June 6, 1944 – The Sea Was White-Crested and Angry

June 6, 1944: D-Day

Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy, Operation Overlord, the biggest seaborne invasion in history, marking the start of the liberation of France, and beginning the final phase of WWII in Europe.

Around 150,000 troops from Britain, America, Canada, and other Allied countries landed on five sectors of Normandy beach. The victory was costly: over 10,000 Allied casualties, compared to an estimated 5,000 to 9,000 casualties for the Germans.

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“They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate.” 
— U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Four years ago our nation and empire stood alone against an overwhelming enemy, with our backs to the wall…Now once more a supreme test has to be faced. This time the challenge is not to fight to survive but to fight to win the final victory for the good cause . . . At this historic moment surely not one of us is too busy, too young, or too old to play a part in a nation-wide, perchance a world-wide vigil of prayer as the great crusade sets forth.”
 – King George VI, radio address, June 6, 1944.

“Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force: You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months.  The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.”
– General Dwight D. Eisenhower

Little Ships

– by an unknown British author

It was a quarter to six, on the morning in June
When the little ships took to the sea
Loaded with men of all nations
The “Vanguard”, to set the world free

They were guarded aloft by the Air-Force
And covered each side by the fleet
Each clad-man was sure of his task
In smashing the foe he would meet

The sea was white-crested and angry
As the little craft closed into line
But the Royal Marines who were forming the crew
Were undaunted, by wave-top or brine

For more than eight miles they struggled
To keep their formations intact
And when close to shore, where they came under fire
Neither mortar, nor shell, held them back

They all heard the fire of the big naval guns
And the shells that were screaming o’erhead
Exploding with roars, midst the enemy ranks
And strewing the fore-shore with dead

As these tiny craft beached at seven twenty five
That same morning on Normandy shore
To a person who watched could plainly be seen
That freedom was saved “Evermore”

As the allied troops swept up the beaches
Those small craft again faced the sea
Save those craft that were sunk by gunfire or stake
And had perished for “Liberty”

Any now the Invasion is over
And soon will be talked of no more
Still, I know that “Glenearn” will never forget
That day, June the sixth, forty four

About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for over 50 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband.
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2 Responses to June 6, 1944 – The Sea Was White-Crested and Angry

  1. rafflaw says:

    Great poem about true heroes!

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