June 6, 1944 – The Allied invasion of Europe begins

It was certainly a bold plan with more than a little risk. Only about 15% of US troops making the landing had prior combat experience. Within days, and for the rest of the war, it was all about logistics. Like all plans, the events did not unfold as planned. Yes there were great generals, but what made it work were individual young men making good decisions – often without the benefit of command officers who had become casualties. One of the strengths of the US military is to filter down to the lowest levels the objective of every mission. There was an unspoken command that if all else failed, do your best anyway that you can to secure the objective. This was unique to the US, and pioneered by the US starting with the Revolutionary War. No general came up with the idea of putting a plow blade on the front of a tank to bust out of the hedgerows, which is still used today (See Desert Storm and the crossing of the berms.) In fact, the hedgerows weren’t even identified as a problem in the original plan.

These were the fathers of the baby boomers and some would never know their fathers. Proof once again that the families also serve.

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