Five Things You Didn’t Know About D-Day and Its Major Players

Allied soldiers, vehicles, and equipment being transported to the French shore during the invasion. (boston.com)

 

Today marks the 68th anniversary of the Allied Invasion of Normandy, better known as D-Day.  Thanks to history class and movies such as Saving Private Ryan and The Longest Day, we know the basic story of the invasion and how it turned the tide of World War II in the Allies’ favor.

However, every piece of history has a little-known fact attached to it.  I’ve compiled the top 5 more interesting facts, not only directly associated with the invasion, but also some of its commanders:

1)  At age 56, Teddy Roosevelt Jr. (the former President’s eldest son) was the oldest soldier to fight during D-Day.  He was also the only soldier to fight alongside his son, Capt. Quentin Roosevelt II, who was fighting on Omaha Beach.  The elder Roosevelt was fighting on Utah Beach.

2)  As General Eisenhower was commanding the troops at Normandy, his son John was graduating from West Point Academy.

3)  Commander-in-Chief Trafford Leigh-Mallory, the man in charge of the Air Command during the Normandy invasion, was the younger brother of famed mountaineer George Mallory.

4)  The Bradley Fighting Vehicle is named after then-Lt. General Omar Bradley, Commander of the U.S. 1st Army, which captured Utah and Omaha Beaches.

5)  The Royal Air Force dropped aluminum over Pas de Calais while troops were moving into position at the real invasion point.  The action looked the same as an air raid on radar, duping the Germans.

Are there any little-known D-Day facts that I missed?  Please share them in the comments section!

Categories: Military History | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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