As we celebrate yet another anniversary of the tremendous Allied victory of June 6, 1944, or D-Day, let us take a closer look at the role played by German command decisions as one element in enabling the Allied establishment of a lodgment in France. From the beginning, Germany's approach to defending against an Allied liberation of Western Europe was overshadowed by the war waged in Eastern Europe. In particular an early focus of the Wehrmacht's defensive efforts revolved around preventing special operations conducted primarily by the British.
The USS Laffey is best remembered today as the "ship that would not die" - this moniker given after the 2,200 ton destroyer survived five kamikaze and four bomb strikes that caused 103 casualties, from a crew of 336, all while the ship was on picket duty off Okinawa in the spring of 1945. However, what also must be remembered is that the USS Laffey, launched in 1943, is also the sole surviving World War era US Navy destroyer to have participated in the epic Battle for the Atlantic fought between the Allies and Nazi Germany.
Australian and New Zealand warships clearing World War II era munitions from the harbor at Rabaul have found what is believed to be a Japanese midget submarine. The wreck was found sitting upright on the sandy bottom at 180 feet underwater. Rabaul was one of the most important Japanese Naval bases during the War, and the site of sharp combat in January 1942 - when Japanese forces seized the harbor and associated military installations from Australian forces.
An actual Second World War Enigma machine, used by Germany to encode its communications, was auctioned by Christie's on September 29, 2011. An electro-mechanical rotor cipher machine used to encrpyt and decrypt messages the Enigma was thought to be unbreakable, but of course it was not.
One of the great Allied advantages of the war was their ability to regularly intercept and read otherwise encoded German communications.