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tv   Aftermath of D- Day Invasion  CSPAN  August 14, 2014 6:33pm-7:37pm EDT

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just sort of secular guy. i really took on god most during solitary, and it wasn't that i -- well, i took on god and i took on -- i didn't take on god -- i opened up to god. but i -- because i needed something to -- i needed something beyond me. i needed some way to relate to the world beyond my, you know, little cubic area the size of this platform where i was living the whole time. and, but the ritual part of it, i liked the ritual. i continued doing all sorts of rituals. but i -- i stopped, like, observing the sabbath strictly and stopped, like, keeping kosher and i stopped doing these things in prison because i realized i don't sort of take the bible as the sort of
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literal, you know, thing. and, but i, you know, i do feel stronger and i guess i feel stronger in the belief that there are forces that are unknown to us or barely knowable and definitely unable to be spoken about. that are around us. >> this isn't nearly as tedeep question, but it is a serious question. you guys are all obviously very intelligent people. so, i mean, you had to have known where you were hiking was near iran and iran is especially unfriendly to american s. did you not have a map or any sense of how far you'd going? >> no, ma'am, we were walking -- >> beforehand. >> yeah, no, i remember we were in -- i remember seeing it on the map.
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the town. and it's like on the eastern part of iran, but it's not like -- of iraq. but it's not like, on the border. people said go to this waterfall. so we went to the waterfall. i remember thinking, we are near the eastern side. like, and at one point during hiking, and this is one of those thoughts that plagued me in solitary confinement, i remember mentioning, oh, it looks like we're heading to iran. totally without any notion that we were, like, near it. but just, like, we're heading but just, like, we're heading we kind of talked -- we talked about it for a moment, no, it's probably, like, afar, way more miles than we could hike in a day or week. and so we -- we were very surprised when we saw the -- >> it's one of those things, like, when something really terrible happens to you, of 10,000 times. if we took less time eating
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breakfast, spent more time at the internet cafe and printed out the map. if the internet hadn't gone down. you know, a million things contributed to what happened, but mostly our guards were down because we were in a safe part of the middle east. shane and i both traveled many more dangerous parts and were going by word of mouth. >> i'm sure you guys are told this often, but you're very brave for reliving this over and over again. >> those are the comments we will allow you to say. >> i have a question, sort of a two-part question, but related. on your perspective of the media that you were watching while you were there, because you mentioned you had a television. i don't know if you had newspapers or not. i was wondering if you had this international campaign going at home, did you see the news being said about you from the united states or were you seeing mostly iranian and persian media? then with that question were you seeing skewed information? what was your complete
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perspective on what was being said about you? >> the news was absolutely absurd. i mean, it was like -- some examples of, you know, there's an english language ticker that was always on and there were times that it said, israel commits the most crimes in the entire world. or the earthquake in haiti was caused by the united states exploding a nuclear weapon underground. you know, like this kind of stuff. totally off the wall. and we didn't get a lot of information about our case on the news. we'd mostly get it from letters from family, but every once in a while something would come up and it was, you know, like state tv. it wasn't satellite. wasn't even press tv. if you've seen that. it was a lot worse than that. but sometimes there would be a story from outside, like cnn, that would be spliced in. actually the first time we got a television, the day we got a tv,
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we turned it on and there was christiane amanpour on tv and pictures of us in the background and it was this really crazy feeling because it felt like those kind of shows when it's some kid who went missing and died. it was like i was watching myself as a memory, you know? but, you know, we did get things like, you know, that, you know, one of the three american -- three american spies to be tried separately. so that made us think, talk ad nauseam about who is it going to be who goes first? might sarah get out? we'd get these little snippets like that that we'd just obsess about. >> let me be clear about the christiane amanpour thing. we didn't have that channel, but within the iranian state television, within their news program, they'd, like, show a 20-second clip of cnn or abc or something. >> so they weren't -- they weren't in the iranians and
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guards beyond the prisoners, they weren't watching the american media, they were only seeing -- >> some of them watched -- a lot of them would watch bbc farcey on satellite. satellite is illegal. but they told us they have it in the prison. yeah. >> pretty much every prisoner that gave me information from the outside, it was from bbc. most -- a lot of iranians have illegal satellites in urban centers so they watch bbc religious religiously. >> there was one -- a lot of the news, the way we figured out what was going on in the word, the news we would see would be reaction to western media usually. and they wouldn't give what they were reacting to, so we were trying it figure out what the tea party was through the iranian reaction, or the arab spring, you know, they didn't say anything about syria. they would talk a lot about bahrain. and i remember when osama bin laden was killed, there was a lot of conflicting narratives that would happen.
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in that example, there was a -- they said that, you know, they had a lot of people in pakistan that were angry that the u.s. had intervened and killed osama bin laden. the next day there was a story that -- what was it? >> i just remember the guy, the newscaster was just like, osama bin laden has been killed and he's been dumped in the ocean and that is nothing to do with islamic burial rights. so we realized there was some -- that there must have been some media, western media saying that they threw him in the ocean because it was within 24 hours. >> oh, then there would be the pictures they'd show, there was one picture they'd show of him after he was killed, probably in media here, too, and kind of were casting doubt on it being him. kind of like the anger at the u.s. killing him, but then, you know, that it was a conspiracy and he was actually alive at the same time. >> yeah. media was wild. >> we spent a lot of time trying to figure out what the hell was going on in the world and really
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had no idea. >> thank you. >> thanks. >> we'll take these last two questions. >> i, too, want to thank you for your courage in recounting your stories. especially as an iranian american jewish woman, i want to thank you for shedding light on some of the horrific experiences that are lived day to day in the prisons. two questions. one serious, and one lighter question. thank you for sharing your experiences with zara and with the gentleman who declared himself as al qaeda. i'm wondering if you experienced other, you know, women and minorities who perhaps were treated differently in prisons and, you know, whatever you can tell us about them. and on a lighter note, are you still hiking?
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>> the other t-- some of the other women i met are bahai, and the four bahai women leaders are still there and imprisoned. that's a religious faith in iran that is persecuted heavily. and we were going to the clinic and we were lined up and blindfolded and not supposed to talk to each other or, you know, look at each other and the woman behind me started to rub my back when the guards weren't looking and she told me her name. she told me she was bahai and i learned more about her. i do want to point out, take this opportunity to point out that even though we were psychologically tortured through solitary confinement, interrogation, we knew -- it started to dawn on us as things progressed that we had a certain power, that they couldn't physically hurt us because we were valuable to them. and that they were going to
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eventually cash us in and tdidnt want to look too horribly cruel. they wanted to have a happy ending. that's something that was a difficult thing and also it gave us power to stand up. in the twbeginning i would cry d plea for anything from the guards, another minute of their time or attention. toward the end, i realized the guards really couldn't mess with me that much. one guard told me i couldn't go out to see shane and josh in the open air cell. i was yelling at her and arguing and she slapped me. and i just reached up and slapped her back. and it kind of established a certain level of respect, not hard, you know, but established a certain level of respect between us and we became the closest i think you can become to friends. i don't think you can be a friend when there's that kind of power dynamic where one person is locking you in a cage every night, but i used to give her shoulder rubs. she had four kids. she was a working class woman and i honestly told her i would miss her and meant it when i left.
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>> and about people who, you know -- our lawyer who was detained after our release, so he's not bahai or anything, but there are other people and just to let you know -- our lawyer was detained after we were released. when he tried to leave the country, he was stripped of his pass swrn port and now can't practice anymore. that was for defending us. the tactics continue. >> i figured shane would take -- >> whenever there's time. >> yeah, no, it was weird to find out that we were called hikers, you know? in prison, that was, like, our name. it's not, like, something i ever really identified with before this. but i remember after we got out, and sarah and i were traveling around the country seeing family and i remember being out with her brother in colorado on a hike and i was, like, realized
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that, you know, i kind of wanted to turn away from that identity. i didn't want -- i realized i either have to kind of -- i hike a lot, you know? i still do. i like to hike. i have to either kind of do it in secret or own it. and maybe it can be something in between. i don't know. i cannot be a hiker but still be allowed to hike. >> keep on going. >> thank you. >> i for one am very happy that all three of you are here in front of us tonight. so glad you're here. so i know that your family and your friends really missed you and supported you a lot while you were in iran and sent you letters and cards and pictures multiple times. sometimes your mothers would write you, like, several times a day. so i just wanted to know how often you actually got these letters and were they censors?
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and books and the like. t did you get them in piles? did you never get them? what was that experience like? >> yesterday -- i'll just start -- yesterday we spoke at a different venue, and i saw somebody who wrote a letter to me, and she wrote it, and i got it -- i remember the day i got it. and i can tell you exactly what was on it. it was, like -- and i could do that for the other 50 letters i got that time. those for the first batch of letters. it took two month to get them. when i got them, it was like -- i was shaking the letters at the sky, i was reading, i was laughing, i was crying. it was like the world busted open. and, but that was from friends and family and extended family. after that, they cut down. it was only from immediate family. and it wasn't regular. once a month, once every two months. it was hard to ever know. and we'd ask, we'd constantly
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ask and then -- at a certain point, i think it was around a year in, they -- we got less letters. i stopped getting letters from my brother. only from my mother and father. and they were -- my mom was writing in her letters that i write you every day, but i wasn't getting every day's letters. so it was this huge mystery of where they were going. we asked the interrogator, they always say, well, this is all the letters we get, we don't know. so about a year and a half in, we started this sort of, this campaign of hunger striking and the first time we did it, we -- it took five days for a dumb guy, the sbeinterrogator, to co and when we came, he gave us, like, letters from sarah for the first time. she had been out for four months by that point, maybe three months. sarah for the first time, and from my brother and from shane's
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sisters, and then we didn't know if they were going to, like, keep giving letters, so we said, look, we'll -- thank you for these letters, but just so you know, every po d30 days if you t bring a new batch of letters with all of them, no missing letters, we'll continue to hunger strike. it took us -- the things just take so long. so then it took us -- because we couldn't write out. so then we realized that we never knew if we were getting all of them. so when we had five minutes of phone calls, like five months later, i remember one of us said, write on the letter the next letter -- like, the last -- the dates of the last two letters you sent. so once that started happening, we had a little bit more to say, but that was the months before we were released and we started getting more letters. okay. in short, it was a big drama. it was a big drama. also to say that it was our lifeline. and what would happen, we would go through these cycles of get
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the letters and feel this, like, bliss, oh my gosh, everyone, like, cares about us and remembers us. then two weeks later, like, well, haven't heard from anybody in two weeks, like, i feel totally forgotten. and, like, the group psychology between us would start going down until we could get another batch. >> that's really interesting, too, about the dates that, because all of the prisoners that i correspond with now ask the same thing for me to put the date -- i think it's a universal fear of prisoners that the letter is going to be, you know, taken away and they'll never get it. but i will say we have a huge industrial duffel bag full of all those letters and every once in a while when i'm feeling down and mopey and forget to appreciate life and freedom, i'll just, you know, pluck one out and read it. [ applause ]
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>> it's actually about the books which i don't think anyone asked yet. when you decided to write a book and how you actually did it. i was just leafing through. it looks like maybe you each took different chunks but, um, how did that actually work? i mean, you're living in different cities now and how did you actually want to come together to write this? >> we -- i mean, when we decided to write a book together, i think we all assumed that we would write it this way. there wasn't a process of kind of figuring out, you know, we assumed we would all write in the first person. and the way we started it, is we just said, okay, let's just take this time period the first four month that is we were in prison and write about that. and we just all went off on our own and write about it and then came back and had a ton of writing. and we had to, like, put it in order, figure out whose parts were going to go in and it just took forever. it was really difficult. there's three versions of everything.
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so that we then decided to kind of divide up the main event events and create an outline. and in the writing process, other things would come up and we'd write other scenes on our own. and we'd write and then come back and then put it in chronology and then just edit intensively, you know, each other's work to transition and then do all of that stuff. it was -- there was probably six months of just, editing. >> i look forward to reading it. i know it just came out. and i'm sure it's going to be very successful. do you have plans to do more with it or, like, use the profits for special program or whatever? >> um, no plans as of yet. but i will say that in writing the book and emp in the process to decide to write the memoir, our story is a story about, of course, the horror of losing our
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freedom, our own captivity and the absolute miracle of getting it back. and it's also about all of the people that didn't get back u the people that we had to looech behind. i had a friend in prison that was executed after i left. and so this story is not just our story. it's many stories. and it's some of those people whose stories are in the book are in this room right now. >> thank you. [ applause ] >> tonight at 8:00 eastern, army
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veterans tell their stories of the front lines including this soldier who remembers his encounter while fighting with a german some jer fighting in north africa. >> we were fighting on a hill, 609. and i went out one night to check on my company aide man. and while i was there, a lot of big, big boldebold boulders, i' call it a mountain. it was a small hill. and i heard this kind of scraping noise over my head. and i looked up and a german came down with a bayonet. that went right through the fleshy part here of my light field jacket and fell on the ground in front of me. we had been told that the germans were picking medics off with their snipers and we had lost about six of our medics. they were shooting guys right in the head.
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and so we were gaven permission, given permission to arm ourselves. i wore a .45. and we took our red cross, geneva crosses off over our helmets so that they couldn't see us. the few killed medics, the moral re moral real morale goes down and it's a situation you really don't want to get into. so as this guy fell on the ground in front of me, he came at me with a bayonet and i reached to get the gun. he pulled it back and his finger was almost cut off. the scar is still here. so he pulled back again and with that, i was able to get my pistol out and shoot him. i wasn't scared.
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we had training for that kind of situation. but he was dead. and i was standing there looking at him. i started shaking and sweating. and just a weird, weird feeling. you know, i never killed a person before. and never did after that. i looked in his pockets to get identification so we could report through to both sides would do that, so they'd have records. i found a photograph, about two inch square or so, and it was a picture of him and two young ladies on there. and german writing on the back. i found out later that was his sister and his girlfriend. i kept that little picture and i still have it someplace. and i used to look at it often to remind me how terrible war is. two young guys out there trying to kill each other. in a battlefield.
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>> more frontline stories from army veterans including remember re ranss of d day coming up in occupied france at 10:00 p.m. eastern. >> in the weeks following the normandy invasion, allied forces move today drive the germans out of the peninsula and begin the deliberation of nazi occupied france. including the liberation of the
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important cross roads town of sanlo. >> the focus today is post-june 6th. getting ashore, obviously, is a monumental effort that requires years of planning, years of compromises and politics and whatever else. what follows from june 7th onward is just an absolute bloodied slog that ultimately leads deep into jermtny and the end of hitler's nazi germany. so here's where it sort of begins. now disturb oops. the aftermath of d-day, in about the next five to six days seized this basic situation. you've got the five distinctive landing beaches, obviously, gold
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and sword for the british, khan is really the objective and the base point for them. to the west, obviously, omaha beach, the americans have carved out a lodgement there. to the west of that, utah beach. for the americans, that will be my primary focus today, sort of the american experience in nor man day and a little bit about what that was like. i'll draw on some of the highlights for you. for the americans and the aftermath of d-day, the link-up of two distinctive beachheads. you're not going to do much in normandy until it's one disticketive entity. you're going to advance and take your other objectives. and simply by sort of the accident of geography, happens to be the spot where that must hatch. karatan is not really a big town. it's about 4,000 people or so in 1944.
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it's l eelocated near very low much of which is flooded. at one time, in napoleon's day, it had been much like an island because french engineers had ma nip rated the locks and the water and the sea canals nearby in such a way as to almost isolate. it wasn't like that in 1944. but much of the land around it was inundated. and i'm sure that many of you know that this was one of the german defenses is to flood sirn parts of normandy. so karatan is the focus for what remains in the 101st airborne division in the aftermath of the landings. and, of course, the 101st had been scattered around from, you know, southward.
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putting together some sort of distinctive entity. it becomes his primary focus from june 12th, through 19d 44. here's how he will do it. he will approach from the north, he'll take his 327th glider regimen and envelop around to the right of caratan, if you can see it on that map. i know this is something of a busy map. but these are some of the better maps you can get in this phase of the campaign. it comes from the west point atlas. i highly encourage you to check it out. not just from world war ii, but for many maps throughout history. really well done. so karat aurks n will be
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enveloped. the 327th glader along with elements of the 501st regimen will swing around to the right of the city. so that will be east of it. skbrit's east of the city. so this is a slow and literally difficult sloth. for the 502nd, the main problem is there's only one way in from the north. on a raised causeway. so the germans know this. it's the causeway is mine pd and there are obstacles there to prevent american movement.
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there's also one instance with a column of infantry. it's a german who is on the wrong end of a strafing attack. as i mention ds, the obama that kals: this is an extremely difficult operation. there are some farms just north of the town. eventually, some paratroppers get in there. he was a soldier's soldier. we aump associate what should we put it? army language with general george patten. cole was sort of patten's equal.
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and a colorful personality. he was a larger than life commander. he liked to give his soldiers a hard time. but he was also a rathered inspirational commander in combat. in terms of his courage and professionalism. it's a bayonet charge around
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670-80502nd troopers charging forward with their bayonets with cole leading the way with a pistol. cole doesn't see this drainage gully. and he's splashed up to here with water. he's got all of these guys around him going past him or following him and he looks back and says don't follow me. which is sort of the antiinfantry credo. you know, at fort benning, it says follow me for an infantry officer. he says don't follow me into here. he doesn't want anybody falling into the ditch. he works his way out of there. others are working their way straight at the germans. there are literally instances when they will sort of bayonet the germans in their stomachs. believe it or not. and they kind of get their foot
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in the door. by overrunning this german position in one of the key spots north of the town. once they get artillery enforcement, they're not able to counter attack and dislodge them. this opens the doorway into karatan for the rest of the 101 airborne division.
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they obviously understand if it remains under control, they link up and then the americans would advance from there. so the germans were quite cognizant of the objective. so this fighting in the german counter attack which takes place mainly june 11 9 through 13th, 1934, takes place outside of the city limits. not really in the town, but outside in the fields and head rows behind karatan. and this is one of the few instances in the entire northwest europe campaign, world war ii, that allied leaders are able to receive sbel jensz, what's called ultra intelligence, the ability to break many of the german codes, operational codes, and figure out something of their intentions. general bradly, the first army commander, the u.s. first army commander, has this ultra intelligence. he knows what he's going to do and he knows he has tanks available to deal with them
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coming from the second armored division. they have landed hastily. they will ener the fight alongside the paratroopers who, afterall, are very lightly armed to deal with tanks and armored personnel carriers and everything else. they're deelting with different points of resis tense. different obstacles. on the british side, as you see closer to khan there, the most potent adversary you have is the german units converging on you. they are forming around khan to deal with the british and canadians there.
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that means 12th ss panzer. 21st panzer. you've got pretty good rolling ground around khan. rolling plains, plateaus and form fields that are right there in the summertime. you know, getting close to harvest. it's good tank country. there are some good roads around khan. the british want khan. it's the biggest city in normandy. it's also an inland port to help your logistics. to land your supplies and people and whatever else. so british general montgomery, 21st rmy group commander, had hoped to have khan on the first day, after d day. he will deny this later in life. he had hoped to have that. they're facing some of the toughest units in the entire german army. the canadian third division will it matly end up in a blood feud
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with the afore mentioned pan division. alongside front veterans. there will be the killings of canadian prisoners by 12th ss. elgts's just west of khan. initially, they'll shoot them almost out of hand, out of sort. eventually, they'll take them and, one by one, execute them. at least 25 of them are killed in the garden of the abadarden. and you can go there in this day and age and visit it. the canadian division will take no prisoner ins. and these two will basically lock horns throughout much of
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june and july in 1944 and destroy each other. it's 12th ss that ends up destroyed. and one thing about the canadian war effort, this is kind of a hangover from world war one. in world war i, you could get drafted and sent to fight on the western front and they've taken massive casualties. you could be drafted to serve and defend canada at home. you could not necessarily be drafrt today serve in the c canadian third division. their maybe challenge is the terrain itself.
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you're looking here at if aerial viewpoint from 1944. you'll notice this place, these fields. this is a formidable, natural obstacle. they've been kults valted by northern farmers for at least two millennia, dating back to roman times. they have been used to kind of
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delineate whose field was whose and to have a border area. you could see, you've probably got deeply rooted trees, you've got deeply packed earth. the soil is very moist. it's beautiful, beautiful soil. but obviously, it's very formidable. you know, for any attacker who is hoping to deal with it. this is kind of a present-day look at how confining this will be. isn't there kind of a clauser phobic effect to this? your visibility is limited. you're in the middle of this green voe kaj. and in this kind of circumstance, you can imagine how it is to know what's going on even a quarter of a mile away.
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and so how are you going to move to take over. it's kind of a stunning situation by, you know, by about the second week of june or so. how to deal with this. and the germans have learned very quickly how to fortify various hedge rows. i also don't want to say that there are no hedge rows 234 the british sector. there are. so the u.s. army is not really compared. most of the training have focused on getting ashore. and on maneuver rabble warfare. what the u.s. army is going to do well. maneuver with vehicles, use a lot of fire power. use air power.
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all of these kinds of things. there is certainly recognition that the hedge rows skpis at high command levels. the french resistance has told them in mystical place. >> it's not that this is brand new, but there is this kind of disconnect. maybe they're sort of like head rows in britain, which are much more like hedges. and maybe we're going to have to deal with that. your people are probably not prepared with this. so u.s. army is not going is have to imp vise. some units, it's really not good. really problematic. the 90th infantry division is an example. the tough hombres. one of the regimens had come
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ashore on d day at utah beach, after the fourth division had taken the beach. or later in the day. and two of the others are going to be landed. they're going to fight in the peninsula. now, they have been trained as a unit, primarily. and their senior leadership was really not up to this task. there's going to be a lot of firings. there's going to be a lot of turmoil. as the 90th is 234 this sort of learning curve throughout the weeks of june, 1944 and a lot of soldiers lose their lives or get wounded as people figure out how to deal with this. ultimately, i should point out the 90th is one of the finest units 234 europe. this is a bottom-up kind of thing. how do we deal with the hedge
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rows? it's really the sergeants and the junior officers who are dealing with its on a day-to-day basis. and i'd say solution to the whole thing is combined arms. certainly, the first thing you have to do is create a new opening in the hedgerows, right? you're not going to go through the opening they have presided and get killed. so how do you create that new opening? what they are thinking about first is, well, we've got engineers with tnt and we'll just blowholes that way. yoush infantry can't kbet through on your own. they don't have the weapons for it. and your tanks? welt, what about them? one of the things they're going to start doing is welding prongs on to the front of the united states army tanks in order to punch holes through the hedgerows.
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y you' you' you'll often hear claim that is are debatable. the tanks are vulnerable on their own. if you send a tank through, punch through the hedgerow, there's a very grood possibility that there will be a german crouching in a ditch with what's called a panzer tlous. he can bass icalically punch a in your armor. infantry must be right in front of those tanks. they'll figure there must be german ins the ditches or maybe in the field, if they're dumb. but maybe, you know, close buy. they will saturate the area with
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white phosphorous shells. white phosphorous is a nasty weapon. basically, designed to burned through all the way to the bone. no german wants to have little bits of white phosphorous come down on him, catches his uniform on fire and burns through his skin. so saturate them. shoot people. kill people, what are it may be.
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>> else specially because the germans don't have enough manpower or fire pow eer to really hold off this growing u.s. army. so that's kind of the overview of how many of these battles have been faugts. once you have the link up at karatan, the main focus through the u.s. army, oddly enough, is to move westward. it's, like, wait a minute. shouldn't they move eastward toward germany? well, they want to take the peninsula, first. inland through utah beach all the way opposite of the coast. they believe they must have share borders. right at the tip of the peninsula.
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shareborg is the largest harbor in nor man day. you just consider, from a supply point of view, the more people you put ashore, the more you have to sustain. you need thousands of tons of supplies. so the germans understand this, too. and they have fortified it to a great extent. so the first push across the peninsula is towards that town call eed barneyville, which you see on the western coast. the ninth infantry division takes barneyville on june 18th, 1944. the ninth division was an interesting unit.
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later on, they'll be called the octafoil when they fight in vietnam. the ninth is going to be a key player for the u.s. army in normandy. okay. what that means is the germans are now sealed off in the cotenten. on the other side of that red line, you see their counter attack. but, really, from a german point of view, they're surviving and holding the line. so the focus of the u.s. army's efforts from june 18th, all the way through most of the rest of june, 1 to get to shareb org. bradly lines up three u.s. army divisions up in the peninsula.
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and one of the things that's interesting, if you've seen many photographs from u.s. army soldiers, fwr the nor man day campaign, you can instantly recognize 79th division soldier. >> they had very wide helmets. almost topt point why is it there?
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>> it's the fourth infantry division. they had assaulted and taken utah beach on d-day. this is a regular army unit that was new and soon irn a reputation significant for comforts as well. so three divisions, basically advancing shoulder to shoulder. collectively under the ghand of jade laughton collins. since that division was learned, it earned him the nickname lightning joe. the push for shareb org is through pretty thick country. so the battle is fought, more or less, as i illustrated a moment ago, with these kind of combined arms efforts. so you've got not insly a full
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armor division as part of it, you've got tanks, parcelled out among infantry units in fours and fives or by a dozen or whatever. it is helping the eastern coast advance. if you're the fourth division, is very heavy bunkers designed to defend the coast that are now tough nuts to crack as you advance north. by about june 23rd, 24 rt, you're approaching the outskirts of shareborg. you have thousands of german soldiers there. this is a mismatch group under general von sleegan. you've got antiaircraft people, you've got supply people, you have administrative types.
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it's right in the center point of the entry outskirts to shareb org. you have coastal fortifications and all of this. so, for the crowning assault on shareb org, collins is going to do something quiet unusual and, to some extent, innovative. u.s. navy is helping sustain the entire beachhead, regardless of whether we're talking about the british or the americans. they are going to shell the german positions in the harbor, fie down a lot of their gun
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positions, they're designed to fire at ships. but provide some level of close support for the troops of those three u.s. army divisions as they move into the urban share born. so, most of the time, from the perspective of -- say you're a gunner aboard a u.s. navy cruiser and you're asked to shell a hostile shore in support of american troops. usually, amphibious assault troops. most of the time, it's no problem. no big deal, if you fired foo long. you don't want to do that. if you hit your target, all right, that lands somewhere in the german or japanese rear area, right? well, this is different. you are now firing in the same direction where your troops are coming from.
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the navy does a remarkable job of precision fire, not firing too long. and why is it difficult to coordinate? not in the initial part of it, certainly. think about it. you've got squads and platoons that are on this street versus this street and that street. it's an uneven, jagged edge. so i'd view that as somewhat remarkable that they don't end up with any sort of disasters on their harnds. and so very quickly, the germans find themselves out classed, out
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faugts. bar-to-bar, sewer-to-sewer. has orders from hitler to fight for the last man and the last cartridge, very hit ler sort of rhetoric. he, none the less, will surrounder with at least 20-30,000 german troops, by the end of 1934. and share borg is taken. i have bad news chlts german engineers will demolish the harbor. they make it unusual. they have filled in the docks. thef destroyed the cranes. they put concrete block ships in there. they had just wrecked every thing you could possibly imagine. they use demolitions like you wouldn't believe. this is a major job for u.s. army engineers to go into shareborg and rebuild it. it takes the better part of the summer to do. shareborg is not really going to be running all that much for the
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allies until about september, 1944. and, by then, it's far away from the front lines that are, you know, in eastern france. so it's a bit anticlimatic in that response. so you wonder, where in the world are the supplies coming from them? the most famous answer is mulberry harbors. that's the code name that the allies have created through remarkable and ingenious manufacturing. basically, your own art official harbors. but a terrible storm hits nor man day from june 18th-20th of 1944.
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>> most of your supplies are being landed on the beaches. especially omaha beach. landed by oversized lsts, which the crews nickname long, slow target. and it aumpb is. not a pretty ship, but very utilitarian. a lot of vehicles, a lot of freight, whatever else. open it up at low tide, unload and then go and wait for the tide to come back out. not really how it planned, but that's how it's going to be landed in this campaign for northern europe for quite some time. you have a unified allied
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sector. they're going to get caught on july 7th, mainly destroying it by air. the american front is more or less stalemated. not that far from barnago. bradly decides to attack on the extreme western flank. what he wants to do, he wants to unhinge that red line that you see there. unhinge that and that will compromise the entire position in normandy. what ends up happening is a slow
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and bloody slog. it's bad for tanks and vehicles. you can't provide much fire support there. bradly gains seven miles of ground in two weeks and suffers 40,0500 american casualties. so that makes it tough to use. it's turning into a kiernd of campaign of attrition. which is not really what either side wants in a way.
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it was a market coupleture. many times, it was invaluable for these reasons. it had been invaded by romans, by kings, bid napoleonic armies. you name it. obviously, the germans, in 1940. and all of those invaders in the old days, had wanted invaders throughout history had generally wampbted. domination. power. women. whatever. and, you know, the americans come in 1944.
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they don't want any of those things. they want to liberate the town. so what's supremely ironic, these most benevada lant of invaders do more damage, arguably, than all the others combined. the allied air forces had bombed on d day. it would be the natural place to go and counter attack. as the push will mature into a major ground battle, it will lead to even more destruction. ultimately leaving one u.s. army soldier after the battle with sorrow in his voice, we liberated the hell out of this place. san low will be the focus point. he will push forward at that point with three u.s. army divisions.
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the casualties that the units
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took on d day were extensive. and the fighting ever since has been extremely costly. it will really have the lead role in the push for sanlo. it gives you a closer look at it. you could see the varsz units in play. this is the thickest of the country. it fights in this area from july 10th to july 18 h. r


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