The “sheer improbability of this victory”?

President Obama was at Omaha Beach. AP: “The sheer improbability of this victory is part of what makes D-Day so memorable,” Obama said.

Is that so? D-Day was a risky enterprise to be sure, with the imponderables of weather, German intelligence, logistical screw-ups, and other matters. But it was an intricately planned assault that featured total air superiority by the Allies, among other strategic and tactical advantages. The Allies had learned the lessons of Dieppe. We’ll quote a bit from volumes 5 and 6 of Winston Churchill’s The Second World War:

The concentration of the assaulting forces — 176,000 men, 20,000 vehicles, and many thousand tons of stores, all to be shipped in the next two days — was in itself an enormous task. (v.5, p.596)

great armadas of convoys and their escorts sailed, unknown to the enemy…to the Normandy coast….the Royal Air Force attacked enemy coast defence guns in their concrete emplacements, dropping 5200 tons of bombs…In the 24 hours of June 6 the Allies flew over 14,600 sorties. So great was our superiority in the air that all the enemy could put up during daylight over the invasion beaches was a mere hundred sorties. (v.6, p.3)

I am well satisfied with the situation up to noon today, 7th. Only at one American beach has there been any serious difficulty, and that has now been cleared up. Twenty thousand airborne troops are safely landed behind the flanks of the enemy’s lines…We got across with small losses. We had expected to lose about 10,000 men. By tonight we hope to have the best part of a quarter of a million men ashore. (v.6, p.7)

The planning for Overlord dates back to at least the Casablanca conference of January 1943 (v.5, pp.70-71). “Sheer improbability of this victory”? — that’s quite a statement about an as long planned and well executed invasion as D-Day. As for the bravery of the Americans of D-Day, we’ll let Ronald Reagan and S.L.A. Marshall tell those stories.

Final thoughts: (a) if the media had been like this in 1944, maybe Obama would have been correct; (b) Gordon Brown’s mistaking Obama Beach for Omaha Beach inspires the thought that perhaps the President was thinking of himself when referring to the “sheer improbability of this victory.”

4 Responses to “The “sheer improbability of this victory”?”

  1. RobM Says:

    What are the odds that… our dear leader has never really cared to learn about anything that doesn’t help him short of Islamist teachings. I would wager his knowledge of the history of the US and the historic events thereof is threadbare at best and he is now being tutored in real time as he goes to this event or that. This man is ignorant of magesty of the United States… that’s why he and his flock wanted to “change” it…

  2. feeblemind Says:

    ‘The sheer improbablity of this victory…’ I just came from reading this article to Dinocrat. That phrase raised my hackles as well. Clueless twit. Sheeesh. As for Gordon Brown’s gaffe, who knows? Maybe now there will be a movement afoot to rename the beach? From my point of view it was an affront to see the 0-man and Brown even standing there. My guess is that they are there solely for the benefit of the political theatre it provides. I doubt they care a whit about what happened there.

  3. David/California Says:

    The abysmal ignorance of this graduate from an “elite” university continues to astound. One could wish for less “self-esteem” and a lot more knowledge. (I’ve heard it persuasively argued that a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2008 is the equivalent of a high school diploma from 1958. Listening to Obama’s egocentric and pseudo-intellectual drivel would seem to confirm that hypothesis.)

    His rhetorical blunders in Cairo were even worse. Forget Israel’s history–it’s impossible to believe an educated adult is unaware our current numeric system originated in India, and was adopted by the Arabs, and then the Europeans (who mistakenly called it ‘Arabic numerals’). How do you think our Indian allies reacted to that gaffe?

    The worst of it is, Obama, like Clinton before him, appears to surround himself with people even stupider than he is (Never thought you’d miss Albright and Reno, did you?) so he can never be challenged by an insider.

    What a buffoon.

  4. Paul Says:

    Can’t fix stupid affirmative action.

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