15.2.10

French causualties count too

Each day as I watch the news the casualties are listed from Afghanistan. I remember growing up the death count from Vietnam that was on the news every night. The number of dead American service members would be listed and then the body count of the Vietcong would be announced as well. (The body count of the Vietcong was somewhat inaccurate.) That was the end of objective reporting and the beginning of subjective reporting. Indeed the war probably came to a faster end as the result of Walter Cronkite's reporting of the Tet then any other reason.

Now, to my mind at least the war on terror is being reported in much the same way. It has not always been so. In World War Two the number of American casualties and German casualties were reported on, but what of the French civilians?
There is always some wag commenting on the number of American who were killed on D-Day and the price American's paid for the liberation of France, and the cost was dear. On D-Day the Allies landed around 156,000 troops in Normandy. The casualties for the invasion were 1465 dead, 3184 wounded, 1928 missing and 26 captured. There were between 15,000 and 20,000 French civilians killed, mainly as a result of Allied bombing. that means there were 10 times as many French civilians killed than American servicemen.

For those of you who protest the aid or lack of aid the French supply, be reminded of that fact. Coupled with the fact that this was the third time in 75 years that France had been at war with Germany, at the cost of an entire generation of French men and women, perhaps this is a little perspective. Indeed the mere fact that the war was fought on French soil and not in the streets of New York counts as well.

So whomever is sending me this photo and the story about landing on Omaha beach with out a passport, this is my answer for you. Never denegrate the sacrifice made by the French.

Dieu le Roy,
Brantigny

One last thing, I served 5 enlistments, one for me and four for four others who didn't go, (but talk alot now.)

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