Only two Renville County newspapers published a headline that stated the phrase “D-Day” on June 8, 1944, this included The Franklin Tribune and the Sacred Heart News. Today, June 6, 2019, marks the 75th anniversary of this notorious battle of World War II. Read the following articles below!
Franklin Tribune June 8, 1944
Nation Startled Tuesday Morning with Radio Announcement of Invasion by Allied Forces Crossing English Channel into Northern France–Absence of Arial and U-Boat Opposition Brings Speculation that Hitler Maybe Setting Trap–
While the invasion of Europe by the Allies had been eagerly awaited for some time, people the country over were startled Tuesday morning when they tuned in their favorite morning radio programs and found instead that they were tuned to the broadcast of world-history making news that “D” Day and “H” Hour were history, and that invasion of northern France was well underway.
By the time most people arose that morning and switched on their radios, the first beach-head on French soil had been well established in its first phase and Allied Soldiers were fanning out over the countryside to mop up any resistance the enemy might bring into action in an attempt to block their way before the sea-borne artillery and supplies could be stabilized or landed.
Practically all radio commercial programs were shunted all day Tuesday to give way to the news flashes constantly coming in from the war zone and the comments and interpretations given by experienced reporters on the scene.
Rome and the battle lines south of there were taken during this weekend–a victory which up to that time was considered of major importance but that Rome was taken without damage to that ancient city, seemed to receive little notice after the northern invasion got underway.
News coming from the invasion fronts were in reality largely lacking in tangible detail. But one can gather that the invasion really entailed several beachheads extending fifty miles along the Normandy coast. As these beachheads were made temporarily secure, the soldiers fanned out to the inland to meet any counter attacks by the enemy, and to bring these landings in contact with each other.
Caens, a town nine miles south of the central landing place, was the first town taken, and here also the Allies met with terrific opposition which continued throughout Wednesday.
Where Hitler’s vaunted “Luftwaffe” is is still a puzzle. There is speculation as to the possibility that a trap may be contemplated by the Germans once the Allies reach one of the strongly fortified lines which were expected by the Germans to black the invasion.
The fall of Rome and the route of the German Italian army, has put a strong poser before Hitler, and the Russian army on the east holds a real threat. This will probably answer the question of where the German air force is located. Any big shift and concentration of the enemy air force would leave some other sector vulnerable to attack.
The latest reports on Wednesday evening before going to press are to the effect that the battle for the north coastal points are going ahead satisfactorily and according to schedule. Montgomery’s army is driving the disorganized German army northward from Rome towards the south boundary of France and the Russian army is poised for another major offensive in the Balkans.
Tuesday, June 6, is ‘D-Day’–Successful Landings Made By Allies on Cherbourg Beachhead
The kick-off of what many consider to be the real start of the European war came at dawn Tuesday (about midnight by our time) when 4,000 naval vessels and “air trains” of transport planes unloaded Allied troops along a 100-mile front between Cherbourg and Le Havre, France.
The British-based English, Canadian and U.S. soldiers succeeded at once in clearing the beaches of enemy resistance, aided by a terrific combat force overheard. Paratroops landed further inland to wipe out enemy defense posts, while from across the channel more trips by ships and planes continued the following day to bring reinforcements.
Early Thursday, the invasion forces captured Bayeux, a 9,000 population cathedral town at the base of the Cherbourg peninsula. Meanwhile, strong fighting was going on at Caen south-southeast of Bayeux, and at St. Mere Eglise, off one of the chief beach-heads just below Cherbourg.
Whiles a Nazi military spokesman had broadcast Tuesday that the invasion came “just where we expected it,” events of the day proved otherwise. German Resistance has been increasing steadily since the first attack began, indicating that the enemy was taken by surprise when the landings started. There is evidence that the German high command had lost contact with its defense forces in the Charbourg area Tuesday, and was fishing vainly for information as to exact progress of the fighting.
Nazis Fleeing Italy
The invasion of France eclipsed the triumph of the Allied troops in Italy, who took Rome Sunday with but little resistance from the German armies, and by Tuesday were pursuing the remnants of Kesselring’s 10th and 4th armies 40 miles north of the eternal city.
General Sir Harold Alexander, the commander-in-chief of the Italian campaign for the Allies, proclaimed Wednesday that “the strength of the German armies has been broken”.
Worst Fighting Ahead
The worst of the fighting in France is expected at any moment when the Germans have organized their air and land strength for a showdown fight. Bad weather has kept the air battle from developing, and the Allied landings are expected in Holland, Belgium and possibly farther north. The inhabitants of the occupied nations have been counseled by General Dwight D. Eisenhower, commander of the invasion, to await the signal from him before attempting action against the Germans.
Meanwhile, the temporary quiet on the Russian front, where American air bases have been put into use the last two weeks, holds dreadful possibilities of fresh attack from the east. The Nazis make no secret of the gravity of their plight.
With the invasion of Europe running into its third day, Allied forces have cleared and consolidated their beachheads on a 60-mile front and have captured the Nazi-fortified city of Bayeux on the Normandy peninsula.
Officials this morning said the British, American and Candian invasion forces were “doing better than expected,” in the face of ferocious armored counterattacks by German reserves.
Landing on a 60-mile coastal front in Normandy in northern France began Tuesday moring when radio reports of the start of the invasion began reaching Olivia residents.
The invasion which involved 4,000 watercraft crossing the English channel, together with a supporting force of 11,000 airplanes, met only minor opposition at first, as thought the Germans had been caught napping.
However, as operations progressed, Olivians, who have kept close to their radios since Tuesday, heard of strengthened German opposition.
Fighting is expected to increase in severity as more enemy reserves comes into action against the advancing Allies.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower, supreme commander, and Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsey, commander of the Allied naval forces, conferred for 4 1/2 hours off the invasion coast yesterday.
For the most part, Olivia residents took the news of the invasion calmly; there was no fanfare, no blowing of whistles.
Businessmen kept the radios on in their shops and stores Tuesday and yesterday, picking up minute-by-minute reports of the progress of the gigantic operation.
American flags were displayed in front of most of the business placed in the village on Tuesday.
Olivia pastors sought the prayers of local citizens on behalf of the success of the invasion, and an organized prayer service was held in the Methodist church Tuesday evening.
Instead of cheering at the news of the beginning of the battle of Europe, Olivians, as well as the populace throughout the nation, have accepted it grimly, and a stern seriousness has pervaded the community since the first reports reached here.
Undoubtedly hundreds of Renville count young men, including many from Olivia, are taking an active part in the initial landing efforts and numerous others will be sent into the battle zone within the next few days.
Parents, wives, brothers, sisters, children, and friends of these men are anxiously awaiting word of the success of their undertakings.