Today is the 74th year anniversary of D-Day, and it’s the perfect time to remember how badass all our American paratroopers were on that day and the days that followed.
It’s almost hard to put into words just how incredible the paratroopers who brought the fight to the Germans really were. These were young men, often younger than myself, who were jumping out of planes to surprise, fight, capture and kill the enemy on that fateful day in Normandy.
Just how badass were these men? Well, some of them literally hit the ground without a gun. This happened to legendary Easy Company officer Richard Winters, whose story was told in the hit HBO series “Band of Brothers.” Warfare History Network wrote the following about Winters on that day:
Imagine hitting the ground and not even having a gun to defend yourself. My generation suffers a bizarre meltdown when we’re away from our phones too long. Young men on June 6, 1944 were hitting the ground surrounded by the enemy and unarmed. It takes serious guts to keep going forward when you don’t even have a way to shoot back.
Our brave paratroopers boarded planes in England shortly before midnight on June 6, and were hitting the ground in France by one in the morning local time. The Germans had absolutely no idea what was about to hit them.
A bunch of Americans armed with M1s, BARs and Thompson submachine guns were dropping from the sky to liberate France. That would start by making sure the guns firing down on our boys on the beach would be silenced, and they did exactly that. “Band of Brothers” did a great job showing these heroics.
The fighting would only get more intense from there. The airborne would take Carentan, push further into France, hold the line in the Bulge and head all the way to Germany.
The Germans thought they’d take Europe and that nobody would start sending M1 rounds and Sherman tank rounds in their direction. Well, they guessed wrong, and a lot of young men paid one hell of a price to break the chains the Nazis put on Europe.
We owe all the veterans from WWII a huge debt, especially those that dropped from the sky in the early morning hours of June 6, 1944.
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