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Night Drop:
Wing to wing, the big planes snuggled close in their tight formation, we crossed to the coast of France. I was sitting straight across the aisle from the doorless exit. Even at fifteen hundred feet I could tell the Channel was rough, for we passed over a small patrol craft - one of the check points for our navigators - and the light it displayed for us was bobbling like a cork in a millrace. No lights showed on the land, but in the pale glow of a rising moon, I could clearly see each farm and field below. And I remember thinking how peaceful the land looked, each house and hedgerow, path and little stream bathed in the silver of the moonlight. And I felt that if it were not for the noise of the engines we could hear the farm dogs baying, and the sound of the barnyard roosters crowing for midnight.......
('Soldier' - The Memoires of Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway)

Wiederstandsnest 5 - W5 - Utah Beach, 04:15 hours, June 6:
"Enemy warship heading towards own position..!" - foamraising, and at high speed the american destroyer is heading toward the coast line. Feldwebel Hein came running, shouting to Jahnke: "Do I have permission to open fire with the FK-16, Herr Lieutnant?". Jahnke noded: "Open fire at will....!"."Rrrumms!" - the FK 16 let the first shell go. Too short. "Rrrumms!". Too short again. The destroyer heave to shore, turns the broad side, from where she let them have it. First series of naval shells went too far into the dunes behind the defense line. Second series went into the water, too short, but the third series find its way precisely to the target. The old FK 16 blows to pieces by a direct hit, and terminates the gun crew.
All there is left is the heavily damaged 88 milimeter anti aircraft gun. Gunners and members of the support unit work feverish to make it operational......
Suddently somebody yell "The ships!!!". Like an electric shock. The ships. Jahnke, pressing his eyes against the range finder oculars. The view, that meets his eyes is impossible - it is simply not true!! The invasion fleet. Vessels of various size, large and small. An innumerable number of vessels. It IS true! There was no doubt in his mind. They've come across the ocean, even in bad weather, and they come despite the low tide......
"Rommel, this time you miscalculated..!" Jahnke said to himself. They come at low tide. But - now they will have to pass more than 800 yards of flat foreshore. Totally exposed and without cover. But what good is that, when you have hardly any firepower. Lieutnant Arthur Jahnke, holder of the Knights Cross, felt the tears of rage. "We need a barrage..!" A Kradmelder (Dispatch) was immediately sent off. Oberlieutnant Schön, by 13th Company and their 12,2 centimeter battery of the 1261st Artillery regiment, currently located at St. Martin de Varreville, two miles behind W 5, was urgently reguested to drop his barrage on the foreshore, when receiving a double green flare signal. Now, the landing crafts leave the invasion fleet. They are clearly visible in binoculars. Jahnke grab his flare gun and fired two green flares. Waiting........but the barrage fail to appear. They will never know that the dispatch never reached Oberlieutnant Schön. He was killed on his bicycle by an Allied fighterplane, while desparately trampling his pedals for cover.....
June 6, 05:20 hours: Allied invasion forces hitting the beaches of Utah.
('They're coming..!' by Paul Carel)

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