There are many amazing facts about the Normandy landings that people do not know. With it being the 70th anniversary since D-Day, this seems like the perfect time to bring some of them to the surface. There were a number of people involved that very few realize, and various events happening at the same time. These are six amazing facts worth knowing about the D-Day landings.
J.D Salinger was one of those who landed at Normandy on June 6, 1944. While that may not seem like a surprise, he was carrying his unfinished but extremely popular novel, Catcher in the Rye. Six chapters were in his backpack on the day he landed on the beaches of Normandy, along with his weapons and provisions. It is unknown whether any more of the novel was written during this time, and why he took it with him.
While UK soldiers died, the House of Commons had other things to debate. Some of the debates had nothing to do with the war, and seem silly now looking back on them. One of those debates was whether to start calling “charladies” “cleaners” instead. Two thousand and seven hundred UK servicemen were killed on the day of the landing while this debate continued.
Most people know that the Germans were unprepared for the attack. However, one of the amazing Normandy landings facts that many people do not know is that the Germans just expected the timing to be earlier than it was. They expected the spring, so set the timings for their mines for this time. It would cause more damage to the ally ships and less damage to the German ones.
The Germans were also thrown off by planted intelligence. Adolf Hitler believed that Pas-de-Calais would be the point for the real attacks, and Normandy was a decoy. There was not enough German soldier to protect Normandy when it came to the landings, even though the date was pushed back by a day due to stormy weather. Those in charge on the ally side also helped with the confusion by not letting the troops know they were heading to Normandy until the last minute.
President Theodore Roosevelt’s son, Theodore Jr. died in Normandy. However, it was not due to D-Day. He was there on June 6, and earned the Medal of Honor for leading his troops during the Utah Beach battle. A week later he suffered a heart attack, which killed him. Like other soldiers, he was buried in Normandy, and is a respected member of the American forces.
James Doohan, best known for his role as Scotty in Star Trek lost a finger during the Normandy landings. He was lucky to be alive after being shot in the chest as well as the hand. His cigarette case took the chest bullet. He was embarrassed about his missing finger, so tried to hide it while on camera.
June 6, 2014 marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day. It is a day of celebration and remembrance for many around the world. It is one of the biggest pieces of history taught in schools in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom among others. However, there are a number of amazing facts about the Normandy Landings that many people do not know.
By Alexandria Ingham