Thursday, June 06, 2019

Memory of 'Bloody Omaha'

It's 75 years since the D Day landings, 25 years since I participated in a 6mm exhibition rendering of the landings at Omaha at the South Australian Historical Wargaming Society's open day.  I was the German CinC and had only one subordinate commander.  I think the invading hordes had at least three commanders at work.

My memories are limited and there are no photos of the game that have come into my possession (though I know some were taken).  I recall endless repetitive waves of landing craft, shore defences being pounded by naval salvos and then swathed in smoke, reinforcements being destroyed on their way to the front by swarms of fighter bombers.  All very depressing, especially when my promised armour never turned up.  Still, an enjoyable game and recalled with pleasure this long time later.  From memory, we had at least a division of americans modelled, and several understrength german battalions across a table measuring at least 8' square.  Amazing what we could do in the days of our youth.

The game inspired me to learn a lot more about this important event in 20th century history.  I'm still learning, could probably write a book or three on the subject myself.  And there's still so much more to take on board.  It's fascinating how an event such as this, huge as it was, is so difficult to get one's head around even now. 

It took me around two hours to recount the tale of the invasion to my grandson (he's taken up asking me for stories about 'real' events and people these days).  It would have been nice if one of the TV networks had shown 'The Longest Day'.