Friday, September 05, 2014

"D-Day: Normandy 1944", narrated by Tom Brokaw ("The Greatest Generation")


Tom Brokaw, author of “The Greatest Generation”, narrates the Imax 3-D documentary “D-Day: Normandy 1944”, directed by Pascal Vuong.

My own father used to say that at one point General Dwight Eisenhower gave the final order, “Let ‘em rip.”  And tremendous personal sacrifice of grunt soldiers would follow.

The Germans had built the “Atlantic Wall” and it seems incredible that it was breached.  But indeed it was destroyed, by both careful planning, intelligence (decoding Enigma, and Alan Turing’s name is not mentioned), deception (the Germans expected the attack at Calais, where the English Channel is narrowest, and brute force.

The French people, in their homes, knew the buzzwords in radio broadcasts.  And most French civilians would have tremendous damage at home in the fighting to follow. The French are also shown getting out their rifles at home.

The film has some animation (unusual for Imax) and uses pop-up books to illustrate the military hardware.

I have visited Bayeux myself, in May 1999, when I went to the museum for William the Conqueror.  I would lose my rental car keys, and have to take the local train to Caen to pick up another car.  Caen was heavily affected by the fighting.



The official site for the film is here. I saw it at the National Air and Space Museum (Smithsonian) in Washington DC.


Update: May 11, 2015

Here is a piece on the astonishing Allied (and German) deaths and casualties on the many beaches (including Omaha) of D-Day, a perspective on the personal sacrifice that we don't experience today, where a small volunteer force (often economically disadvantaged) does the risk taking, 

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