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The Longest Day 
The Longest Day 
A classic war film with so many stars that such a cast would be impossible in modern times. It plods along dutifully covering the tension of the pre invasion build up, naming various historical characters , in fact so many that character develop is impossible and you feel like sitting there with a biography of World War two in your lap.
A heavy drum beat sound track adds menace but does wear after a bit. It does a commendable job of covering as many places on the battlefield as possible even giving time to the efforts of the French Resistance and the frustration of the German commanders.
The action sequences are excellent for its period but don’t hold up to modern films like Saving Private Ryan. Such a comparison between the two films is unfair as it is easy to forget they are separated by many decades and the scale is very different. Originally in black and white a coloured version is available, some versions cut out half the subtitles for the German conversations which is annoying. Still a definitive war film and a must for any collection.
'Longest Day:' Facts About The D-Day Movie With 42 Stars
The Longest Day, boasting "42 international stars," is a 1962 cinematic D-Day extravaganza that enlisted John Wayne, Richard Burton, Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan, Henry Fonda, Peter Lawford, Eddie Albert and more -- and that was just the Americans. Running nearly three hours, The Longest Day was akin to a military operation itself, with producer Daryl Zanuck overseeing three directors responsible for filming the stories told from the point of view of the American, British, French and German troops.
The events of D-Day happened many decades ago. Nevertheless, Hollywood continues to revisit the historic event time and time again. One of the earliest and most anticipated movies centered around that blood-soaked battle was the The Longest Day starring just about every major star in Tinseltown at the time. The hall of fame lineup depicted the events from Cornelius Ryan’s 1959 non-fiction novel of the same name. It debuted to rave reviews while winning two academy awards and earning three other nominations.
The Longest Day  - History
THE MIRACULOUSLY LONG DAY
(v. 9) "After an all-night march from Gilgal, Joshua took them [the Amorites, (v. 6)] by surprise.
(v. 10) The LORD threw them into confusion before Israel, who defeated them in a great victory at Gibeon.
(v. 22) "The LORD your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you. [Due to a sudden depopulation of the area leaving it available for the wild animals to take over faster than the Israelites could]
(v. 23) But the LORD your God will deliver them over to you, throwing them into great confusion until they are destroyed."
(v. 10 cont.) Israel pursued them along the road going up to Beth Horon and cut them down all the way to Azekah and Makkedah.
Donald K. Campbell states, [The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Walvoord & Zuck EDITORS, Victor Books, USA, 1987, p. 350]:
"Motivated by God's promise of victory, Joshua led a surprise attack on the Amorite armies of the south, [(v. 9)], possibly while it was still dark. Panic seized the enemy and after a short stand in which many were killed they broke and fled in wild confusion toward the west. Their escape route was through a narrow pass and down the Valley of Aijalon with the Israelites in hot pursuit. This was not the only time that the highroad which led down from the central hill country has been the scene of a rout in A. D. 66 the Roman general Cestius Gallus fled down this descent before the Jews."
(v. 11) As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the LORD hurled large hailstones down on them from the sky, and more of them died from the hailstones than were killed by the swords of the Israelites.
"The Amorites however were not able to escape. Using the forces of nature to fight for Israel the LORD caused large hailstones to fall on the enemy with deadly precision so that more were killed in this way than by swords.
This entire passage provides a striking illustration of the interplay between the human and divine factors in achieving victory. Verses 7-11 alternate between Joshua (and Israel) and the Lord. They all played important parts in the conflict. The soldiers had to fight but God gave the victory."]
(v. 12) On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel:
'O sun, stand still over Gibeon,
O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.'
"But the day of the battle of Beth Horon was wearing on and Joshua knew that the pursuit of the enemy would be long and arduous. At the most the military leader had 12 hours of daylight ahead of him. He clearly needed more time if he were to realize the fulfillment of God's promise. and see the total annihilation of his foes"
"The LORD said to Joshua, 'Do not be afraid of them I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.' "]
"Joshua therefore took to the LORD an unusual request:
'O sun, stand still over Gibeon,
O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.' "
[Which was directly answered by God granting Joshua's request literally as it states in the next verse]:
(v. 13) So the sun stood still and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar.
[A poetic book of songs about the accomplishments of Israel's leaders]
The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.
(v. 14) There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the LORD listened to a man. Surely the LORD was fighting for Israel!
"It was noon and the hot sun was directly overhead when Joshua uttered this prayer [v. 13]. The moon was on the horizon to the west. The petition was quickly answered by the Lord. Joshua prayed in faith, and a great miracle resulted. But the record of this miracle has been called the most striking example of conflict between Scripture and science because, as is well known, the sun does not move around the earth causing day and night. Instead, light and darkness come because the earth rotates on its axis around the sun. Why then did Joshua address the sun rather than the earth? Simply because he was using the language of observation [like we do today] he was speaking from the perspective and appearance of things on earth. People still do the same thing, even in the scientific community. Almanacs and journals record the hours of sunrise and sunset, yet no one accuses them of scientific error.]
The 'long day' of Joshua 10, however, must be explained. What did actually happen on that strange day.
In answer to Joshua's prayer God caused the rotation of the earth to slow down [as the text explains in verse 13: 'the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day'] so that it made one full rotation in 48 hours rather than in 24. It seems apparent that this view is supported both by the poem and in verses 12b-13a and the prose in verse 13b. (The Book of Jashar is a Heb. literary collection of songs written in poetic style to honor the accomplishments of Israel's leaders cf. David's 'lament of the bow' in 2 Sam 1:17-27.)
God stopped the cataclysmic effects that would have naturally occurred, such as monstrous tidal waves and objects flying around [due to the delayed rotation]."
Consider that since God is indeed the Creator of the universe this is not beyond His capacity, nor unreasonable. This is so especially in light of the much greater things He did relative to preserving Noah and his family and the animals of the world in and outside of the Ark during the Flood.
"Evidence that the earth's rotation simply slowed down is found in the closing words of Joshua 10:13:
'The sun. delayed going down about a full day.' The sun was thus abnormally slow or tardy in getting to sunset, that is, its progression from noon to dusk was markedly lethargic, giving Joshua and his soldiers sufficient time to complete their victorious battle.
An important fact that should not be overlooked is that the sun and moon were principal deities among the Canaanites. At the prayer of Israel's leader Canaan' gods were 'compelled' to obey.
[This is typical of God's pattern of showing the impotence of false gods whenever idol worshippers are defeated in their evil ways]
This disturbance to their gods must have been terribly upsetting and frightening to the Canaanites. The secret of Israel's triumph over the coalition of Canannites is found in the words, 'Surely the LORD was fighting for Israel!' In answer to prayer Israel experienced the dramatic intervention of God on their behalf and victory as assured."
'''Discussion of the Missing Day in Earth's History (The Day the Sun Stood Still) It is reported by historians that records of the Chinese during the reign of Emperor Yeo, who lived at the same time as Joshua, report "a long day." Also, Heroditus, a Greek historian, wrote that an account of "a long day" appears in records of Egyptian priests. Others cite records of Mexicans of the sun standing still for an entire day in a year denoted as "Seven Rabits," which is the same year in which Joshua defeated the Philistines and conquered Palestine. ("Bible-Science Newsletter," Daily Reading Magazine - Supplement, Vol. VIII - No. 5, May 1978, Caldwell, Idaho.) Additionally, the historical lore of the Aztecs, Peruvians, and Babylonians speak of a "day of twice natural length." '''
Joshua's Long Day During the reign of the Chinese Emporer Yeo, Yao, Yahou, "the sun did not set for 10 days" "Yao" Universal Lexicon(1732-1754) Volume LX.
Also Kurze Fragen aus der politischen Historie(1729) by J. Hubner 2,000 BC.
Herodotus a Greek historian, wrote the Egyptian priests reported "in which entire space, they said, no god had ever appeared in a human form nothing of this kind had happened either under the former or under the later Egyptian kings. The sun, however, had within this period of time, on four several occasions, moved from his wonted course, twice rising where he now sets, and twice setting where he now rises".
The History of Herodotus, chapter 2, p.131.
(Same translation as by David Grene 1987 2.142 "The first historian").
The Aztec priests related to Bernardino de Sahagun in Historia general de las cosas de Nueva Espana, BK. VII, Chapter 2.:
"And when the sun came to rise..he kept swaying from side to side. with a rabbit he came to wound in the face[the moon], and he killed its brilliance..when both appeared they could not not move nor follow their paths..At once he[the wind] could move him, who thereupon went his way.."
Additionally, the historical lore of the Peruvians and Babylonians (Die Kosmologie der Babylonier, p. 39 by P. Jensen) speak of a "day of twice natural length."
Velikovsky writes that "the sun was absent for a three fold day and shone for a three fold day" according to Iranian tradition.
The Greek god Phaethon stole the sun. An interesting similarity to the Aztec account above. North American Indian Cree legend tells of God ordering the sun to keep silence. Emporer Kwei lived about 1,500 BC and Yao about 2,000 BC. In Kwei's tenth year: Here is part of an email sent to me from William Jefferys: "When the sun moved backwards in the day of Hezekiah, it means that somewhere on the other side of the world where the sun has just risen, the sun would have backed up and then risen again. Several, thousand years ago, around the estimated time of Hezekiah, the Chinese recorded a day with two dawns. At the time, the Chinese were meticulous record keepers of astronomy. However, the scientists tried to accommodate this with the theory that they witnessed a solar eclipse and that they didn't have the means at the time to know the difference. Now, I don't know about you, but even if I was as thick as a post, I think that I would see a difference between a solar eclipse and two sunrises." Here are two sources of a day with two dawns: Huai nan tse VI iv See Forke, "The World Conception of the Chinese" p. 86 Lu-Heng II, 176, See Forke, "The World Conception of the Chinese" p. 87 Where the sun rose in the West, "passed through three solar mansions." When the gods had sat and been waiting for a long time, thereupon began the reddening [of the dawn] in all directions. They said "For there, in that place[the east], the sun already will come to rise" True indeed.. Ref: Bernardino de Sahagun, Historia general de las cosas de Nueva Espana, BK. VII, Chapter 2. If the sun went backward 90 degrees and if this was in June, there would be at least the appearance of breaking of day in the Americas in the west at about the time it should have appeared in the east. Then half day later the sun would again appear in the east for the second time. Therefore a breaking of dawn in all directions. Thus this record of the Aztec priests could have been of both Joshua's long day and Hezekiah's returning shadow. Herodotus writes the Egyptian priests told him in Herodotus, Book 2, page 142 (translated by A.D. Godley, 1921) "Twice the sun rose where he now sets and twice he set where he now rises." Interesting as this is the same translation of 'Herodotus' as given above."
One of the evidences for the historicity of the long day recorded in Joshua 10:13 and reiterated in Habakkuk 3:11 lies in the large body of traditions from many parts of the world according to which there was a long day (or night, or evening, depending upon the location) at about the same time that Joshua lived. David Nelson dramatically informs us of this fact as follows: Chinese history speaks of Yao, their king, declaring that in his reign the sun stood so long above the horizon that it was feared the world would have been set on fire and fixes the reign of Yao at a given date, which corresponds with the age of Joshua the son of Nun. . . . The Latin poet Ovid amuses the school-boy greatly, in his fanciful narrative of Phaeton's chariot. This heathen author tells us, that a day was once lost, and that the earth was in great danger from the intense heat of an unusual sun. . . . Our notice is somewhat attracted, when we find him mention Phaeton--who was a Canaanitish prince-- and learn that the fable originated with the Phoenicians, the same people whom Joshua fought. If you ask an unbeliever of these incidents, or of the common traditions with early nations that a day was lost about the time when the volume of truth informs us that the sun hasted not to go down for the space of a whole day, you will find that he had never thought on these points: they are not of the character which he is inclined to notice. 1
T. W. Doane relates the following facts concerning these traditions: There are many stories similar to this, to be found among other nations of antiquity. We have, as an example, that which is related of Bacchus in the Orphic hymns, wherein it says that this god-man arrested the course of the sun and the moon. An Indian legend relates that the sun stood still to hear the pious ejaculations of Arjouan after the death of Crishna. A holy Buddhist by the name of Matanga prevented the sun, at his command, from rising, and bisected the moon. . . . The Chinese also, had a legend of the sun standing still, and a legend was found among the Ancient Mexicans to the effect that one of their holy persons commanded the sun to stand still, which command was obeyed. 2
Doane refers to Anacalypsis by Higgins, Buddhist Legends by Hardy and Bud. & Jeyens by Franklin in support of his statements. In 1940, Harry Rimmer summarized these traditions as follows: In the ancient Chinese writings there is a legend of a long day. The Incas of Peru and the Aztecs of Mexico have a like record, and there is a Babylonian and a Persian legend of a day that was miraculously extended. Another section of China contributes an account of the day that was miraculously prolonged, in the reign of Emperor Yeo. Herodotus recounts that the priests of Egypt showed him their temple records, and that there he read a strange account of a day that was twice the natural length. Rimmer concludes this section with a lengthy quotation from the Polynesian account of this event. In 1950, Immanuel Velikovsky came out with his controversial book, Worlds in Collision, based on the premise that the account of the long day in Joshua is accurate, accounting for many other unsolved scientific mysteries. In support of his premise, he also refers to the ancient traditions of a long day: In the Mexican Annals of Cuauhtitlan--the history of the empire of Culhuacan and Mexico, written in Nahua-Indian in the sixteenth century--it is related that during a cosmic catastrophe that occurred in the remote past, the night did not end for a long time. . . . Sahagun, the Spanish savant who came to America a generation after Columbus and gathered the traditions of the aborigines, wrote that at the time of one cosmic catastrophe the sun rose only a little way over the horizon and remained there without moving the moon also stood still.4 In a footnote, Velikovsky states that the Mexican Annals of Cuauhtitlan, were also known as the Codex Chimalpopca, and that these manuscripts contained a series of annals of very ancient date, many of them going back to more than a thousand years before the Christian era. Velikovsky's theory was that at some time in the middle of the second millennium B.C., either the earth was interrupted in its regular rotation by a comet, or the terrestrial axis was tilted in the presence of a strong magnetic field, so that for several hours the sun appeared to lose its diurnal movement. Velikovsky's book brought about quite a bit of discussion on this topic. "The Day The Sun Stood Still," by Eric Larabee was published in Harper's in January of 1950. It was reprinted in the Minneapolis Sunday Tribune on February 5 of that year, with the comment that "The article on this page--'The Day the Sun Stood Still'--will quite probably become the most discussed magazine piece of 1950. It was published in the current issue of Harper's Magazine, and the Tribune is the first newspaper to reprint it. The account is based on a book, Worlds in Collision, by Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky. The article has created such interest in publishing circles that, the Tribune has learned, the editors of Collier's and of The Reader's Digest have other presentations of the same idea in preparation. This Week magazine, which is a section of the Sunday Tribune and twenty- five other Sunday newspapers, is preparing a pictorial presentation of some of Velikovsky's unusual theories which lace together elements of religious beliefs and scientific events and try to explain that once--within the recorded history of man--the sun stood still." 5
Gordon A. Atwater, curator of the Hayden Planetarium, wrote at the time, "The theories presented by Dr. Velikovsky are unique and should be presented to the world of science in order that the underpinning of modern science can be re-examined . . . I believe the author has done an outstanding job."6
Another indication of the trustworthiness of Joshua 10:13 can be found in astronomical data. It appears that one full day is missing in our astronomical calculations. On different occasions, Sir Edwin Ball, the great British astronomer, and Professors Pickering of the Harvard Observatory, Maunders of Greenwich, and Totten of Yale have traced this back to the time of Joshua. If we disregard calendar changes and deal only with a chronology based upon solar motion, and go back to the earliest available records, and trace the calendar through to the time of Joshua, the day of Joshua's battle was on a Tuesday, whereas if we compute backwards to the time of Joshua from the present day, the day of the battle would have been on a Wednesday. The day of the month is the same, but it is a different day of the week. In other words, if we reckon from the first recorded solstice in the ancient Egyptian records, the day is Tuesday, but if we reckon back from the most recent solstice, the day is Wednesday. These facts are extensively corroborated with astronomical data by Charles A. L. Totten in Joshua's Long Day, and the Dial of Ahaz (New Haven: Our Race Publishing Co., 1890). These facts came to widespread public attention in the late 1960's, after Mary Kathryn Bryan published an article in the Evening Star of Spencer, Indiana, about Harold Hill, President of the Curtis Engine Company in Baltimore, Maryland, a consultant to NASA at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. According to the article, computer calculations bearing upon the positions of the sun, moon and planets were not coming out properly. These calculations were necessary, and had to be exact, in order to lay out the orbits of satellites and manned space flights. However, once the long day of Joshua and the retreat of the sun backward ten degrees in II Kings 20:9-11 were taken into account, all of the calculations worked out perfectly. This article was widely quoted, and copies of it appeared in many places for several years. Harold Hill later published his own account of these events in the thirteenth chapter of How To Live Like A King's Kid, which was substantially the same as that in Kathryn Bryan's article. In his account, he wrote: Later, someone sent me a clipping . . . saying I had admitted the whole thing was a hoax. Shortly thereafter, numerous religious magazines, some of them Christian, began repeating the false "retraction" and apologizing for their original participation in the rerun of the article. Not one of them ever checked with me as to the truth or error of the article as originally published. For the record--the report is true, the retraction false. . . . The whole sequence of events has demonstrated to me how prone even Christians are to believe a lie instead of the truth. 7
In an appendix to this chapter, Hill published a review of Totten's book written by V. L. Westberg, who stated: While Mr. Totten suggests an intervening comet perhaps caused the slow day by cutting off actinic rays, I feel a more realistic theory is to examine the possibility of a huge meteor or asteroid plunging into the earth's mantle slowing it down about one revolution while the inner molten core continued to rotate and eventually pull the mantle back in speed. Mr. Totten recounted how Newton demonstrated how the earth could be suddenly slowed down without appreciable shock to people. I have examined several maps of the Pacific Ocean which lend support to this theory. The October 1969 map in National Geographic Magazine shows a large sink area between Hawaii and the Philippines with long fracture lines in the ocean bottom radiating outward to the continents. The effect of such a crash would be maximum there at the equator on slowing the earth and would result in huge tidal waves which might help explain Dr. Northrup's studies on California's sand deposits. The size of the asteroid needed to slow down the earth one revolution could be calculated if mantle thickness were known and it could have been as large as Ceres--480 miles diameter.8
1 David Nelson, The Cause and Cure of Infidelity (New York: American Tract Society, 1841), pp. 26-27.
2 T. W. Doane, Bible Myths and their Parallels in Other Religions, fourth ed. (New York: Charles P. Somerby, 1882), p. 91.
3 Harry Rimmer, The Harmony of Science and Scripture (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1940), pp. 269-270.
4 Immanuel Velikovsky, Worlds in Collision (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1950), pp. 45, 46.
5 Quoted by O. E. Sanden, Does Science Support the Scriptures? (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Publishing House, 1951), p. 9.
7 Harold Hill, How To Live Like A King's Kid (Plainfield, NJ: Logos International), p. 71.
The Longest Day: The Illustrated 70th Anniversary Archive Edition
D-Day’s most beloved epic retelling has been upscaled as a sumptuous coffee-table book stuffed with memorabilia and handsomely protected by a sturdy slipcase. The full text is here, of course, with a new intro by Cornelius Ryan Archive curator Doug McCabe. But the kick for readers willing to plunk down the cash comes with the extras. Start with the 120 photos, retouched for clarity and evocative as hell, along with six full-color battle maps. Slip the 30 removable facsimile documents out of bound-in envelopes and peruse previously unpublished historical goodies, which include Rommel’s diary entries for the month before the invasion Eisenhower’s famed hand-scrawled note taking responsibility for the invasion’s failure transcripts of interviews with D-Day participants, including the notorious bagpiper who ushered British commandos ashore on Sword Beach annotated translations of German diaries and phone logs and Ryan’s original book proposal, in which he outlines his new approach to writing war history. Spin the audio CD, which collects Ryan’s original interviews with D-Day figures from Ike on down to GIs on the beaches. Beautiful and informative, this collector’s edition lives up to the original work’s reputation.
Originally published in the June 2014 issue of World War II. To subscribe, click here.
How the Ancients Celebrated the Longest Day of the Year
According to certain iterations of the Greek calendar—they varied widely by region and era—the summer solstice was the first day of the year. Several festivals were held around this time, including Kronia, which celebrated the agriculture god Cronus. The strict social code was temporarily turned on its head during Kronia, with slaves participating in the merriment as equals or even being served by their masters. The summer solstice also marked the one-month countdown to the opening of the Olympic games.
In the days leading up to the summer solstice, ancient Romans celebrated the Vestalia festival, which paid tribute to Vesta, the goddess of the hearth. Rituals included the sacrifice of an unborn calf remove from its mother’s womb. This was the only time of the year when married women were allowed to enter the sacred temple of the vestal virgins and make offerings to Vesta there.
The ancient Chinese participated in a ceremony on the summer solstice to honor the earth, femininity and the force known as yin. It complemented the winter solstice ritual, which was devoted to the heavens, masculinity and yang. Ancient Northern and Central European Tribes Many Germanic, Slavic and Celtic pagans welcomed summer with bonfires, a tradition that is still enjoyed in Germany, Austria, Estonia and other countries. Some ancient tribes practiced a ritual in which couples would jump through the flames to predict how high that year’s crops would grow.
Midsummer was a crucial time of year for the Nordic seafarers, who would meet to discuss legal matters and resolve disputes around the summer solstice. They would also visit wells thought to have healing powers and build huge bonfires. Today, “Viking” summer solstice celebrations are popular among both residents and tourists in Iceland.
Many Native American tribes took part in centuries-old midsummer rituals, some of which are still practiced today. The Sioux, for instance, performed a ceremonial sun dance around a tree while wearing symbolic colors. Some scholars believe that Wyoming’s Bighorn medicine wheel, an arrangement of stones built several hundred years ago by the Plains Indians, aligns with the solstice sunrise and sunset, and was therefore the site of that culture’s annual sun dance.
Maya and Aztecs
While not much is known of how exactly the mighty pre-Columbian civilizations of Central America celebrated midsummer, the ruins of their once-great cities indicate the great significance of that day. Temples, public buildings and other structures were often precisely aligned with the shadows cast by major astrological phenomena, particularly the summer and winter solstices.
The Celtic high priests known as the Druids likely led ritual celebrations during midsummer, but𠅌ontrary to popular belief—it is unlikely that these took place at Stonehenge, England’s most famous megalithic stone circle. Still, people who identify as modern Druids continue to gather at the monument for the summer solstice, winter solstice, spring equinox and autumn equinox.
3 Answers 3
The Allies certainly had intelligence about the Normandy 'bocage' country. The problem seems rather to have been that American commanders had failed to appreciate the specific problems that fighting in that kind of terrain would entail.
The formidable barriers presented by the hedgerows and the military characteristics of the Bocage seem to have taken First Army by complete surprise. Despite Allied planners' awareness of the nature of the Bocage, American commanders had done little to prepare their units for fighting among the hedgerows.
Captain Doubler goes on to quote General James M. Gavin, the assistant division commander of the 82nd Airborne:
"Although there had been some talk in the U.K. before D-Day about the hedgerows, none of us had really appreciated how difficult they would turn out to be."
To elaborate somewhat on the prior intelligence the Allies had regarding the nature of 'bocage' country, Appendix V: Topography of Caen Sector, River Dives to River Vere to the War Cabinet Report Operation Overlord Report and Appreciation [UK National Archives reference CAB 80/72/16] , dated 30 July 1943, included the following observation:
". Large areas of the rest of the sector are "bocage" - pasture land divided by hedges, banks and ditches into many small fields and meadows. In some places the roads are sunken and lined by steep banks. Movement of vehicles may therefore be difficult off the roads."
That report was written almost a year before D-Day, so it is clear that Stephen E. Ambrose was simply wrong when he said the Allies had no prior intelligence about the terrain.
As for the clickers, they certainly existed and as Pieter Geerkens observed in the comments, were just as useful for identifying friend from foe in early morning street-fighting in the towns and villages around the Normandy beach-head as they were when fighting in bocage-country.
The Allies knew about the bocage, but did not appreciate their scale precisely because they trained in Britain. A British hedgerow is quite a different thing than a Norman hedgerow.
While both feature sunken roads and banks of earth, British hedgerows are far, far smaller affairs than Norman hedgerows.
The above is a Cornish hedgerow that the Allies would be used to and trained on. There is a low trench to provide some cover and bushes to provide concealment. It is easily jumped over, one can peek over the top, and is certainly no great obstacle to a tracked vehicle. It cannot hide, say, an entire German infantry platoon armed with heavy machine guns and anti-tank weapons.
This is Norman bocage. Thick, six foot hedge walls on top of six feet of earth. Too thick for even a tank to bull through, it will instead climb exposing its thin underbelly. The sunken hedge and tree lined roads provide cover and concealment to even armored vehicles and large units of soldiers. They allowed the Germans to move unseen, even from the air, and to infiltrate back behind Allied positions.
Did the Allies know about Norman hedgerows? Yes, it wasn't a secret. But somewhere in passing the intelligence along the distinction was lost. Unit commanders were told about "hedgerow country" and imagined the same British hedgerow country as they were training in. Even if unit commanders were aware of the distinction, it's difficult to appreciate the tactical difficulties of some extra dirt and hedges if you've never seen them.
Question: Why did “The Longest Day” have the “cricket” training scene if the allies received no intelligence about the hedgerows in Normandy.
None of the allies understood what a tactical advantage the hedgerows were for the defenders. None of the allies had the equipment or techniques to deal with them in June of 1944. The American landing spots on d-day further to the west were more proximal to some of the densest hedgerows which meant the Americans were beset earliest by the tactical problems the hedgerows represented. However all the allies had the same difficulties when they came in contact with the hedgerows which were pervasive on the entire Cotentin Peninsula. they held up the Allies ( American, British and Canadian) movement inland for nearly 3 months.
The big innovation mostly manufactured in the UK were blades for the front of the tanks, prongs as the British called them. Were not a fore thought, but an after thought. They were invented in Normandy in early July 1944, and permitted the allied tanks to punch through the hedgerows and enabled the tanks to better support offensive operations.
The allies knew about the hedgerows, but they didn't appreciate their tactical importance. When one is riding in a 30-40 ton Sherman tank, one doesn't worry typically about bushes. That is the nature of the intelligence failure which struck all the allies troops in Normandy. British, Canadian, and American.
The hedgerows in Normandy had been used for thousands of years, since Roman times to delineate fields, ownership, channel water, block wind, contain grazing animals etc. Being so ancient, their roots were deep and their branches and foliage were dense. Beyond that the area contained earthen dams which could be used by the defenders to flood fields and deny passage to the attackers. The entire Cotentin Peninsula where the D-Day landings were was dominated by miles of these obstacles. It was surprising to the allies that their tanks initially could not penetrate them without getting lifted and sometimes immobilized. That they were such an obstruction to platoon and company sized units. That they negated numeric superiority in tanks, planes and men and gave a huge advantage to the defenders.
The Germans having had 4 years to investigate, familiarize and prepare these natural defenses used them to great effect to set up lines of fire, conceal their troops, bottle neck the allies path's forward, and generally set up traps. Mean while the allies having just landed they did not have an appreciation for this obstacle. Which is why on Normandy June 6th 1944, they spent nearly three months beginning June 7th, figuring them out and traversing them.
Comment The problem seems rather to have been that American commanders had failed to appreciate the specific problems that fighting in that kind of terrain would entail.
The Hedgerows were a problem for the British, Canadian and American troops. They concealed German troops which had to be dealt with before the allied troops could move inward.
It's true that the more eastern landing zones were not as proximal to the hedgerows as the more western landing zones.
However all the allies when they entered the hedgerows found themselves subject to the same problems. Their tanks could not penetrate the dense hedgerows without getting lifted and caught up ultimately exposed to prepared German anti tank fire and destroyed. Their platoons and companies were likewise not effective. The hedgerows delayed all the allies not just the Americans
The Germans played the card of usury by prolonging the conflict: unable to resist the allied war machine, their actions delayed the advance of American, British or Canadian troops, without stopping it.
The big innovation which improved the allies ability to deal with the Hedgerows were putting teeth on the fronts of their tanks. The thus equipped American Sherman tanks were called "rhino tanks", the British designation for this innovation was called "prongs tanks". None of the allies had this innovation prior to June 6th. The prongs for operation Cobra which was the operation which broke the allies out of Normandy utilized these devices on the fonts of most of the allied tanks both British and American, Were mostly built in the UK, but not before July of 44 nearly a month after the d-day landings. .
Rhino Tanks The invention of a hedge-breaching device is generally credited to Curtis G. Culin, a sergeant in the 2nd Armored Division's 102nd Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron. However, military historian Max Hastings notes that Culin was inspired by "a Tennessee hillbilly named Roberts", who during a discussion about how to overcome the bocage, said "Why don't we get some saw teeth and put them on the front of the tank and cut through these hedges?" Rather than joining in the laughter that greeted this remark, Culin recognized the idea's potential. A prototype tusk-like assembly was created by welding steel scrap (from destroyed "Czech hedgehogs") to the front of a tank to create a hedge cutter. The teeth helped prevent the vulnerable underside of the tank from being exposed while it knocked a hole in the hedgerow wall. On 14 July, Lieutenant General Omar Bradley inspected the tank and "watched in awe as a hedgerow exploded . to make way for the Sherman bursting through". According to Hastings, Culin, "an honest man", attempted to give credit to Roberts, but this was forgotten in the publicity surrounding the invention. Hastings concludes: "[Culin] became a very American kind of national hero".
Around 500 of the assemblies, called the "Culin Rhino device" or "Culin hedgerow cutter" by the Americans, were manufactured. These devices were used to modify nearly three-quarters of the US 2nd Armored Division's M4 Sherman and Stuart tanks and M10 tank destroyers in preparation for Operation Cobra.[a] The British Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) referred to the devices as "Prongs" and produced 24 from ex-German beach defenses, but thereafter Prongs were produced in the United Kingdom. Six hundred Mark I Prongs were delivered by August, to be fitted to the Sherman V. A further 1,000 Mark II Prongs were produced, to be fitted on Shermans and the M10, and 500 Mark III prongs were manufactured for the Cromwell tank. The Churchill tanks were not considered to need the Prong, but some were equipped with them nonetheless
On the contrary. There was a single 'unified' command structure in place for Allied forces in Europe. Brooke wasn't a part of it. He was (to quote Wikipedia) "chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, . foremost military advisor to Winston Churchill, . and had the role of co-ordinator of the British military efforts", but when it came to planning for D-Day, he could only advise (and even then, his voice was only one among many). –
Maybe I'm mistaken as I equate "Chief of the Imperial General Staff" to the "Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff" in the United States. Still he is the top commanding general in charge of US forces. Clearly these officials weren't the guys planning the D-Day invasion. General Marshal the US chief of staff, also not part of the Unified Command structure, relied on Eisenhower to do that.. As I'm guessing General Brooke had his own functionaries and intermediaries.
But that doesn't mean that if General Marshal had concerns he wouldn't have discussed them with Eisenhower and that Eisenhower would have taken them very seriously. Which I'm sure is true of General Brooke too. Likewise Churchill.
If General Brooke had believed the Hedgerows presented an existential threat to the success of the invasion, he would have been one of the few military commanders with even fewer civilian leaders who could have swayed the consensus of the decision makers. He was definitely in a position to direct resources towards that problem if he thought it was important. I agree as an advisor, but as was Marshal, a hugely influential advisor.
Solstices in Culture
Over the centuries, the June solstice has inspired countless festivals, midsummer celebrations and religious holidays.
One of the world's oldest evidence of the summer solstice's importance in culture is Stonehenge in England, a megalithic structure which clearly marks the moment of the June solstice.
In the Southern Hemisphere, where the June solstice is known as the shortest day of the year, it marks the first day of astronomical winter, but the middle of winter in meteorological terms.
What Happens During the Summer Solstice?
During the summer solstice, the earth's "circle of illumination" or division between day and night runs from the Arctic Circle on the far side of the earth (in relation to the sun) to the Antarctic Circle on the near side of the earth. This means that the equator receives twelve hours of daylight, the North Pole and areas north of 66°30' N 24 hours of daylight, and the South Pole and areas south of 66°30' S 24 hours of darkness during this time (the South Pole receives 24 hours of sunlight during its summer solstice, the Northern Hemisphere's winter solstice).
June 20 to 21 is the start of summer and longest day of sunlight in the Northern Hemisphere and the start of winter and shortest day of sunlight in the Southern Hemisphere. Though it might seem like the summer solstice would also be when the sun rises earliest and sets latest, it is not. As you will see, the exact dates of the earliest sunrises and latest sunsets vary by location.
The Longest Day
During the celestial annual journey of the Earth round the Sun, the Summer Solstice is the moment when the Sun is at its furthermost point north of the Equator.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the 2021 summer solstice is on 21 June, at 03:32 GMT.
Our Sun Time App shows the sun's seasonal position in the solar cycle right now. It is a digital yearly sundial. There are physical sundials as well, which could be called sunlight timepieces.
The word 'solstice' comes from the Latin for midsummer, expressing the idea that the sun is stopped in its ascent of the sky.
The earth's tilt means that the sun's position varies by 46° during the yearly orbit. The northerly limit is known as the Tropic of Cancer and the southerly limit is the Tropic of Capricorn.
At about 21st June the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer providing the northern hemisphere with its longest day. In December the southern hemisphere enjoys its summer solstice when the sun is directly above the Tropic of Capricorn.
There is strong evidence that celebration of the summer solstice goes back to the Neolithic period as so many monuments seem to align with the summer sunrise.
In England the great circle known as Stonehenge has an alignment of stones marking sunrise on the longest day. Sadly, we have no idea how the henge was actually used, but we can be sure that its builders were astronomers.
To find out more about Stonehenge go to site of English Heritage.
Human habitation reaches higher latitudes in the northern hemisphere. People cannot sleep during the midsummer nights when it does not get completely dark.
Many Scandinavian communities have feasts, folk music and dance. Some festivals are held on the solstice and others on the Feast of St John. In Britain St John's day is called Midsummer's day.
The association of magic with midsummer in English culture is exemplified by Shakespeare's delightful comedy "A Midsummer Night's Dream".
In the play normality is turned upside-down and fairies interfere with human affairs. The woodland setting becomes an enchanted place with supernatural rulers.
Dates for equinoxes and solstices in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres are the same, but in opposite seasons. For example, the Summer Solstice north of the Equator is mirrored south of the Equator by the Winter Solstice.
Find below precise solstice and equinox dates and times for the Northern Hemisphere, from 2016 to 2021.
The Longest Day
The 1971 AFC Divisional Playoff Game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Miami Dolphins, played on Christmas day, was a seesaw battle of touchdowns and field goals that didn&rsquot end until halfway through a second overtime period. The marathon game lasted eighty-two minutes and forty seconds and by all accounts was one of the most exciting games ever played.
The Kansas City Chiefs offense directed by Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson, scored the first two times they had the ball and led 10-0, at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, the Dolphins - with their Hall of Fame quarterback Bob Griese - added 10 points of their own to end the first half deadlocked.
Both teams scored touchdowns in the third quarter. In the fourth, the Chiefs scored another to take the lead 24-17. However, with 1:25 remaining in regulation play the Dolphins scored to once again tie the game. On the next play Chiefs running back Ed Podolak returned the Dolphins kick 78 yards to the Miami 22 yard line. Three more plays advanced the ball to the 15. With just 35 seconds left and sensing a victory, Jan Stenerud missed a game-winning field goal. With the score tied 24-24, the game went into overtime.
Both teams missed scoring opportunities in the first overtime. Stenerud had a 42-yard field goal attempt blocked and the Dolphins&rsquo placekicker Garo Yepremian missed a 52-yarder. Finally halfway through the sixth quarter, Yepremian got another chance. This time his 37-yard attempt was good and the Dolphins won 27-24.
Although a total of 13 future Hall of Fame players were suited up that day, the real star was Chiefs&rsquo running back Ed Podolak. In one of the greatest post-season performances ever, Podolak carried the ball 17 times for 85 yards, caught eight passes for 110 yards, returned three kickoffs for 153 yards, and ran back 2 punts for 2 yards. For the day, Podolak gained a combined total of 350 yards.
Hall of Famers Involved in NFL's Longest Game
Bobby Bell (LOLB), Buck Buchanan (RDT), Curley Culp (DT), Len Dawson (QB), Lamar Hunt (owner), Willie Lanier (MLB), Jan Stenerud (K), Hank Stram (coach), Emmitt Thomas (CB)