May 1944 Southern England 2,876,000 Allied troops, 4,000 American, British, and Canadian ships, and more than 1,200 planes lay in wait while enduring what had become perhaps the wettest month in the History of the island.
If like me and you are aged anywhere between sixty and eighty chances are that your father was part of this rain-soaked contingent of courageous men. Some of them did not even know what they were to become part of. However, most had some form of knowledge of the up and coming mission partly because of the regular training exercises they were all being put through rain or shine, the later usually the norm.
June 4th came everyone was loaded on their troop carriers, and things seemed to be at last happening. With the rain falling in torrents and the men forced to endure incredible sea swells while confined to tiny spaces below decks they were obviously not faring well, the stench was disgusting and the mood, although lifted at times by the song of a comrade, was not in the best of shape. Their spirit would not improve when suddenly all were dragged back to above decks and sent back to their units landslide. As we now know, the original staging date was postponed due to bad weather.
Our comrades in arms would not have long to wait as shortly after midnight on the 6th June all were once again loaded into their troop carriers. No one knew that by the end of that fateful day over 209,000 of them would be either dead, missing or injured. Furthermore, a further 16,714 allied airforce personnel would also perish. In all, a total of 425,000 allied and German troops would be either dead, wounded or missing. The seas of Normandy for that day would turn in to a bloody crimson hell on earth, a scene once witnessed never to be forgotten.
It would take until the 21st of June a full 15 days later to link all five landing zones Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword together resulting in the deaths of many more brave young men some as young as 18 years of age.
The 6th of June has been called the longest day for some. However, it was just the start.
Authors note: If you know someone who you believe is suffering from Post-traumatic stress disorder or as it is sometimes known as PTSD you can find a list of organisations which specialises in this chronic disorder by following the link below
Post traumatic stress disorder
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