Sunday, June 9, 2019

TheList 5016



The List 5016 D-DAY Remembered     TGB

I hope that your week has been going well. Today is the 75th Anniversary of D-Day,

Regards,
skip
Today in Naval History
June 6
1850 The brig USS Perry, commanded by Lt. Andrew H. Foote, captures American slaver Martha off Ambriz (near the city of Luanda), Angola, Africa.
1918 Allied troops take Hill 142 at Chateau-Thierry, France, during World War I, 12 enemy soldiers crawl in a position to counter attack with five light machine guns. Realizing his company might withdraw if fired upon, Marine Gunnery Sgt. Maj. Ernest A. Janson, quickly rushes and bayonets two enemy leaders, forcing the rest of the enemy attackers to withdraw. For his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" on this occasion, he is awarded the Medal of Honor by both the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army.
1918 During World War I at the Battle of Belleau Wood, Lt. j.g. Weedon E. Osborne is killed in action while attempting to rescue a wounded officer. For his "extraordinary heroism" on this occasion, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
1942 During the Battle of Midway, planes from the U.S. carriers Enterprise (CV 6) and Hornet (CV 8) pursue the retreating Japanese fleet, sinking the heavy cruiser Mikuma and damaging the destroyer Mogami. The abandoned USS Yorktown (CV 5) is reboarded and salvage attempts begin. However, a successful torpedo attack by the Japanese submarine I-168 sinks the destroyer USS Hammann (DD 412) and forces the salvage party to leave Yorktown.
1944 Allied forces land troops on Normandy beaches for the largest amphibious landing in history, Operation Overlord (D-Day), beginning the march eastward to defeat Germany.
1957 Two F8U Crusaders and 2 A3D Skywarriors fly nonstop from USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA 31) off the coast of California to USS Saratoga (CVA 60) off the east coast of Florida. This is the first carrier-to-carrier transcontinential flight. The F8Us take 3 hours and 28 minutes and the A3Ds completed the crossing in 4 hours and 1 minute.
1987 USS Antietam (CG 54) is commissioned at Baltimore, Md. The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser is named after the 1862 Battle of Antietam in Baltimore during the Civil War. The cruisers first homeport is Long Beach, Calif.
Thanks to CHINFO
Executive Summary:
•       The 75th anniversary of D-Day and commemoration events lead today's national news as President Trump, along with French President Macron and other world leaders honor WWII veterans.
•       USNI News reports on how Naval Supply Systems Command is meeting the logistical demands of Dynamic Force Employment as the Navy confronts near-peer threats.
•       The Navy has recovered the wreckage of the missing C-2A Greyhound lost in a fatal 2017 crash in the Philippine Sea reports Stars and Stripes.
•       The House Armed Service subcommittee on readiness included a call for the Navy to take another look at the hybrid electric drive (HED) propulsion system for the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer in its FY 2020 NDAA mark reports USNI News.
Today in History June 6
1523

Gustav Vasa becomes king of Sweden.
1641

Spain loses Portugal.
1674

Sivaji crowns himself King of India.
1813

The United States invasion of Canada is halted at Stony Creek, Ontario.
1862

The city of Memphis surrenders to the Union navy after an intense naval engagement on the Mississippi River.
1865

Confederate raider William Quantrill dies from a wound received while escaping a Union patrol near Taylorsville, Kentucky.
1918

U.S. Marines enter combat at the Battle of Belleau Wood.
1924

The German Reichstag accepts the Dawes Plan, an American plan to help Germany pay off its war debts.
1930

Frozen foods are sold commercially for the first time.
1934

President Franklin Roosevelt signs the Securities Exchange Act, establishing the Securities and Exchange Commission.
1941

The U.S. government authorizes the seizure of foreign ships in U.S. ports.
1944

D-Day: Operation Overlord lands 400,000 Allied American, British, and Canadian troops on the beaches of Normandy in German-occupied France.
1961

Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung, one of the founders of modern psychiatry, dies.
1966

African American James Meredith is shot and wounded while on a solo march in Mississippi to promote voter registration among blacks.
1982

Israel invades southern Lebanon.
1985

The body of Nazi war criminal Dr. Josef Mengele is located and exhumed near Sao Paolo, Brazil.
 
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Thanks to Dutch
COMMENT & ANALYSIS
The 6th of June, 1944
Free men pay homage once more to the courage of 'the longest day'
Not everyone gets to save the world. Before the colors of the Sixth of June 1944 fade into the mists of time, we remember after the passage of 75 years the uncommon sacrifice of the hundreds of thousands of soldiers of America, of Britain and Canada, a token force of Free Frenchmen and soldiers of several other nations who struggled on the beaches of Normandy to secure the foothold that enabled the liberation of Europe. We pay particular homage to the 9,000 Americans who sleep in the great cemetery above the beaches. They rest in the peace of American soil, sovereignty conveyed by a grateful France.
President Trump and representatives of allied nations will honor them in ceremonies Thursday in Normandy, the occasion recalling Lincoln's words at the cemetery at Gettysburg, when he honored that earlier generation that gave their lives so that men might live free. Lincoln acknowledged that "we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract." But we must try.
Not everyone, apparently, can focus on the occasion to honor sacrifice of life and limb to preserve freedom. The anniversary never fails to cast partisanship aside, bringing tears to the eyes and hearts of the hard and the tough, but The Washington Post churlishly offered a story headlined "How Trump will ruin the 75th anniversary of D-Day." In the event, the anniversary was not ruined, and a diminishing number of D-Day survivors, all in their 90s and some approaching a full century of life, are there as living monuments to a moment in the human story when virtue, at least for the day, was ascendant over vice. This is likely to be the final grand salute to "the greatest generation" that won World War II.
This was a war that wasn't supposed to happen. Given the proximity to World War I, "the war to end all wars" that took the lives of 10 million soldiers and 20 million civilians and ended only two decades earlier, another war on the European continent had seemed unthinkable. But before the Allies ended the quest of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich another 24 million soldiers and seamen and 50 million civilians would go to their
graves on land and at sea.
The 156,000 troops from eight nations who stormed the beaches of Normandy had hoped the cover of darkness and fair weather would work to allied advantage in surprising the 50,000 Germans dug in along the French coastline. But it was not to be. At 5:20 a.m. the commander of a German observation post above the beaches stepped up to the slit in the concrete bunker to have a look. Color drained from his face. "It's the invasion," he said softly to a junior officer. "There must be 10,000 ships out there." The other officer scoffed. "The enemy doesn't have 10,000 ships."
"Come up here and see for yourself the 10,000 ships you say are not there." Gathered before them, stretching to the far horizon, was a spectacle not likely to be seen ever again. It was the greatest invasion force in history, 5,000 allied ships (the exaggeration was understandable), a line of cruisers and destroyers and behind them the great battleships Arkansas, Texas and Nevada, and behind them hundreds of ships with decks covered by 2,727 landing boats made of threequarter inch plywood, the storied Higgins boats, that over the next 24 hours would take 156,000 soldiers to the killing fields.
The landing boats raced to the beaches in tight formation at top speed and under relentless German fire, communicating without radios, cellphones, beepers and the electronic paraphernalia that would one day be ubiquitous, nothing to guide but navigation flags of accompanying control boats barely visible in the smoke of battle. By 10:30 on the night of June 6, immortalized as "the longest day," the five beachheads — Omaha, Utah, Gold, Juno and Sword — were secure, and Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the supreme allied commander, could discard his prepared statement taking personal blame if the day had failed.
The day did not fail, and the Allies, led by the Americans, the British, Canadians and including soldiers of the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand, sometimes sneered at in certain quarters as "the Anglo-Saxons," would write a legend in blood that would last as long as men and women honor courage and pay homage to the bravery of free men. Seventy-five years on, the legend holds.


Copyright (c) 2019 Washington Times , Edition 6/6/2019
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Lest we forget Thanks to Dutch.  This is a good overall look at the invasion.
 
D-Day, Normandy, France June 6, 1944
by Brian Williams and John Barratt
The Atlantic Wall
After the invasion and subsequent fall of France in 1940, the German army controlled the entire coast of Northern France.  Following the Allied evacuation at Dunkirk, Hitler had hoped that Britain would agree to settle the war.  But, because of British determination and Germany's inability to carry out an invasion of England, Germany was forced to maintain a defensive posture along the coast. In 1944, the German war machine was still very powerful despite the many setbacks on the Eastern Front.  What it lacked in Luftwaffe and materials, it made up for in highly experienced and trained men.  Also, its armor, heavy infantry weapons, and anti-tank capabilities were years ahead of the Americans and British.  But, the Allies controlled the air and sea and what they lacked in quality, they hoped to make up for in quantity. The German high command was actually anticipatory about the upcoming Allied invasion.  It meant that finally the British and American threat could be "dealt with" once and for all.
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Overlord Preparations
Operation Overlord, the Allied codename for the invasion of Normandy, involved more than 150,000 men and 5,000 ships.  It consisted of American, British, Canadian, Polish, and Free French Armies under command of General Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force (the choice of Eisenhower was officially made by President Roosevelt in December 1943, and agreed upon by the British). The Deputy Supreme Commander of the invasion was British Air Chief Marshal Arthur W. Tedder, who had been the commander of the Allied Air Forces in the Mediterranean.  While British Admiral Bertram H. Ramsay, was appointed naval commander.  He had conducted the evacuation at Dunkirk and also planned the Torch landing in North Africa.  British Air Chief Marshal Trafford L. Leigh-Mallory was appointed as commander of the air forces. Montgomery was chosen as the ground forces' commander, despite his well-known personality problems.  Eisenhower's first choice was in fact General Harold Alexander, but Churchill needed Alexander to remain in Italy.  Montgomery arrived in Britain in January 1944 and began to evaluate the feasibility of the operation.  He proposed the expansion of the invasion area to include landings west of the Vire River - allowing for the encirclement of Cherbourg (this would later become Utah Beach).
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The Airborne Landings
The first three of these units were given the missions of securing the eastern and western flanks of the beachhead by destroying bridges and laying mines.  Their main mission was to allow for the main invasion force to come ashore without the immediate threat of German flank attacks.  They were tasked to destroy bridges where the enemy was likely to stage a counterattack, and to secure bridges where Allied forces were expected to go immediately on the offensive.The US 82nd Airborne Division's mission was to protect the far right flank of the invasion in the Cotentin peninsula.  It hoped to accomplish this by destroying bridges over the Douve River and by securing the Merderet River by occupying both sides.  It also had the mission to capture Ste. Mere-Eglise from the German garrison stationed there.  The capture of Ste. Mere-Eglise was important because it straddled the main road between Carentan and Cherbourg. The US 101st Airborne Division's mission was to secure four exits across the marshland near the coast for the invading US 4th Infantry Division at Utah beach.  These causeways needed to be secured because on each side of the exits, it was flooded several feet deep in places.  The 101st also were tasked to destroy two bridges over the Douve and to capture the La Barquette lock just north of Carentan.  The lock controlled the water height of the flooded areas and it was essential that it be captured. The British 6th Airborne Division was to land Northeast of Caen and secure the left flank of the invasion force by controlling bridges over the Orne Canal and River. The left flank of the invasion force was much more vulnerable to German armored attack since the 21st Panzer was stationed just outside of Caen and the 12th SS Panzer miles to the east. Potentially, if the Panzer Divisions were not stopped by the British 6th, they could attack Sword and the rest of the landing beaches.
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Utah
At 0300 on the morning of June 6th, fleets of Allied bombers roared overhead delivering thousands of tons of bombs onto the German coastal defenses.  These were followed at 0500 by the naval bombardment which had been planned to immediately precede the invasion itself. The battleship USS Nevada's 14-inch guns were assigned to the bombardment of the German batteries on Utah beach, while the USS Texas was to fire at Pointe-du-Hoc where the Rangers were to land as part of the Omaha landing.  On the western end of Omaha proper, the USS Arkansas pounded a battery at Les Moulins.  Several cruisers and destroyers also jumped into the bombardment with pre-determined targets and as opportunity arose.  At such close range, there was very little trajectory to the shots and many Americans who were coming in to land, could feel the vacuum of the shells passing overhead.  Needless to say, the bombardment was a very welcome sight to those troops about to land. At approximately 0620, the Nevada turned its guns to the beach and began bombarding a concrete seawall.  Immediately after the bombardment, the plan called for a rocket bombardment by LCT(R)s (Landing Craft, Tank with Rocket launcher).  This was to be followed by the 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry, in 20 Higgins boats which carried a 30-man assault team each.
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Pointe du Hoc
Pointe du Hoc was located on the coast to the west of the Omaha beach landings and was the position of six 155mm cannons with a range of 25,000 yards.  These cannons had a commanding view of both Omaha and Utah beaches and the potential to cause much damage to the invading force.  The area had been bombed since May and then grew in intensity during the three days and nights before D-Day.  During D-Day, the USS Texas bombarded the point as did 18 medium bombers of the Ninth Air Force at H-20. The point stood on cliffs between 85 to over 100 feet high at whose base was a very small rocky beach that offered no protection.  Because the point was positioned on near impregnable cliffs, the Germans had concentrated their defenses in anticipation of a ground assault from inland.  Above were heavily fortified concrete casements interlaced with tunnels, trenches, and machine-gun positions around the perimeter.  Although the 716th Infantry Division was thinly stretched along 30 miles of the shoreline, approximately 200 German troops (125 infantry and 85 artillery men) were garrisoned in or around the point. The task fell to Lt. Col. James Earl Rudder's 2nd Ranger Battalion and called for 3 Companies (D, E, and F) of the battalion to scale the heights.  Company D was to approach the heights on the west, while E and F were to attack on the east.  The main Ranger force (5th Battalion and Companies A and B of the 2nd) were to wait off shore for signal of success and then land at the Point.
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Omaha
The US 1st Army, V Corps had the mission of securing the beachhead between Port-en-Bessin and the Vire River and to advance towards St. Lo. The Corps was to arrive in 4 stages with the 1st Division (with the 29th attached) leading the landings with about 34,000 men in the morning, followed by another 25,000 men after noon. The 1st Division was a veteran unit which had served through the campaigns of North Africa and Sicily.  While for the most part, Normandy would be the 29th Division's first experience in combat.  Two American Regimental Combat Teams (RCTs) of four rifle companies each, were tasked with the initial landing (the US 29th 116th RCT and the US 1st 16th RCT), followed by the remainder of the 1st and 29th Infantry Divisions.  Fire support included naval gunfire from the battleships, cruisers, and destroyers offshore, heavy bombing by B-24 Liberators, the 741st and 743rd DD (dual-drive amphibious) tank battalions, several battalions of engineers and naval demolition personnel, and several howitzer battalions. 
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Gold Beach
Gold Beach was the code name for the center of the landings on the Normandy coast.  The British 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division of the 2nd Army under Lieutenant General Miles Dempsey was to land at H-Hour + 1 (0730), seize Arromanches and drive inland to capture the road junction at Bayeux.  Its additional objectives were to make contact with the US forces to the west at Omaha Beach and the Canadians to their east at Juno Beach.  In addition to the 50th, the 47th Royal Marine Commandos were to land on sector Item and to attack south of Arromanches and Longues and take Port-en-Bessin from the rear. Gold Beach spanned nearly 10 miles long although the areas where landings were to occur were about 5 miles wide.  Gold was characterized mainly by the 3 sea villages of La Rivière, Le Hamel, and the small port of Arromanches to the west.  The Allied sectors were designated from west to east: How, Item, Jig, and King.  Of these four sectors, only the easternmost 3 were to actually become assault sectors. Units of the German 716th Division and elements of the veteran 1st Battalion of the 352nd Division defended the coast in the beach houses along the coast with concentrations at Le Hamel and Le Riviere.  Fortunately for the Allies, these houses proved to be vulnerable to naval and air bombardment.  In addition, an observation post and battery of four 155mm cannon was located at Longues-sur-Mer.
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Juno Beach
Of all the troops involved in the D-Day landings, the men of the Canadian Army , with raw memories of the disaster suffered by Canadian forces in 1942 at Dieppe, might have had greatest cause for apprehension. The Canadian 3rd Infantry Division, (Maj-Gen R.F.L. Keller) supported by the 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade, formed part of I Corps (Lieutenant-General J.T. Crocker), whose D-Day objective was to secure Caen and push 11 miles inland to seize Carpiquet airfield. These were ambitious aims, particularly as the presence of rocks offshore meant that the tide would not be high enough for the landings to begin until half an hour later than those elsewhere, and so probably facing an alerted enemy. The main immediate opposition would come from three, fairly low grade, battalions of the 716th Division, but of more concern was the possibility that 21st Panzer Division, believed to be south-east of Caen, might intervene quickly, possibly reinforced during the afternoon by 12th SS Panzer.
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Sword Beach
AAs well as being the furthest east of the landing beaches, "Sword" was also the smallest, only wide enough for a brigade-sized landing force. The 3rd British Division was tasked with getting enough troops ashore to push inland quickly and seize Caen, and link up with 6th Airborne Division. It would prove to be a seriously over-ambitious aim. Early on June 6th Naval Force"S", carrying the assault force and support units, moved into position off the mouth of the River Orne. It was here that the only notable German naval activity of the day occurred, when three E-boats emerged through the Allied smoke screen, fired a salvo of torpedoes, which sank the Norwegian destroyer Largs, and made off unscathed. It proved to be the only appearance of the Kriegsmarine that day, and the Allied bombardment force, including the battleships Warspite and Ramillies, proceeded to lay down the heaviest barrage of the day on the three-mile wide stretch of beach where the 8th British Brigade was to land.
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Counterattack
As Rommel had recognized, Germany's main chance of defeating the invasion lay in prompt counterattacks, particularly by her panzer forces. However, for a variety of reasons, the powerful striking force within easy reach of the invasion beaches which he had called for was not immediately available. A major problem resulted from a lack of clarity in the panzer command structure. The newly formed 47th Panzer Corps was still in process of taking over command of 21st, 116th and 2nd Panzer Divisions, whilst administrative and supply matters remained under Panzer Group West, with both responsible to Rommel's Army Group B. To complicate matters further, Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt, Commander in Chief West, was powerless to commit the strategic reserve without the authority of OKW, meaning in effect Hitler.
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The Fight for the Foothold
By nightfall on June 6th 1944-D-Day, Hitler's Atlantic Wall on the coast of Normandy had been breached. The Allies, at a cost of 9,500 casualties compared with 4-10,000 Germans, were ashore in Fortress Europe. But their position remained precarious; the beachheads had less depth than had been hoped for, and British and US forces had not yet linked up. Supplies and reinforcements were not coming ashore as rapidly as had been planned, and the initially slow and piecemeal enemy reaction could not be expected to remain so favorable. The Allies had to link up and expand their currently insecure toeholds into something more substantial as rapidly as possible. For Germany, the result of the first day of fighting had been disappointing, but was not viewed as disastrous. Partly as a result of Hitler's hesitancy, and also as a consequence of virtually complete Allied air supremacy over the approaches to the battle area, 21st and 12th SS Panzer Divisions, forming the immediate mobile reserve, had not intervened effectively on June 6th. Indeed losses from enemy air attack were so substantial that it is unlikely that their earlier release would have made any significant difference.
Rommel, absent in Bavaria during the opening hours of the battle, arrived back at Army Group B Headquarters late in the evening, and began re-organising the currently fragmented command structure.
 
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Thanks to Carl for this addition to the D-Day history
 
JUNE 6, 1944: THE GREATEST DAY OF THE 20TH CENTURY
 
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If The Heroes Of D-Day Could See What's Become Of America 
By Don Feder
June 4, 2019
 

      
On the 75th. anniversary of D-Day, we like to reflect on the momentous beginning of the crusade to save civilization – depicted in the old black-and-white photos of determined young men wading ashore.

       But I wonder what they would think, if the heroes of D-Day – those 18- and 19-year-olds from Brooklyn and Chicago and Des Moines, who fought and died on the beaches of Normandy and during the almost year-long campaign to liberate Europe that followed – could see what's become of the country they loved and endured such hardship to preserve.

       1. Patriotism is on the wane – They'd find that with each succeeding generation, fewer and fewer Americans are committed to their country. While 85% of the post-war baby boom generation say they're proud to be Americans, that sentiment is shared by only 72% of Gen Xers, 65% of Millennials and a bare majority (54%) of those still in high school. For the Silent Generation, patriotism came naturally, even though most had to go through a Great Depression to reach the sands of Normandy and Iwo Jima. For the children of affluence, raised in skepticism and cynicism, all that was done to give them the life they now enjoy is taken for granted.

       2. Americans don't know much about our history – A 2018 survey found that the average American couldn't pass a citizenship test: 72% didn't know which states comprised the original 13 colonies, only 24% could correctly identify one of Ben Franklin's many achievements (37% believed it was inventing the light bulb), only 24% knew why we fought the British to gain our independence, a ridiculous 12% thought Dwight Eisenhower led troops in the Civil War (6% thought he was a Vietnam war general), and while most knew the causes of the Cold War, 2% believed it had something to do with climate change. The test was based on multiple choice questions.

       3. Education equals Marxist indoctrination – While they don't learn history or geography, most high school graduates can tell you how and why America is the most racist nation on earth – how we stole the land from the Indians and built this country on the backs of slaves (they imagine we were the only ones who had them), exploited immigrants and abused Chinese railroad workers. In college, they can major in Women's Studies, Black Studies and Queer Theory. About 18% of the social scientists in America are self-identified Marxists, compared to 5% who are conservatives.

       4. Since 1973, abortion on demand has been the law of the land, thanks to a deliberate misreading of the Constitution by the Supreme Court – In 2017, 892,000 babies were aborted – roughly nine times the number of Americans who died from D-Day to VE-Day (104,812). Their deaths were sanctioned in the name of freedom, equality and human rights. Worldwide, only 9 nations have higher abortion rates than the land of the free. Now, we're making the natural progression to infanticide. In February, 44 Democratic Senators voted against legislation which would have required physicians to provide medical care to babies who survived abortions.

       5. Americans aren't having babies – The United States is going the way of tired-blood Europe – too exhausted to reproduce at replacement level. In 2018, our fertility rate (the number of children the average woman will have in her lifetime) sank to 1.72, with 2.1 needed to replace current population. As a result, our society is aging rapidly. A demographer with the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that by 2035 – in just 16 years – there will be more Americans 65 years of age and older than under 18. If we have another World War, our troops will need wheelchairs and walkers to go into battle.

       6. Gay Marriage is an icon – We may not have children, but in 21st. century America, men can marry men and women can marry women, thanks to the same Supreme Court that mandated legalized abortion. Those who refuse to participate in or affirm these travesties are condemned as bigots and (in the case of vendors) fined huge sums. It's surprising that FDR didn't include same-sex marriage among his Four Freedoms. His party is making up for that oversight.

       7. Transgenderism is venerated – The latest "civil rights" struggle is for men who think they're women to be treated as if they really are women. In many states, gender-confused men are given access to the bathrooms, shower rooms, and changing rooms of those who actually are women and girls, and allowed to compete in women's athletic events. Trans-speciesism (woof) is just around the corner. Why not a tomb to the Unknown Transgendered Soldier in Arlington Cemetery?

       8. The War on God advances on every front – On the evening of June 6, 1944 President Franklin D. Roosevelt made an address to the nation that's come to be known as FDR's D-Day Prayer, where he said in part: "Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity. Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith. They will need Thy blessings." If FDR gave that speech as president today, he'd be arrested by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Thanks to the ACLU, judicial activists and Democratic politicians, God has been largely driven from public schools. Even a moment of silence is verboten. The latest secularist assault is against the World War I memorial erected in Bladensburg, MD. almost 100 years ago, known as the Peace Cross. In 2017, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that publicly funded maintenance of the monument breached the sacred wall of separation. Little did the D-Day heroes know that they were fighting and dying to protect America from the God of their fathers.

       9. Popular culture has become a cesspool – Nudity and sex in the movies and on cable television, celebrities who fornicate openly and curse at the president publicly, organizations that lobby for pedophilia, "wardrobe malfunctions," porn stars who've become household names, an entertainment industry that mocks traditional morality at every opportunity and drag-queen story hours for children at public libraries – we have it all. It's estimated 40 million Americans regularly visit porn sites, while 35% of all internet downloads are related to pornography. We've come a long way from movies with married couples sleeping in twin beds and "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."

       10. 100,000 illegal aliens are streaming across our southern border every month, bringing disease, drugs and gang violence with them. – Across the United States, major cities have forbidden police from cooperating with immigration officials in apprehending these illegals (the so-called sanctuary city movement). The California State Assembly overwhelmingly passed legislation to give illegals public health care benefits, while veterans get substandard medical care due to lack of funding. The Democratic Party does everything humanly possible to block the construction of a border wall, in effect declaring that everyone in the world has a right to be here and live off the taxpayers.

       Thankfully, there was no crystal ball on the beaches of Normandy on that fateful day in 1944 which would have enabled our fighting men to see what would become of America. Even then, most would have continued fighting, but it certainly would have taken the fight out of them. 
Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer who is now a political/communications consultant. He also maintains a Facebook page
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Thanks to Dutch
D-Day's 'forgotten' woman
Without the daring and heroism of Virginia Hall, the war might have been prolonged
By Cal Thomas
Observances of the 75th anniversary of D-Day are properly focusing on the troops and the architect of Operation Overlord, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, who freed Europe from Hitler and his Nazi hordes.
One person — a woman — has not received the credit she deserves for her efforts with the French Resistance. Without her daring and heroism, the war would most assuredly have been prolonged and many more lives would have been lost.
Her name was Virginia Hall and her story is told in a new book by Sonia Purnell titled "A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II." The title does not exaggerate Virginia's contributions to the Allied victory.
Saying that one can't put down a book has become a cliche, but Ms. Purnell's work, pieced together from meticulous research and bridging lost or destroyed records, exceeds in drama any spy novel you have ever read.
Virginia was from a family of Baltimore socialites. Her mother expected her to do what most women in that class did in the '20s and '30s — get married, have children and attend parties. Encouraged by her father, who discovered she had other goals, Virginia talked her way into the Special Operations Executive (SOE), the British spy organization Prime Minister Winston Churchill called the "Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare."
She became the first Allied woman deployed behind enemy lines and this with a prosthetic leg she was forced to wear after a hunting accident. She had her gender (sexism was rife in intelligence services and the military in those days), as well as her "handicap" working against her and yet she helped ignite the French Resistance and revolutionized modern secret warfare.
Through incredible trials, which included the Gestapo's unrelenting pursuit, her use of disguises, proficiency in French, recruitment of assets — and betrayal by some of them — and the deprivation of virtually every physical comfort one can imagine, Virginia pursued her goal of liberating France, a country with which she had fallen in love.
As Ms. Purnell notes in the final chapter, "Valor rarely reaps the dividends it should." It was not until after her death in 1982 that the CIA (the successor of OSS) recognized her contributions to the war. Ms. Purnell writes: "Today Virginia is officially recognized by the CIA as an unqualified heroine of the war, whose career at the agency was held back by 'frustrations with superiors who did not use her talents well.'" That's an understatement. A brief summary of her
work is contained on the book jacket, but the book must be read in its entirety to appreciate what she accomplished by bravery and sheer force of will: "Virginia established vast spy networks throughout France, called weapons and explosives down from the skies, and became a linchpin for the Resistance. Even as her face covered wanted posters and a bounty was placed on her head, Virginia refused order after order to evacuate. She finally escaped through a death-defying hike over the Pyrenees into Spain, her cover blown. But she plunged back in, adamant that she had more lives to save, and led a victorious guerilla campaign, liberating swathes of France from the Nazis after D-Day."
Never have I read anything like it. Every page is compelling and demands not just to be read, but absorbed. Every act reflects incredible bravery. This is what heroism looks like. Virginia's actions, along with the men who gave their lives for the freedoms that France, the rest of Europe and America enjoy today, should never be forgotten.
Sonia Purnell has ensured Virginia Hall's place in that great pantheon.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist. His latest book is "What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America" (Zondervan, 2014).
 


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