6th of June 1944. Not Normandy.

Discussion in 'All Anniversaries' started by von Poop, Jun 4, 2019.

  1. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    A place to list what else was happening on that 'Day of Days'.

    It is, of course, a good thing that any aspect of the war receives such frenzied attention as the Normandy landings, but I always feel a tad uncomfortable that it shines so brightly, in a way that often almost ignores the other millions engaged in the war at that time.
    At least in the UK, no other WW2 event gets the same coverage.

    So... Thought it might be handy to build a one stop thread to highlight the other things going on that day.

    Rome has fallen on the 4th.
    Burma, The Pacific, 'The Eastern Front', etc etc.
    What was being done while thousands gave their all in Northern France?

    SDP, Recce_Mitch, smdarby and 4 others like this.
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  3. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    We were far from the Normandy beaches - we were in Burma well on our way to Rangoon with Bill Slim's largely forgotten fourteenth army. I'd completed a faily lengthy tour as a Hurricane pilot with 60 Squadron giving close support to the army. For my 'rest' period, I'd become a VCP officer (Visual Control Post) and ended up with 255 Indian Tank Brigade in its remarkable push down from Meiktila to Rangoon. Not much rest about it - and an unwelcome break from flying duties.
    On 6th June 1944 the Brigade was safely 'harboured' taking a break before pressing on when the news of the Normandy landings began to come through on the tank radios. Our thoughts were certainly with our comrades back home - though thoughts of being 'back home' were a luxury which few of us allowed ourselves. Nevertheless, there was jubilation in part perhaps because we thought that the sooner it was over in Europe, the sooner we would be remembered !
    But our revelries were suddenly interrupted by some Japanese gunners who had found our range. It was a light shelling, but one round found its target and a young tank crewman was grievously hit. From my funk hole between the tracks of a Sherman tank, I saw them rush him to the first aid post - they need not have rushed because it was painfully clear that here was one young soldier who had not been remembered in time.
    BBC - WW2 People's War - D-Day in Burma
  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  6. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    While the Normandy Overlord was being planned,manpower and resources achieved,operations in other theatres of war continued to the strategy laid out by the military leadership such as in Italy,the Balkans under Tito and in South East Asia.As regards Germany, apart from the massive commitment of divisions on the Eastern Front,other fronts tied down German divisions at the expense of them being utilised on the Atlantic Wall or the Eastern Front.

    However,the main thrust of the Allies came from the agreement of the "Big Three" that the priority was to defeat Germany,then Japan in that order.

    Hitler's risk gamble of the possibility of engaging his enemies on land in the east and west simultaneously was lost with the Normandy landings.

    The landings may be regarded as unique in that sufficient men and material was landed from bases across the Channel, a 100 miles or so away. Progressively these forces were built up in the face of fierce opposition to successfully form a bridgehead where breakouts could form the platform for the eventual defeat of German forces in France and eventually in the west.

    For four years, Germany and occupied Europe were never subject to a British and later US operation to free Western Europe.It was left to Bomber Command and later the USAAF to inflict damage to the German war economy. Stalin for his part, continually urged the West Allies to open up the Second Front to alleviate pressure on the Eastern Front.The outcome was that the return to mainland Europe was decided only when the Western Allies assessed that they had sufficient strength and intelligence to ensure that Overload would be successful.

    Italy was a real slog but the defeat of the Germans in Italy would not threaten the collapse of Germany,that had to be done by defeating the regime on its own soil unlike the situation in the termination of the Great War when by the armistice did not lead to total occupation of Germany.

    As regards the defeat of Japan,by 1944 it was obvious that for some time its military force had reached a peak of achievement in South East Asia. Homeland Japan..its war economy was now receiving the might of the build up of the B 29 force as island hopping provided more bases to operate from closer to the Japanese mainland.Moreover Japan found itself facing a dwindling situation in the availability of oil to recover the territory already lost from the peak of their expansion early in the war.

    Meanwhile in that year.

    Japanese defeated in the Battle of Kohima which continued from 5 April to 3 June.Then defeated at the Battle of Imphal on 22 June...thus shutting the gate to India to the Japanese from Burma.

    Home Front.....13 June... ...... V1 assault on London commences with a bomb falling on Bow.
    8 September...V2 assault on London commences with rockets falling at Epping and Chiswick

    Home Front .....1-20 September...lull in V1 bombardment as advancing British and Canadian forces overrun Pas de Calais launch sites.

    Italy...................21 September ...8th Army capture Rimini.

    Greece ............14 October.....Athens liberated after Peloponnese landings 10 days before....liberation results in the outbreak of the Greek Civil War as the various political factions strive for power.

    The list obviously is not exhaustive.......German divisions on the Eastern Front continued to be put through the Russian mincemeat machine of the Red Army.

    In the Pacific the Japanese homeland became increasingly vulnerable to the B 29 firestorms.
  7. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron

    From June 6, 1942. Stony Point NY


    von Poop and PackRat like this.
  8. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    The first attack commenced on 6th June (as far as I know from the book I am reading)
    Mogaung - Wikipedia
    In June 1944 during World War II the then heavily-defended town was the site of a three-week battle when the 77th Chindit Brigade under Brigadier Michael Calvert, later assisted by Chinese forces of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, fought-for and captured Mogaung from the occupying forces of Imperial Japan. For their behaviour during the fighting two members of the 3rd/6th Gurkha Rifles, Captain Michael Allmand, and Rifleman Tul Bahadur Pun, were each subsequently awarded the Victoria Cross, in Allmand's case, posthumously. At the time of the battle Calvert's Chindit force had been behind enemy lines for three months as part of Operation Thursday.


    Below is from 'The Chindit War' by Shelford Bidwell

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
    von Poop, Recce_Mitch and PackRat like this.
  9. PackRat

    PackRat Well-Known Member

    British and Indian troops of 36 Infantry Division were about to advance from Assam to the Mogaung Valley to follow up the Chindit operations in North Burma, joining American and Chinese troops of Stillwell's Northern Combat Area Command.

    On 6th June frenzied air loading preparations were taking place as the leading infantry serials readied themselves to be flown in to action. War diaries throughout the division make absolutely no mention of the landings taking place on the other side of the world, other than this single line in the Div HQ 'G' Branch diary:

    von Poop, Recce_Mitch, timuk and 2 others like this.
  10. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron


    Many thanks for this thread.

    Like a lot of other folk in Britain, over the past few days I have spent quite a lot of time watching the TV coverage of the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

    It has been very well done and I have been duly impressed with the respect shown to the many veterans who made the journey despite the effort it obviously required.

    At the risk of admitting that I am only human, I confess that there have been times during my viewing that I felt that those of us who had been in the Africa, Sicily & Italy campaigns for at least a year before the Normandy campaign seemed (at least to my jaundiced viewpoint) to have suffered by omission and therefore your thread has been a welcome contribution.

    One of the D-Day Dodgers

    redtop, von Poop, Daisy Blue and 5 others like this.
  11. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    And the tens of thousands of Japanese POWs still suffering beatings, starvation diet and disease. D-Day though to those who eventually heard of it was a great morale boost as it was the first indication of a possibility that their incarceration might come to an end.

  12. HAARA

    HAARA Well-Known Member

    Indeed, and further more 'insulted' by being referred to on occasions as 'D-Day dodgers'. Whilst the fighting in France and into Germany was undoubtedly hard, the terrain was, by comparison with some of that experienced in Italy, not complicated by mountainous regions, making progress slow, and attracting unmerited criticism as a result. Added to that those fighting their way through Africa, Sicily, and Italy were ultimately away from home for up to three years, which must have had an effect on the will to press forward at all times. In my post of a couple of days ago 'Fall of Rome, 4th June 1944' you'll see that the BSM author of the letter already predicted that those in the Italian campaign would be relegated to 'back page boys' by what was seen as forthcoming events.

    So yes, those such as you Ron need a far greater recognition for what you did to give us the free world in which we live today, so a big thank you to you and all those who fought alongside you in the Italian campaign, we greatly appreciate it.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
  13. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Cheers, Ron.
    We've always had a bit of an Italy thing here, to the extent that whenever they say 'DDay' in the Meeja, I usually start humming The DDay Dodgers...

    I noticed your Army Album started on June 17th, 1944, .
    Made me wonder if news of Normandy might have played a passing part in deciding to note your own activities down?
  14. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Hi A !

    Not that I remember........

    What I do remember however is that I didn't write anythìng in my diary for the 6th of June 1944.......work that one out !!!

    von Poop likes this.

Share This Page