It was 69 years ago today. The largest single military armada in history departed England for the shores of France. The Allied military coalition, unprecedented in the annals of recorded history, initiated the catalytic punch that would ultimately bring Nazi Germany to an end.
The Soviets were pushing the Nazis hard and making great strides in their campaigns to the east. Deutschland’s Wehrmacht infantry and armor were doing everything they could to keep the Russians from cascading into the Fatherland. The Soviet resources — soldiers, tanks, cannon and planes — were being consumed at a frightening rate each day.
The Germans still had Europe embraced in a giant fortress. They were still producing armaments and fuel. They could still keep most of their population fed, but at a great cost to the vanquished. They still had the ability to fight and resist.
Until June 5th.
In the greatest story of collaboration, cooperation, sharing and trust, the Allied forces launched Operation Overlord. At dawn on Tuesday, June 6th, 1944, the German Thousand Year Reich would be disrupted. It would take nearly a year for the armies to sweep in from the west and east to close the vise on Hitler, but the hammer of D-Day began the finish of Nazi rule.
As the Allies rolled over Europe, reaping destruction and raining devastation from the skies, the disruption of war would lead to the modernization and reintegration of European leadership. The change and evolution of modern Europe rolled onto the beaches of Normandy 69 years ago tomorrow.
Disruption has many facets. How you look at change makes a difference in how you act and react to change. Like a diamond, as you twist and turn it in the light, change reveals beauty, rarity, flaws and fire.
I’ve often wondered how the Germans viewed June 5th. Was it just another Monday? Or did some recognize the eve of disruption?