his June 18 letter, “D-Day Americans did their part,” Greg Hutchinson makes it clear that American forces were crucial to the success of D-Day combat operations. The U.S. Army Air Force swept all enemy fighter planes from the sky, making the beach landings that much “safer.” It was an American engineer who came up with the idea of rigging Sherman tanks with “hedgerow cutting teeth,” a simple but effective device that helped the Allies advance across the farm country of France.
And, yes, both Britain and the United States must thank Russia profusely for the success of the D-Day invasion. The Russian Army suffered over 10 million casualties in the fight against the invading Nazis on the Soviet Eastern Front between 1941 and 1944! However, the Russian Army also killed or captured millions of German Nazi troops. This made the D-Day landings that much softer, as fewer German troops were available to defend Hitler’s Atlantic Wall.
The Cold War meant that Stalin’s fight against Hitler was soon forgotten. But both the U.S. and England were lucky to have had Russian troops on their side in the fight against the Nazis and the Japanese. The D-Day invasion might have failed if Hitler had not been fighting a war on two vast fronts. Essentially it was the Russian Army that took Berlin, not the British or the Americans.
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