Could A D-Day Invasion Happen Today?
I was eight months old when 150,000 men landed on the beaches of Normandy, France on June 6, 1944.
Most of us know little about this amazing feat of massive coordination, planning, intelligence and most amazing of all — the secrecy necessary to carry it out.
Not sure we could maintain that level of security in today’s world of cell phones, the NSA, Blackberries, and laptops.
Could A D-Day Happen Today?
My knee jerk reaction is no. D-Day could not happen today. The primary reason being that the US government would not be willing to sacrifice the horrific numbers of troops that were killed on the beaches during the invasion.
Here are some amazing D-Day facts from a blog I wrote three years ago.
We think of the giant aircraft carriers and battleships we have today along with ‘smart bombs’ and other destructive ordinance. But in 1944 the bulk of the fighting was on the ground face to face.
Even with all the advanced technology I’m not sure we could pull off another D-day when you consider the following:
- No invading army had crossed the English Channel since the year 1688 and the weather on June 6, 1944 was not all that favorable either but the decision was made to accept the risk. (I can’t see today’s congress signing off on this.)
- The 5,000 ships required for the invasion stretched out of sight. (The Senate Appropriations Committee would have to have many meetings for this to take place.)
- 150,000 men and 30,000 vehicles made the crossing. (Without cell phones or laptops their loved ones had no idea what they were doing on this day.)
- 800 planes from nine British airfields carried six parachute regiments consisting of 13,000 men during the invasion.
- Over 300 planes dropped 13,000 bombs on the Normandy Beaches in advance of the ground troops. (Even with that pounding 4,400 soldiers were confirmed killed in the first hours.)
- 5,000 tons of Gasoline would be needed for the first 20 days after the invasion and 3,489 long tons of soap would be required in the first four months afterward.
- By sundown on June 6th, 100,000 soldiers made it to shore to secure the coastal villages. Over 9,000 lay dead or wounded. (Not everyone got a trophy and there were no safe zones. Many soldiers survived because the Germans ran out of ammunition.)
- To continue the support of the invading allied forces, 20,000 tons of supplies were unloaded daily on Utah and Omaha beach in the weeks following the initial attack.
- Between D-day and Christmas of 1944, 30,000-captured German POW’s were sent to detention camps each month. Thirty-three camps were located in Texas.
Some Final Thoughts
Thankfully we don’t have to assemble a D-Day type invasion for another land. If we did I’m not sure current or future congresses would have the stomach to order such and event. Even if war had been declared.
The problem is that people living today have no idea what our country was like at that time.
The support of our soldiers was overwhelming. Hollywood celebrities were selling war bonds and raising money across America. Today they would be leading the protests against the soldiers.
American citizens giving up sugar, coffee, meat, grain, rubber, metal, to help our soldiers. I doubt if classrooms today devote more than a footnote of what happened during June 6-9, 1944.
War is hell. But that’s no excuse to ignore the sacrifices made by so many. Germany was a bankrupt nation and in four short years Adolf Hitler was one step away from world domination.
D-Day quashed that dream. Had we not I’m not sure you’d recognize society today.