American Elephants


D-Day, June 6, 1944. by The Elephant's Child

Every year, the remembrance of D-Day grows a little weaker, as it fades into history. A young man of 18 on June 6, 1944 would now be 92. There are not many left, and now it is only those who were children then who remember events as they were happening. I always post something about the anniversary, but many years it is just a repost of what I wrote a previous year. You can access them all by entering “D-Day” in the blank over Bob Hope’s head in the sidebar.  Last year’s post of a book review of “D-Day Through German Eyes” is interesting and the links still work.

They All Hate Us, Right?” was a post in 2008 about the French reenacters. I don’t know if they are still doing it, but it’s interesting simply because it points out that it isn’t just the current media who don’t know what they are writing about, it’s been going on for a long time. Piper Millin’s story is a good one as well.

One of my favorite stories I don’t know if I ever wrote about, but it is some real evidence of our common humanity. It concerns the photo which all of us have probably seen many times of the GI in the water on D-Day, huddled behind a beach obstacle, trying to avoid the rifle fire, and looking terrified, but determined. There are hundreds of men all across the United States who claim to have been that guy. Don’t give me any of your “toxic masculinity” nonsense. Men are useful far, far beyond their ability to open jars and eliminate scary spiders.

Once again I want to urge you, if you have an interest in history or maybe more if you don’t, to buy and read Victor Davis Hanson’s The Second World Wars. Europe does seem, at present, to be slowly committing suicide. They are realizing that a good many of their migrants have no intention of assimilating and some of the countries are considering ways to block more migrants and if they can, to remove some who are already there. Here are a couple of brief excerpts:

The D-Day invasion of Normandy (Operation Overlord) was the largest combined land and sea operation conducted since the invasion of Greece by King Xerxes of Persia in spring 480 B.C. It dwarfed all of history’s star-crossed beach landings from Marathon to Gallipoli (April 1915). Normandy would serve as a model for large subsequent America seaborne operations from Iwo Jima (February 1945) and Okinawa (April 1945) to Inchon (September 1950). It made all prior iconic cross-Channel invasions in either direction—Caesar’s (55 BC), William the Conqueror’s (1066), Henry V’s (1415), or the 1809 British landing in Flanders—seem minor amphibious operations in comparison.  …

Over 150,000 Allied troops landed the first day on five British, Canadian, and American  assigned beaches, along with over twenty-five thousand airborne soldiers dropped behind German lines. Unlike possible spots in the Cotentin Peninsula or at Calais, the Allies believed that landings in Normandy would pose far more of a surprise, given the somewhat greater distance from Britain. More important, the expansive geography of the Normandy beaches would not box in the invading Allied armies on a confined peninsula or allow the  Germans to focus on a narrow front. Unlike the prior landings in Sicily and Italy, Operation Overlord had been carefully planned for over a year, drawing on the lessons from the Allies past amphibious problems at Dieppe, Sicily, Salerno and Anzio. New inventions and weapons were crafted for the invasion, from portable “Mulberry ” harbors to PLUTO (“pipelines under the ocean”) fuel lines laid under the English Channel and to Sherman and Churchill tanks modified  to uncover mines, cut barbed wire, provide pathways over the soft beaches, and bridge obstacles.

At this point I always have a flashback to the Robin Hood movie with Russell Crowe, when history deficient Hollywood had Robin headed for the beaches to prevent the landing of Henry V, and Henry’s troops were landing in Higgins Boats made out of driftwood, with the iconic front panel that drops down to allow the troops to run (or swim) for the beach. There were Higgins boats in the Lord of the Rings trilogy as well, but fortunately not so obvious. Andrew Jackson Higgins’ little plywood landing crafts played a big part in winning the war.

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Victor Davis Hanson: Germany and the Unwinnable WWII by The Elephant's Child

I have no idea how many books have been written on World War II. Many of them important, but Victor Davis Hanson has explained it. I gave my oldest son, who is really interested in the war, and has toured the battlefields in Europe,The Second World Wars for Christmas. He usually mutters about the somewhat conservative books I give him, but he made a special point of thanking me for it. He said it has made it all make sense, and he loved the book. So there are glimmerings of hope.

If you have not yet ordered the book, you’ll be glad that you did. The preface explains the title, and why Victor Davis Hanson was the correct one to tell that story. Memorial Day would be a good time to indulge.



The Passing Span of the Years –Some of Them by The Elephant's Child
November 6, 2017, 6:19 am
Filed under: England, Environment, Europe, France, History, Immigration, Law, Politics, The United States | Tags:

1066: The Norman Invasion, William the Conqueror, The Battle of Hastings.
1215;  Magna Charta
1348-1350: The Black Death, 1/3 of Europe Died
1350-1600: The Renaissance, Best Weather Known to Man
1227-1453: The Hundred Years War (France, Crecy, Potiers, Jean d’Arc)
1450-1850:The Little Ice Age
1455-1485: Wars of the Roses: Lancaster v. York
1502: The First Watch – telling time
1517: Martin Luther,  1532: Calvin, 1541: John Knox.
The Reformation
1519-1535: Spanish Conquest
1533: Henry VIII leaves Catholic Church Marries Anne Boleyn
1542: First Western Entry to Japan
1588: The Armada
1603: Queen Elizabeth dies
1642-1660: Roundheads v. Cavaliers. Cromwell
1620: Pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock
1630: Winthrop Fleet Arrives in Massachusetts Bay
1675-1678: King Philip’s War or Metacomet’s Rebellion
1773: Boston Tea Party 1775: Paul Revere, Bunker Hill
1760-1791: The American Revolution
1776, July 4: The Declaration of Independence
1787: The Constitution, 1791: The Bill of Rights
1799: Napoleon Bonaparte proclaimed Emperor
1804-1815: The Napoleonic Wars 1815: Waterloo
1846: The Irish Potato Famine
1853:
The Crimean War
1859: Charles Darwin: The Origin of Species
1867: Canada Becomes a Dominion
1899-1902: The Boer War
1903: The Russian Revolution 1918: Nicholas Abdicates

Leaving a lot out, of course. A quick ten centuries,



It’s Come to This: It’s Time to Ban Trucks! by The Elephant's Child

Gun Control seems to remain as a feature of the conversation. Conservatives keep explaining (and explaining ) that guns are inanimate objects, and it is the shooter who is the problem, but they will have none of that. It’s the guns they want to control. (Since they seem to think Conservatives live in the backwoods of Southern states and are uneducated hicks, possibly they are afraid we will break out of our hideaways and attack them with our guns?)

I was reminded that a large truck, driven by a Muslim immigrant, plowed into a crowd of people in the southern French city of Nice, killed at least 83 people and left 18 in critical condition. It wounded 458.

The scene in Nice was one of devastation, with the heavy-duty white truck stalled amid the bloodshed on the street, its windows smashed and riddled with bullets from police gunfire.

“I saw bodies flying like bowling pins along its route. Heard noises, cries that I will never forget,” he wrote.

Well, clearly, we should ban trucks. Same mindset.



Good Speech by The Elephant's Child
October 3, 2017, 6:02 am
Filed under: England, France, History, Military, Politics | Tags: , ,

Henry V  by William Shakespeare

This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home, will
stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbors,
And say ‘Tomorrow is Saint Crispian:’
Then he will strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say “These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember’d.
This story shall the good man teach his son:
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember’d:
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

……………………..Victory over the French at Agincourt 1415




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