Guns of the Silver Screen: V23N3

By Kyle Shea

The Guns of “Overlord”

On June 5, 1944, Nazi Germany was in control of most of France. The French people lived in fear of the brutal German soldiers who occupied their country. But there was hope. The French Resistance, also known as the Maquis, caused the Germans endless setbacks. In the east, millions of Soviet soldiers prepared to charge across Eastern Europe, drawing large numbers of German resources to the Eastern Front. In the south, Italy had switched sides, and the Germans found themselves in a second front against American and English soldiers. Finally, across the English Channel, a powerful force created German Chancellor Adolf Hitler’s worst nightmare: a Third Front.

In England, an alliance including the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, Poland and other nations amassed a large military force and were prepared to launch a great offensive to liberate Western Europe. While the German command was distracted by a fake army miles away, thousands of Marines, paratroopers, pilots, other soldiers and equipment were prepared for battle. The date for the offensive was supposed to have happened on June 5, but the weather forced them to change it to the next day. So on June 6, 1944, one of the greatest invasions in history began. Just after midnight, thousands of American, British and Canadian paratroopers landed across northern France, causing chaos for the Germans stationed there. This was D-Day, the first day of Operation Overlord. This was a campaign to invade Fortress Europe, liberate northern France and open the door to enter the heart of Nazi Germany. On August 24, American and French soldiers entered Paris. “Operation Overlord” officially ended on August 30, with Canadian troops entering Rouen to cheering crowds.

On November 9, 2018, “Overlord” was released in the United States. The movie tells the fictional story of a group of American paratroopers dropped behind German lines on D-Day. They stumble upon a secret German facility experimenting on human beings with a strange serum. The film was produced by J. J. Abrams and stars Jovan Adepo from the new “Star Wars” movies and...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V23N3 (March 2019)
and was posted online on February 1, 2019


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