Monday, June 6, 2011

This Day in History–June 6 1944

67 years ago, Operation Neptune (the landing operations as part of Operation Overlord) took place.

Losing close to 10% of the 50,000 men who assaulted Omaha Beach, the US Military still shined, showing the grit and determination of our brave men as they fought to take the most fortified and heavily defended beach during the operation.

I had a unique opportunity 17 years ago (damn….seems like only yesterday) to attend some of the ceremonies at Normandy, and to say I was in awe of the sacrifice and bravery of those who partook is an understatement.  Aside from Arlington Cemetery, it was the most humbling place I had ever been.

Who knows the outcome of WW2 if this mission would have failed?  I personally wonder if there would have ever been an opportunity to get another foothold in the continent.  The success (IMO) hinged upon the excellent cooperation and planning with our allies and the professionalism of the various Intelligence groups involved.

To commemorate, today I found an article regarding the cigar Sir. Winton smoked during one of the planning sessions.  I hope you enjoy the read, and I sincerely hope you take a moment today/tonight to think about our veterans and heroes….the ones who went before us.  I know I will raise a glass.


Winston Churchill D-Day cigar discovered

CIGAR_1527550cThe cigar has now been valued at £800 by an expert during the filming of the Antiques Roadshow.

Student Christian Williams, 33, was given the cigar when he was just 12 by his grandad Ronald Williams, a WWII veteran.

At over six inches long the cigar has never been touched by its owner, who keeps it safe in a sturdy wooden box.

It was taken from a historic meeting between Churchill and the other Allied leaders at the famous Casablanca Conference.

Placecards bearing the names of the world leaders taken with the cigar from the conference combined with Mr William senior's testimony helped the authentication of the cigar.

Read more HERE

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