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D-Day and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

May 1944 Southern England 2,876,000 Allied troops, 4,000 American, British, and Canadian ships, and more than 1,200 planes lay in wait while enduring what had become perhaps the wettest month in the History of the island.

If like me and you are anywhere between sixty and eighty years of age, the chances are that your father was part of this rain-soaked contingent of courageous men, most of who had no idea what lay ahead.

The embarkation date June 4th finally arrived, everyone clambered up the rope ladders onto their waiting troop carriers.

It was as one trooper called it “organised chaos,” furthermore the rain was falling in torrents, and all once onboard endure incredible sea swells, lifting the carriers at times completely out of the churning sea.

The upper decks although cold was the best place to be, those confined below decks were not faring well, the stench was disgusting and the mood, although lifted at times by the song of a comrade, was not in the best of shape.

They would all suffer in silence for many hours, then, just as they became somewhat accustomed to these hideous conditions all were dragged back to above decks and sent back to their units landslide, where they would all return to the drudgery of waiting for who knows what.

As we now know, the original staging date was postponed due to bad weather; they would have to wait for another 48 hours.

June 6th midnight, “D Day”.

In the darkness, once again the young troops made their way to there designated troopship. By the end of the day, a day to be named as “the longest day,” 209,000 of them would be either dead, missing or injured. Furthermore, a further 16,714 allied airforce personnel would also perish. In all, a total of 425,000 allied and German troops would be either dead, wounded or missing.

The seas of Normandy on that day turned a bloody crimson; it was a hell on earth, etched into the minds of all involved.

It would take until June 21st a full 15 days later to link all five landing zones, Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword. Many more would perish some of them as young as 18 years of age, who just six months ago were still in school.

Authors note: If you know someone who you believe is suffering from Post-traumatic stress disorder or as it is sometimes known as PTSD you can find a list of organisations which specialize in the treatment of this chronic disorder, just follow the link below.

Steve Simmonds

Credits: Originally written by Steve Simmonds for our sister website below.

D Day Remembrance Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatment.


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