Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bloody Omaha Beach

“Blessent mon coeur
D’une languor monotone”
BBC Radio Broadcast
June 6, 1944

And with those words
“Wound my heart
With a monotonous languor”
The D-day invasion
Had begun

June 6, 1944
The greatest armada
The world has ever seen
Was making its way towards
The pristine beaches of

On the bluffs
Above the beach
The German soldiers
Waited patiently
Checking the horizon
Cleaning their guns
Waiting for the Americans
And the Canadians
And the Free French
To land their LSTs
At the beaches named
Gold and

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Supreme Allied Commander
Had just made the most difficult
Decision of his entire life
“There it is”, he said.
“I don’t like it, but there it is”
And those were the words
That launched 10,000 ships
Of every shape and size
The greatest naval armada
That the world had ever seen
The weather across
The English Channel
Had been just plain ugly
For the past several weeks
With five foot swells
Non stop gale force winds
And heavy down pouring rain

Two million men
Had been penned up
On military bases
All over southern England
In preparation
For the greatest
Amphibious invasion of all time
The much anticipated
And desperately needed
Second front

Hitting the beach
At Omaha
Where already
The water is turning
Crimson red from
All of the fallen
The wounded and the dead
Some without limbs
Without arms
Without legs
Some with no head
The men
Hunkered down behind
Whatever scraps of
Shelter that they could find
Anti-tank barriers
The burned out hulks of
Discarded equipment                                                                                                                                                            
Even the dead bodies of
Their fallen comrades

Every GI  was busy
Thinking the same thought
Who was the moron who
Ordered this operation?
Whoever he was
He should be hanged

Omaha Beach on D-Day                                                                                                      
Is nothing more than a
Killing zone
A kill box
Where no living being
Where no mere mortal who was
Made out of mere
Flesh and blood
Could long hope to survive

It was a place where
no human being
who was made out of
mere flesh and blood and bone
Should ever have be sent

Who was the moron who
Ordered this operation?
Whoever he was
He should be shot as a
War criminal

50,000 men hit the beach
In the first wave and
10,000 were killed
Almost instantly
Many as soon as the
Gantries of their LSTs
Hit the sand

Everything that could go wrong
Did go wrong
In perfect accord with
Murphy’s Law
Hundreds of allied airplanes
Missed their targets
Dropping their bombs
On the hedgerows
And cow pastures
Of Point du Hoc and
St. Mere Eglise
Killing more cows
Than Germans

Thousands of paratroopers
Missed their drop zones
Landing instead in
Flooded marshes
Or heavily fortified
German strongholds

And all of the tanks
That had been sent
To provide protection and
Cover for the troops
On the beach
Were either blown up
Or lost to the
English Channel waves
During the crossing
As the five foot swells
Soon overwhelmed
The canvas tubs that
Were supposed to
Float the tanks to shore
Leaving the troops
Exposed and unprotected

And hundreds more
Of the best
And bravest soldiers
Some as young as fifteen
Were killed even
Before they
Hit the ground

And some
Of the men drowned
Because they
Could not
Escape from their
Own gear due to
The poor design
Of their harness releases

Many more poor souls
Never even made it
To shore
Drowning by the
Hundreds and thousands
In the rough surf
As they were
Pulled down
To the bottom
By the weight
Of their own equipment
While thousands of bullets
Whizzed and
Buzzed and
All around them and
Through them

The water turned
Crimson red
With the blood of
The living and the dead
And panic set in and
Some men went crazy
After seeing their friends
And best buddies
Getting themselves
Killed and maimed
Right before their eyes

And then the Jerries
Opened up with
Their heavy guns
Pouring artillery shells
Into the already deadly
Mix of machine gun and
Mortar fire

Men who believed
Prayed to their God
To deliver them
From this man made Hell
And those who did not believe
Prayed anyway
Just in case

But wherever God was
On that cold
And fateful day
He wasn’t to be found
Any where near that
Bloody and
God forsaken place
That will forever
Be known to posterity as

Philadelphia, Pa. 2012

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