What Do You Want Me To Do? Go Out And Measure The Holes With A Ruler?

On 5 June 1944, the German C-in-C for the Western front (Oberfeldshaber West usually abbreviated to OB West) signalled to all subordinate commands and to German Armed Forces High Command: “as yet there is no immediate prospect of invasion.”

The Allied landings at Normandy commenced at dawn on the next day, 6 June 1944 – D-Day.

Early on the morning of 6 June 1944, the BBC French Service begin to broadcast to the people of coastal France:

“This is London calling. I bring you an urgent instruction from the Supreme Commander … the lives of many of you depend upon the speed … with which you obey it … leave your towns at once … get as quickly as possible into open country …”

Dawn 6 June 1944.  The following is from The Longest Day: The Classic Epic of D-Day by Cornelius Ryan. Although this book is quite dated, some of the personal interviews the author conducted and wrote about are priceless including this one based on a personal interview with Major Pluskat after the war.

From his bunker overlooking Omaha Beach Major Pluskat rings through to division HQ:

“It’s the invasion! There must be ten thousand ships out here!”

Division HQ: “Which way are the ships headed?”

Pluskat: “Right for me!”

Division to Pluskat several minutes later: “What’s the situation?”

“We’re being shelled!”

“Exact location of shelling?”

“For God’s sake, they’re falling all over. What do you want me to do? Go out and measure the holes with a ruler?”