On the next few days in 1942 and 1944, two epic battles were being fought by our fathers and grandfathers. Both were desperate, risky attacks with unknown outcomes. A great war’s final results rested on how both fights turned out.
In the Battle of Midway (June 4-6, 1942), a crippled U.S. Navy gathered its only remaining carriers in the Pacific – one which had just been repaired after the Battle of Coral Sea – and took the fight to the Japanese, who boasted a superior force and an unbroken series of successes.
If the Americans lost, the Japanese would have near autonomous ability to roam the Pacific at will, imposing its expanding empire on other Pacific rim nations.
ON D-Day (June 6, 1944), allied forces invaded the heavily defended fortifications at Normandy, France in an attempt to create a western and second front for the occupying Germans. They faced withering fire from pre-positioned German weapons, most of which were concealed in cement bunkers.
If the allies lost, the Germans would have tightened its grip around the throat of Europe, would have been able to concentrate its efforts and troops to defeat Russia on the eastern front, and would have had more time to develop advanced weapons to use against the allies.
But the Americans and allies won. On this day, desperate battles were being fought. Thousands were being killed on both sides. The carnage and courage are still being written about today.
But because they won, the world was saved from totalitarian rule. Millions now live in free societies because of their efforts.
On the next three days, the longest days.