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(Bryson 2015, page 162.)
To the north from here stretches a duney expanse called Slapton Sands, so similar to the beaches of Normandy that they used it for a dress rehearsal for D-Day in the spring of 1944. Amid great secrecy, thirty thousand American troops were loaded on to a landing craft and taken out into the bay to practice coming ashore, but by chance nine German torpedo boats spotted the activity and cruised at will among them, blowing the landing craft out of the water with ease and causing all kinds of mayhem.
However, unbeknown to the military, under cover of darkness nine German E-boats (fast attack craft) had managed to slip in amongst them in Lyme Bay. Two landing ships were sunk and a third badly damaged. Lack of training on the use of life vests, heavy packs and the cold water contributed to the disaster: many men drowned or died of hypothermia before they could be rescued. Over 700 Americans lost their lives.
(Bryson 2015: 163.)
What is most extraordinary is that the Germans, having chanced upon a massive collection of boats and men engaged in training exercises from the Cherbourg peninsula, failed to recognize that an invasion of northern France was imminent.
SLAPTON SANDS, England — The U.S. Army today will honor 749 World War II American soldiers killed in a disastrous rehearsal for the D-Day invasion that turned into chaos when commanders, without informing the troops, decided to use live ammunition to lend realism to the exercis
Which once again makes me wonder if the families of the deceased men were informed at all, and if so, what they were told?
The Battle of Antietam (/ænˈtiːtəm/), also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg, particularly in the Southern United States, was a battle of the American Civil War, fought on September 17, 1862, between Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia and Union Gen. George B. McClellan's Army of the Potomac, near Sharpsburg, Maryland and Antietam Creek. Part of the Maryland Campaign, it was the first field army–level engagement in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War to take place on Union soil. It was the bloodiest day in American history, with a combined tally of 22,717 dead, wounded, or missing.[
originally posted by: halfoldman
I was busy reading Bill Bryson's second journey through Britain at the pub, when I came across some starling information that I had never heard about before (The Road to Little Dribbling: More notes from a small Island. Transworld Publishers: 2015. Pages 162-163). Let's just say it was a dress-rehearsal for D-Day in spring 1944 involving 30 000 American troops and watched by President Eisenhower himself.
It is a shame our military today are throwing these lessons away because of cif and all of their technology wherever it comes from.