Sunday, February 15, 2015

D-Day



Today's picture is an iconic image of soldiers as they approach Omaha Beach on D-day. The striking thing to me is that most of these men are teenagers. Truly this was the greatest generation.

4 comments:

  1. We are still sending children off to fight our wars. We should send our Congress men. They have lived their lives and raised their families, know how to use a gun and generally have a bad attitude anyway. Besides, all the training in the world won't let you outrun a bullet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There were members of Congress who served during World War Two and these men were men, not children.

      The age range for soldiers in the Second World War was much higher than people suspect, with it sometimes being noted that if you took an average for combat infantryman they'd tend to come out in the early 30s, after the young and the older solders were included in the average. People are aware that the draft age for the US started at 18, but they tend to forget that at first it actually also extended up to about 40 and that the Army did in fact conscript men in their 30s. Volunteers in some specialties were taken from men in their 50s. The highest ranking US officer to die in theater, from friendly fire, was a full general (four stars).

      Also, fwiw, having known quite a few men and a few women who have served in the recent wars, I'd not regard them as children by a long shot. A couple of my friends served in Iraq who were over 40 years of age at the time, and a person I occasionally worked with, a young woman, left her civilian job to do so, in her late 30s. Not kids.

      Not to be argumentative, but some wars aren't avoidable and World War Two was one of them. When we make the old men make wars, and young men fight them, argument against a later war and throw World War Two into the example, we need to remember that we were fighting an enemy in Europe which was dedicated to extermination, and one in Asia that encouraged its young soldiers serving in Manchuria to bayonet Chinese civilians as part of their training.

      Delete
  2. Extremely famous photograph, I've never seen what unit it depicts. They are not an infantry unit, however, given the way they are armed. Most are carrying M1 Carbines, one is carrying a M1 Garand, and one is carrying a M1903 Springfield.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This photo brings to mind some wonderful documentaries on D-Day that I have seen recently on a great channel AHC (American Heroes Channel). It is one of the more wholesome channels, as far as I am concerned, as far as programming goes. You have a wonderful blog. Thank you so much for sharing and warm greetings from Montreal, Canada.

    ReplyDelete