Saturday, June 6, 2009

June 6, 1944: D-Day

The Normandy Landings were the largest single-day amphibious invasion of all time, with 160,000 troops landing on June 6, 1944. 195,700 Allied naval and merchant navy personnel in over 5,000 ships were involved. The landings commenced on June 6, 1944 (D-Day), beginning at 06:30 (H-Hour). The landings took place along a 50-mile (80 km) stretch of the Normandy coast divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. [source: wiki]

The Normandy invasion began with overnight parachute and glider landings shortly after midnight (see my previous post of the US paratroopers), massive air attacks, naval bombardments and an early morning amphibious landing.

Omaha Beach was the most heavily fortified beach, with high bluffs defended by funneled mortars, machine guns and artillery. The pre-landing aerial and naval bombardment of the bunkers proved to be ineffective. Elements of the 1st Infantry Division and 29th Infantry Division (US) took heavy casualties. The intensity and bloodshed of the Omaha beachhead assault of June 6, 1944 was best depicted in the opening 24 minutes of "Saving Private Ryan (1998)".

And these are some of my 1/6 scale 12-inch World War II American soldiers

The massive concrete cliff-top gun emplacement at Pointe du Hoc was the target of the 2nd Ranger Battalion, commanded by James Earl Rudder. The task was to scale the 30 meter (100 ft) cliffs under enemy fire with ropes and ladders, and then attack and destroy the German coastal defense guns, which were thought to command the Omaha and Utah landing areas.

G.I. Joe Collectors' Club Pointe du Hoc 1/6 scale 12-inch Normandy Ranger (limited edition exclusive) - this was one of the better releases by HasBeen (oops, Hasbro)

Dragon 1/6 scale 12-inch WWII US Army Ranger, 2nd Battalion, "Captain Miller" (Omaha Beach) with custom Tom Hanks head (full coverage and pictures here)

BBI 1/6 scale 12-inch WWII US Army Mortar Man, 2nd Infantry Division (Indian Head) "Red Parker" (came with 1/6 scale 60mm mortar with M2 mortar bipod, M4 sight and 3 rocket shells)

BBI Elite Force 63rd Anniversary of D-Day Limited Edition WWII 1/6 US Army 246th Combat Engineer Private Vincent J Neiheisei of 29th Infantry Division Omaha Beach June 6, 1944. “I had men killed in front of me, beside me, behind me, yet all I got was a piece of shrapnel in my ear. You don’t know how they can miss you. But it was a day of growing up. You went from boyhood to manhood in one day. That second day, we were all old people.” Check out the link here for full pictures and review.

Dragon 60th anniversary of D-Day figure, a WWII US 29th Infantry Division soldier "Mike Connolly" with Diorama base (full coverage here), one of the brave 29th Infantry soldiers who invaded Omaha beach where some of the most severe fighting took place on D-Day June 6, 1944.

BBI Elite Force 1/6 scale 12-inch WWII US Army Radio Operator, 29th Infantry Division "Sparky Parsons"

Another officer from Dragon - a 1/6 scale 12-inch WWII ETO (European Theatre of Operations) US Army Special Mission Commander "Major Lee" with actor Lee Marvin's likeness as he appeared in "The Dirty Dozen (1967)" - pictures of the collectible figure posted earlier here

The Normandy Landings were also known as Operation Neptune and Operation Overlord. The assault phase of Operation Overlord was known as Operation Neptune. Operation Neptune began on D-Day, June 6, 1944 and ended on June 30,1944. By this time, the Allies had established a firm foothold in Normandy. Operation Overlord also began on D-Day and continued until Allied forces crossed the River Seine on 19 August, 1944.

A very short summary of the Second World War through the eyes of 1/6 military action figures:
World War II - The Germans are coming!! (link here for pictures)
World War II - GOD save the Queen (the brits and french get into the action - 1/6 pictures here)
World War II - Bombing of Pearl Harbor (with some 1/6 American air crew pictures)
World War II - Desert Rats (post with pictures here)
World War II - Russia fights back (link here)
World War II - The Giant Awakes (see my post here)
World War II - Beginning of the End (posted april 21, 2008 - link here)

The American Generals involved in D-Day and the breakout from Normandy in 1/6 scale in an earlier post here


The Rebel said...

Cool Alex! I didn't even know some of these existed! Thanks fr the review. I think I'm gonna get myself either a "Vince" or a "Mike" one of these days...

alex teo said...

HEY Rebel, U R most Welcome :) There are some "Vince" still floating around but I think "Mike Connolly" is the one to get because of the diorama.