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Old 12-26-2018, 04:26 PM
Gbro Gbro is offline
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The 5th Wave (Normandy)

Was reading an Obit and the old Veteran had received a purple heart for his service at Normandy taking part of the 5th wave.
Question; would that be the 5th beach or were there up to and more than 5 waves on one of the 5 beaches?

This is a US Army Veteran and when looking at some info on the 5 beaches, beach 5 Sword
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Old 12-26-2018, 04:48 PM
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The allied invaders didn't all arrive at once; the landing craft that dropped off the first wave returned to England (if they could) to get more troops and materiel. Wikipedia gives the number of allied troops at over 1.4 million by July 25, seven weeks after the initial landings. There's no possible way to deliver that many men on June 6th, so the deceased veteran could easily have been in the fourth reinforcement, or fifth wave.

I've never heard of the actual beaches being numbered one to five.
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Old 12-26-2018, 06:07 PM
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I've just heard their names: Juno, Gold, Sword, Utah and Omaha.
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Old 12-26-2018, 06:58 PM
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I've only ever seen the beaches referred to by their code names. Without going to look I don't think any of the beaches saw major penetrations just from the first wave. There's exceptions like the limited penetrations from the Ranger attacks at Pointe Du Hoc. The landings were envisioned from the beginning as an ongoing process. The difference between the just first wave on Utah beach and the third wave was 15 minutes. (Wiki Cite)

The dominant method of supplying men and material to the European theater was over the beach for quite a while. The artificial Mulberry harbors weren't set up and operational for several days. They at least provided piers even if those piers disgorged onto the beach. The French port of Cherbourg didn't fall into allied hands until June 30th. It was a couple months till enough major European ports fell into allied hands to handle the load. We don't talk about a 382nd wave of troops but landing craft were still dropping troops on the beach long after the forward line of troops moved inland.

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Originally Posted by Bryan Ekers View Post
The allied invaders didn't all arrive at once; the landing craft that dropped off the first wave returned to England (if they could) to get more troops and materiel.
They dominantly returned to the troop ships just offshore a bit. It took hours for them to make the trip one way. It would have also required diverting significant naval assets from shore bombardment to protect them on the trip.
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Old 12-26-2018, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Gbro View Post
This is a US Army Veteran and when looking at some info on the 5 beaches, beach 5 Sword
Sword (and Gold) were British troops; Juno was Canadian; Utah and Omaha were USA.

Like others have said, it was the fifth "wave" of landings at whichever beach he landed on.
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Old 12-26-2018, 07:33 PM
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Love is the Seventh Wave.
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Old 12-26-2018, 08:20 PM
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They dominantly returned to the troop ships just offshore a bit. It took hours for them to make the trip one way. It would have also required diverting significant naval assets from shore bombardment to protect them on the trip.
I cheerfully acknowledge my basic ignorance of the specifics - the point I was poorly making is that a million allied troops didn't land on June 6th (there aren't enough boats and planes to deliver them and they'd be tripping over each other) - but of course there were several scheduled "waves" of reinforcement.
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Old 12-27-2018, 09:28 AM
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Sword (and Gold) were British troops; Juno was Canadian; Utah and Omaha were USA.

Like others have said, it was the fifth "wave" of landings at whichever beach he landed on.
Thanks all for the heads up.
This is one of those regrettable times when its to late to get all the details of an old Veteran's story

The story was about 60 years after when he and his wife were snow birds in Florida.
He used to sit on a bench in a mall while the women did their shopping and saw another old timer watching him.
This happened a couple times and Old George got a little unnerved and was about to find another place to wait and the other fellow approached him and told him, You were on Normandy. George confirmed, and then the other stated, you were wounded. George again confirmed. Then he stated, you brought in 8 prisoners. Now he really had Georges attention.
George had a gunshot wound in his right shoulder and when he went in he was given a .45 Pistol and had to bring in the prisoners.
The other veteran said when you turned in those prisoners you passed out and I was the Medic that took care of you.
Well George and Dorothy looked forward to their winter home and new friendship's of the old comrades immensely.
George recovered and was sent back to his outfit and spent 6 years in the Army.
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Old 12-30-2018, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by DinoR View Post
They dominantly returned to the troop ships just offshore a bit. It took hours for them to make the trip one way. It would have also required diverting significant naval assets from shore bombardment to protect them on the trip.
In the movie renderings of this event, machinegun fire would often disable the landing boat. How many of the landing craft were still functional after soaking up shots from the beach pillboxes?

Last edited by SamuelA; 12-30-2018 at 08:35 PM.
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Old 12-30-2018, 09:27 PM
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In the movie renderings of this event, machinegun fire would often disable the landing boat. How many of the landing craft were still functional after soaking up shots from the beach pillboxes?
It was a gigantic logistical operation, planned to take place in many waves. Landing craft losses were expected and planned for. As it turned out, the establishment of the five beachheads went better than expected.
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Old 01-01-2019, 11:21 AM
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I've just heard their names: Juno, Gold, Sword, Utah and Omaha.
Absolutely true story; Juno Beach was originally codenamed Jelly Beach. (The British and Canadian beaches derived their names from fish - Goldfish, Swordfish, and Jellyfish, granting jellyfish aren't fish.) Winston Churchill was extremely opposed to the name, feeling it silly and jovial-sounding for a place where many brave men would likely die, and insisted on a name change. The alternative was proposed by an RCAF officer whose wife'sname was Juno.
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Old 01-01-2019, 03:38 PM
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Thanks for that!

I've always wondered where the names came from.
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Old 01-01-2019, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gbro View Post
Was reading an Obit and the old Veteran had received a purple heart for his service at Normandy taking part of the 5th wave.
Question; would that be the 5th beach or were there up to and more than 5 waves on one of the 5 beaches?

This is a US Army Veteran and when looking at some info on the 5 beaches, beach 5 Sword
As others have pointed out the beaches were named not numbered.

The fifth wave refers to the waves of troops sent to each beach, not the beach they were sent to. Not found an detailed description of each wave, but they are commonly referred to by veterans:

Quote:
Andrews was part of the third wave in the Normandy invasion. He was a private assigned to fire a .30-caliber machine gun.

Andrews was grateful for the neck-deep water he stepped into when the ramp finally dropped. It washed the vomit from his clothes. A soldier behind him had thrown up on the back of Andrews' shirt during the ride to shore.

The German machine guns that mowed down so many troops in earlier waves had been taken out by the time his boat arrived. Andrews, now 90, recalls onlyhaving to deal with mortar and artillery fire as he waded to the beach. All 30 men from his boat made it.
https://www.citizen-times.com/story/...-day/10037733/
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Old 01-01-2019, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickJay View Post
Absolutely true story; Juno Beach was originally codenamed Jelly Beach. (The British and Canadian beaches derived their names from fish - Goldfish, Swordfish, and Jellyfish, granting jellyfish aren't fish.) Winston Churchill was extremely opposed to the name, feeling it silly and jovial-sounding for a place where many brave men would likely die, and insisted on a name change. The alternative was proposed by an RCAF officer whose wife'sname was Juno.
He had a fairly involved set of criteria for operational codenames:

Quote:
“Operations in which large numbers of men may lose their lives ought not to be described by code-words which imply a boastful and overconfident sentiment, such as ’Triumphant,’ or, conversely, which are calculated to invest the plan with an air of despondency, such as... ‘Massacre,’” Churchill wrote. "Intelligent thought will readily supply an unlimited number of well-sounding names which do not suggest the character of the operation or disparage it in any way and do not enable some widow or mother to say that her son was killed in an operation called ‘Bunnyhug’ or ‘Ballyhoo.’”
https://taskandpurpose.com/churchill...ation-codename
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Old 01-05-2019, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gbro View Post
Was reading an Obit and the old Veteran had received a purple heart for his service at Normandy taking part of the 5th wave.
Others answered what 'wave' meant. More specifically, the US plan on Omaha Beach had the first wave as infantry to secure the area below the high tide line from H+1 minute. Then shortly after and until H+30 minutes, a Special Engineer Task Force was to land to destroy obstacles. Five further waves would come at a few minute intervals after H+30 minutes. This plan got messed up (as exact plans often or usually did) but the general idea is that the fifth wave was quite near the beginning, it wasn't landing craft going all the way back across the Channel or even necessarily to transports. It would still have been extremely dangerous in the fifth wave in that case.
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Old 01-11-2019, 04:13 PM
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He had a fairly involved set of criteria for operational codenames:



https://taskandpurpose.com/churchill...ation-codename
He had a point. The current trend of naming operations for how they resonate in sound bites ("Operation Moral Rectitude"-type names) is embarrassing. And the less said about sending men to die in Operation Bunnyhug the better.

Last edited by Sailboat; 01-11-2019 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 01-11-2019, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Sailboat View Post
He had a point. The current trend of naming operations for how they resonate in sound bites ("Operation Moral Rectitude"-type names) is embarrassing. And the less said about sending men to die in Operation Bunnyhug the better.
UK military operation names are nowadays randomly selected from a list of meaningless names: Operation Telic was Iraq II, Operation Herrick was Afghanistan and Operation Ellamy was Libya, for example. To my mind that's probably a better way of doing it than selecting something like Operation Avenging Fistfuck just for the propaganda value
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