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Naval Gunfire at D-Day: Remembering Sacrifice

Active Military
Active Military
Veteran News
Veteran News
June 6, 2018
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Let's take a minute to talk about the unsung heroes of D-Day. Everyone knows about the men that stormed the beaches of Normandy and rightly so. It must have been difficult to wade to shore with balls that gigantic. However, they moved under an impressive array of bombardment that probably has never been replicated. As we mentioned in our article yesterday there were quite a few ships that provided fire support for the landings. Naval gunfire provided a blanket of cover to move under.World War 2 was the heyday of the battleship. Large imposing guns stacked on top of a floating armored bunker. Boasting guns whose barrels were between 14 and 12 inches in diameter. The shells weighed anywhere between 1,125 lbs for High Explosive and 1,500 lbs for AP (14-inch guns). As much as it sucked to be the men assaulting the beachhead, it probably really sucked to be a Nazi on the receiving end of a half ton of golf foxtrot yankee. We're not unhappy about that.[caption id="attachment_17777" align="alignnone" width="750"]

Naval Gunfire

USS Texas: Golf Foxtrot Yankee[/caption]Those massive guns kept punishing the defensive fortifications that had been built upon the cliffs, and sea walls. The USS Nevada, USS Texas and USS Arkansas were the main U.S. battleships that pounded the shores, supported by several battlecruisers sporting 8-inch guns, followed on by several light cruisers and destroyersHad it not been for this impressive array of firepower the men on the beaches would have been slaughtered.The relentless golf foxtrot yankee that was poured out by these ships provided the cover by fire needed to advance and secure the beachheads. The truth of the D-Day invasion is that everyone had to execute their role above and beyond the call of duty and they did.[caption id="attachment_17778" align="alignnone" width="750"]

Naval Gunfire

USS Nevada: Make it rain[/caption]From the paratroopers who dropped in the night before and the heavy casualties they took, to the men on the beaches who bore the brunt of withering MG-42 fire from a vast multitude of fixed defensive positions, to the sailors aiming and firing the big guns, and all the way back home to the men and women who were building the gear and the munitions...United we stood.

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