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The current time is: 10/17/2017 10:08:42 PM
 (1939-1945) WWII Battles    
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brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Moderator


Posts: 1303

The Dartmouth Monument
Posted on: 6/4/2017 8:12:37 PM
A bit of a brouhaha is – if not actually threatening – being stirred up over a memorial to US D-Day troops being unveiled in Dartmouth, Devon, on June 5. [Read More]

The photo in the article shows the memorial wrapped in pre-unveiling tape, so some may have trouble reading the inscription. From what I can tell, it reads as follows:

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA HONORS THE
COURAGE, SACRIFICE AND ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE
AMERICAN ARMED FORCES WHO, WITH THEIR
ALLIED COMRADES, PREPARED FOR AND LAUNCHED
THE LIBERATION OF EUROPE FROM THESE SHORES.
EMBATTLED IN THE FACE OF NAZI TYRANNY, GREAT
BRITAIN BECAME A STURDY PLATFORM AS THE ALLIES
CARRIED THE FIGHT TO THE ENEMY, LANDING IN
FRANCE ON 6 JUNE 1944. HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS
OF AMERICANS AND MILLIONS OF TONS OF SUPPLIES
MOVED THROUGH GREAT BRITAIN AS THE UNITED
STATES AND ITS ALLIES DEFENDED THE ISLAND,
TRAINED AND PREPARED, AND THEN WENT OVER TO
THE OFFENSIVE. THE ALLIES FORGED AHEAD WITH
EVER INCREASING STRENGTH AND CONFIDENCE,
SECURING THE BLESSINGS OF FREEDOM AND
LIBERTY FOR GENERATIONS YET UNBORN.

THIS MEMORIAL FURTHER COMMEMORATES THE
ENDURING BONDS BETWEEN THE UNITED
KINGDOM AND THE UNITED STATES, AND THEIR
SHARED SACRIFICES DURING PEACE AND WAR
SERVINNG THE CAUSE OF JUSTICE.


AMERICAN BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION
2017

I'm not sure I agree with the Mr Cranmer on his complaint.

True, the inscription can be read to suggest this was largely a US invasion, but IMHO you'd have to work pretty hard to see this as a deliberate insult or slight.

The monument is, after all, being erected in the US D-Day zone, in the West Country. It is being erected as a monument to US troops. It is being erected by the US Battle Monuments Commission. And it has been cleared for wording by both British and American governments. Could it have been more generous? More inclusive. Sure. Need it have been? I'm not sure, but in general I don't think so.

Thoughts?

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5286

Re: The Dartmouth Monument
Posted on: 6/4/2017 8:56:21 PM
Brian, I think that the statement could have been more concise and yes, more generous in spirit to those allies who had been resisting the Germans since 1939, if it was necessary to be inclusive at all.

I just find it awkwardly worded and verbose, but essentially correct.

The allies are referenced but if this was a statement about American soldiers then we could ask whether it was necessary at all.

Perhaps a simple statement that US soldiers crossed the sea to join with the allied nations who were fighting the Germans would have sufficed.

What was the purpose of describing the tons of equipment that moved through the UK? If the statement was about the brave American soldiers, then the reference to equipment and indirectly to Lend Lease, was unnecessary.

The statement could have been tighter and more clearly have placed the emphasis on the soldiers themselves.


Cheers,

George

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3296

Re: The Dartmouth Monument
Posted on: 6/5/2017 2:28:16 AM
 The wording is very consistent with that used at the U.S. cemeteries overseas. My only surprise is that the monument is being unveiled at so late a date; hardly any veterans of that era are left to view it.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5286

Re: The Dartmouth Monument
Posted on: 6/5/2017 5:45:37 AM
BW, there was a project here in Canada to erect a monument on our east coast, in a National Park, to commemorate our WW1 soldiers.

There has been a revival of interest in our military and some conflict between those who want Canada to be seen as a peace making country rather than a war making country.

The project included a statue that would mimic the Vimy Memorial with the "Canada Mother Bereft" copied.

But it has gone nowhere.

I mentioned the one conflict but the project was also pushed by the Conservatives who had fallen into disfavour. And others wondered what it was doing in a National Park.

We don't do monuments very well in this country. It takes quite a bit of initiative to get something like that off the ground.

Re: Dartmouth. You said that the wording was consistent with other monuments. Are they all so wordy?
I think that even I could have tightened it up a bit. Say more with less perhaps.


Cheers,

George

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Moderator


Posts: 1303

Re: The Dartmouth Monument
Posted on: 6/5/2017 9:32:04 PM

Quote:
The wording is very consistent with that used at the U.S. cemeteries overseas.

Bill, interesting comment. Are you talking only about ETO monuments from WW2, or would the same apply in other theatres or in other wars? To my shame, I know too little about US battle monuments. But I don't think this memorial was designed for or placed at a US Forces Cemetery, but was simply in memory of this part of England which was home to so many US troops in the time leading up to D-Day. Would that make any difference to the wording or to the response?


Quote:
My only surprise is that the monument is being unveiled at so late a date; hardly any veterans of that era are left to view it.

Were it a memorial at a cemetery, I would agree. If it is simply a monument to US presence in the region, that might be different.. For lots of very good reasons, there were huge issues between US troops and indigenous Devon folk. The forced evacuation of huge swaths of the region, with the subsequent destruction of ancient villages, to provide training grounds was such an issue. Maybe the lateness of this memorial has something to do with the memories of those who lost their homes, livelihoods and way of life. I don't know. Maybe the lateness has something to do with the huge losses of US troops just prior to D-Day, when E-Boats got a chance at LSTs laden with troops under training. I dont' know.

I'll admit to seeing few US memorials in Britain. But I did run into an odd one the last time I was there (in 2014?). I've been looking for my pix of it. It was, IIRC, linked to a church and included something like " ... US TROOPS WORSHIPPED HERE DURING THE GREAT WAR, 1942-1945 ..." No luck in finding that shot as yet.

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3296

Re: The Dartmouth Monument
Posted on: 6/22/2017 12:23:00 PM
Bill, interesting comment. Are you talking only about ETO monuments from WW2, or would the same apply in other theatres or in other wars? To my shame, I know too little about US battle monuments. But I don't think this memorial was designed for or placed at a US Forces Cemetery, but was simply in memory of this part of England which was home to so many US troops in the time leading up to D-Day. Would that make any difference to the wording or to the response?

 Best perhaps if you judge for yourself. Following is text found at the Luxembourg American Cemetery.


Quote:
1941 — 1945 ☆☆ IN PROUD REMEMBRANCE OF THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF HER SONS AND IN HUMBLE TRIBUTE TO THEIR SACRIFICES THIS MEMORIAL HAS BEEN ERECTED BY THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.


Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

MikeMeech
UK
top 30
E-5 Sergeant
Posts: 303

Re: The Dartmouth Monument
Posted on: 6/22/2017 5:28:02 PM

Quote:

Quote:
The wording is very consistent with that used at the U.S. cemeteries overseas.

Bill, interesting comment. Are you talking only about ETO monuments from WW2, or would the same apply in other theatres or in other wars? To my shame, I know too little about US battle monuments. But I don't think this memorial was designed for or placed at a US Forces Cemetery, but was simply in memory of this part of England which was home to so many US troops in the time leading up to D-Day. Would that make any difference to the wording or to the response?


Quote:
My only surprise is that the monument is being unveiled at so late a date; hardly any veterans of that era are left to view it.

Were it a memorial at a cemetery, I would agree. If it is simply a monument to US presence in the region, that might be different.. For lots of very good reasons, there were huge issues between US troops and indigenous Devon folk. The forced evacuation of huge swaths of the region, with the subsequent destruction of ancient villages, to provide training grounds was such an issue. Maybe the lateness of this memorial has something to do with the memories of those who lost their homes, livelihoods and way of life. I don't know. Maybe the lateness has something to do with the huge losses of US troops just prior to D-Day, when E-Boats got a chance at LSTs laden with troops under training. I dont' know.

I'll admit to seeing few US memorials in Britain. But I did run into an odd one the last time I was there (in 2014?). I've been looking for my pix of it. It was, IIRC, linked to a church and included something like " ... US TROOPS WORSHIPPED HERE DURING THE GREAT WAR, 1942-1945 ..." No luck in finding that shot as yet.

Cheers
Brian G

--brian grafton


Hi

I think you will find there are quite a few US memorials in Britain, many have been there a long time. Examples include: The US Army 14th Port memorial plaque that was added to the Mayflower Memorial in Southampton, it is a tribute to the more than two million Americans that shipped through Southampton to France. The unit itself received the 'Freedom of Southampton' in March 1946 when they marched through the streets with bayonets fixed and drums beating. You can find various memorial plaques etc. all along the south coast, sometimes near the 'Hards' that they boarded landing craft from. There are other memorials to USAAF units particularly in East Anglia, for example the 100th Bomb Group Memorial near Thorpe Abbots aerodrome east of Diss.
There are plenty of other examples from all different periods since the war.

Mike

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Moderator


Posts: 1303

Re: The Dartmouth Monument
Posted on: 6/22/2017 8:43:54 PM


Quote:
1941 — 1945 ☆☆ IN PROUD REMEMBRANCE OF THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF HER SONS AND IN HUMBLE TRIBUTE TO THEIR SACRIFICES THIS MEMORIAL HAS BEEN ERECTED BY THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

Bill,
That is beautiful: elegant, honest, evocative. I'll be honest. I see it as in a different league than the Dartmouth Monument.

I found the photo of the other plaque I found regarding US services. Haven't figured out how to "do" photos, but the copy reads (in Caps, but better rendered in upper and lower case:

In this Chapel the Armed Forces
of the United States of America
held Divine Service during the
Great War of 1939 to 1945
and gave thanks to God
for the Victory of the Allies

Looking at this, I might suggest it was not erected by any official US group, but perhaps by the congregation of a rather "high" C of E church. Just the use of 1939-1945 takes it a step from the US, IMHO.

Mike, thanks for you comments. I'll be honest, other than to see the Sutton Hoo site I can't imagine being drawn to tour the Fenlands, Mighty Eighth or no Mighty Eighth!

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3296

Re: The Dartmouth Monument
Posted on: 6/23/2017 12:22:29 AM
I see it as in a different league than the Dartmouth Monument.

 I find the tone similar. If you look up the Luxembourg Cemetery on the web, there is a document that has further quotes from various text in the cemetery. The text regarding the history of the NW Europe campaign has similarities to what you quoted, as does a statement by Eisenhower that is also featured at the Luxembourg Cemetery.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

 (1939-1945) WWII Battles    
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