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Thread: Operation Neptune

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    Default Operation Neptune

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    Operation Neptune
    "Our veterans did not forget about us .... Let's not forget about them." From Michael Levesque

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    Default Re: Operation Neptune

    D-DAY - ARMADA

    Rank after relentless rank they came,
    Facing guns, bombs and flame,
    Six thousand craft, ten lanes wide,
    Advancing in the ripping tide.

    Seven hundred warships too,
    Armed and set with a job to do
    Fast mine sweepers at the van,
    Fighter squadrons weaved and ran.

    Twenty miles across the beam,
    The greatest convoy ever seen,
    Endless columns of surging craft,
    Landing ships with shallow draft,

    Liners, ferries, packed with troops,
    Attack transports, army groups.
    Barrage balloons on display,
    Spread across this vast array,

    Red Cross vessels, laden tankers,
    Ancient tubs missing anchors.
    Coast guard cutters, motor boats,
    Painted out in grey topcoats.

    Channel steamers, out from Dover,
    Modern freighters steaming over,
    Winking lights as morse is spoke,
    Rusty coasters belching smoke,

    Swarms of tugs, rolling tramps,
    Packed with stores, guns and tanks.
    They sailed this day for liberty
    To crush the foe and set us free.

    From `A Bucket of Steam: Joe Earl
    "Our veterans did not forget about us .... Let's not forget about them." From Michael Levesque

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    Default Re: Operation Neptune

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith at Tregenna View Post
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    Operation Neptune
    VIA: Western Approaches HQ - The Battle of the Atlantic Experience

    In the early hours of 6 June, 1944, a huge armada made it's way towards the French coast. Operation Neptune was the naval part of Operation Overlord, the invasion of France.

    One of the 'aces' of Western Approaches Command, Captain F. Walker, was given the task of protecting the vast invasion fleet and the subsequent need to maintain a supply chain across the channel.

    " General Eisenhower, Allied commander in chief, had decreed that the Normandy invasion forces--and if possible the entire English Channel--must be free from the threat of massed U-boat attack for the D-Day landings to succeed. From D-Day to D-plus-14, the assault forces would have to be landed safely, the beachhead consolidated, and the build up of supplies assured. On June 6, D-Day, 76 U-boats sailed from their Biscay bases into the Channel to disrupt the landings in Normandy. As sighting reports streamed into Starling, Walker said: "Eisenhower wants two weeks. He'll not only get it, but this is our chance to smash the U-boat arm for all time." In those first three days, he directed his 40 ships into no fewer than 36 attacks, during which eight U-boats were destroyed and many more damaged. Aircraft claimed another six, and the first enemy wave withdrew.
    The U-boats returned later for another desperate effort to penetrate into the Channel, and for a week there was no rest for men or ships. Each time it was Starling's turn to retire for new ammunition her crew snatched a few hours' sleep. But not Walker. He attended conferences, adjusted tactics, laid new plans and with seemingly inexhaustible energy took his ship back to sea to resume the struggle. Only a handful of U-boats needed to reach the landing area to create the havoc that would give the enemy vital respite. The two weeks demanded by Eisenhower passed without a single U-boat getting through. In the third week, three slipped past the defenders and caused a moment of panic among the great invasion fleet, but they were quickly destroyed. After three weeks, the U-boats withdrew again, unbelievably mauled. They were never to return in strength. Walker had achieved his final ambition, the destruction of the U-boats as an integrated fighting force. The Battle of the Atlantic was won; the Battle for the Channel had never been lost."
    From BBC WW2 People's War Archive.
    "Our veterans did not forget about us .... Let's not forget about them." From Michael Levesque

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    Default Re: Operation Neptune

    Although 75 years ago can still remember , it started some days before that specific date as the tank carriers and troop carriers started rolling South down the Kingston highway at the end of our street a never ending column of mostly American troops. As youngsters we stood cheering them on and shouting any gum chum, packets were thrown at us out of the back of the trucks. I wonder how many came from those who would of been their last act of charity. There was always rivalry between British and American troops due mainly to pay differentials I would imagine. Among British troops the well known saying was theres only three things wrong with the yanks and that was , " They are overweight, Over Paid , and Over Here ", But I think if it hadnt of been been for them , the end result may well have been different. JS
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 6th June 2021 at 03:02 AM.
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