The ceremonies were impressive. The thousands of marble grave markers sobering. But, there was far more beyond D-Day that few of the younger generation know about. This was not the first landing of troops during WWII. The first real invasion took place in North Africa with Allies trying to relieve the pressure on Brits in Egypt. They were opposing the Vichy French who had turned to support Germany and Italy. It was a live-fire rehearsal for later landings. The fighting in North Africa continued until early 1943 when the Allies decided to run the Germans out of Sicily, launching the invasion in June 1943. As they had air superiority, the Axis sank a lot of ships involved in the invasion. Anyone with a sane mind could’ve seen the clash of egos as Montgomery wanted his troops to be the big winners by running the Axis forces before the Americans could do anything. A large number of Axis troops made it to the Italian Mainland. The next one was another mess. You might want to check out the Salerno Mutiny. It took forever to get off the beaches as the Axis had air superiority. At last, Allied bombers began to make a dent in the defenders and, when a number of commanders having their pants kicked, things began to move. So, what’s the point to all this? Simple. The incredible planning and logistics for D-Day came about because of the previous operations and the problems they had encountered. We read about those poor guys who swam through the surf and onto the beach. But we seldom hear about the thousands of people who supported them. More boats and ship than one could imagine. Fighters, bombers, and even airplanes towing gliders. How many were shocked to hear the story of the guy who was at the landing with one purpose- going around to identify and record the dead so their next-of-kin could be told and the bodies buried. A Grave Task: The Wartime Job Nobody Wanted. An awesome read. Who in the world came up with the idea of dropping dummies behind enemy lines? Some of them actually had fireworks inside to create more panic. And think about the Beach Masters. The guys who directed traffic to make sure equipment and supplies got to the right places to support front-line troops. No easy job. Enough of this. I just hope some of the younger posters might take the time to do some research to discover the unsung heroes of D-Day. A fun read might be the “contest” between Ike and Montgomery, an explanation of how Ike was appointed a 5-star general. Marshall and MacArthur got the same.