, American forces encountered fierce resistance, especially at Omaha Beach.

7 U.S. soldiers from the 1 st and 29 th Infantry Divisions, along with Army Rangers and amphibious tanks, were ordered to secure Omaha Beach.

8 They sustained heavy casualties, but succeeded in completing their mission.

9 By late August, more than 1 million Allied troops had landed at Normandy and swept through France.

10 After liberating Paris, they headed toward the German border.

11 Although supply problems and a reorganized German army soon stopped the Allied offensive, the D-Day operation turned the tide of the war in Europe.

12 In the following reading, Bob Slaughter, a member of the 29 th Infantry Division, recalls landing at Omaha Beach.

13 “We saw the bomb explosions…We were twelve miles offshore…”

14 “Prior to landing, friends said their so longs and good lucks…The feeling amongst most of the men was that the landing would be a ‘walk-in affair’ …later we could expect a stiff counterattack.”


16 “The [English] Channel was extremely rough, and it wasn’t long before we had to help the craft’s pumps by bailing with our helmets…we were soaking wet.”

17 “As the sky lightened…the smoking and burning French shoreline also became more defined…the huge guns of the Allied navies opened up with what must have been one of the greatest artillery barrages ever.”

18 “Twin-fuselaged P-38 fighter bombers were also overhead protecting us from the Luftwaffe [German air force] and giving us a false sense of security.”


20 “About two or three hundred yards from shore we encountered artillery fire. Near misses sent water skyward and then it rained back on us…I thought, if this boat doesn’t hurry…I’ll die from seasickness.”


22 “About 150 yards from shore, I raised my head despite the warning…Tracer bullets were bouncing and skipping off the ramp and sides as the enemy zeroed in on the boat which had beached a few minutes before us.”

23 “Great plumes of water from enemy artillery and mortars sprouted close by…We expected A and B Companies to have the beach secured by the time we landed.”


25 “The ramp went down while shells exploded on land and in the water. Unseen snipers were shooting down from the cliffs, but the most havoc came from automatic weapons.”

26 “When I did get out, I was in the water. It was very difficult to shed the sixty pounds of equipment, and if one were a weak swimmer he could drown before he inflated his Mae West [life vest]. Many hit in the water and drowned, good swimmers or not.”

27 “I noticed a G.I. running, trying to get across the beach…an enemy gunner shot him. He screamed for a medic. An aidman moved quickly to him and he was also shot…both of them screaming…both died in minutes.”


29 “Boys turned into men…any who survived would be frightened men…Discipline and training took over.”

30 “For me it was time to get the hell away from the killing zone and across the beach…I gathered my courage and started running as fast as I my long legs would carry me. I ran low as I could to lessen the target…”


32 “It was a long way to go, one hundred yards or more. We were loaded with gear, our shoes full of water…I tripped in a tidal pool of a few inches of water, began to stumble, and accidentally fired my rifle, barely missing my foot. But I made it…”

33 “I had gotten sand in my rifle, so I don’t believe we had a weapon that could fire. I felt like a naked morsel on a giant sandy platter.”

34 “I took off my assault jacket and spread out my raincoat so I could clean my rifle. It was then I saw bullet holes in my jacket and raincoat.”

35 “I lit my first cigarette; I had to rest and compose myself because I became weak in the knees.” - Bob Slaughter 29 th Infantry Division


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