Good morning, patriots, bikers and Second Amendment supporters. I am saddened today as I write this blog post. The news is beyond depressing almost every single day. The Mainstream Media (MSM) is fighting constantly to diminish President Trump’s achievements and put him in a negative light. The #CreepyUncleJoeBiden – #KneelingKamala DemonRat ticket is flip-flopping constantly on issues based on what their polling data finds. Donald Trump stands committed to everything he has always stood for – and most importantly in these trying times – LAW & ORDER.
Police are under attack
The news this morning was especially depressing. Two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies were shot in their cruiser while parked outside of a mass transit station. As the Los Angeles Times’ video shows, the thug literally walked up to the squad car and shoots the two deputies at close range. It is being reported that they were both shot in the head and are in critical condition at an area hospital. One of the wounded officers was a 31 year old mother and the other was a 24 year old male law enforcement officer. Both were new to the sheriff’s office. I pray, that these two LEOs will recover – but inevitably they will never be the same.
Needless to say, this is pure #Anarchy and pure lawlessness. Our country has never seen this level of Godless behavior in the past. To say this is a result of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests over the George Floyd death is asinine. This is a #Leftist #Socialist plan to dismantle American institutions including voting, law & order, justice, personal property rights – and one’s own well being. I, for one, am sickened by this! And. It. Must. Stop!
If Not Me, Who?
Today, in many cities, counties and liberal states, the police have been neutered. They are facing unprecedented riots and have essentially been told to stand down. They are being spit on, sucker punched and shot by roaming mobs of domestic terrorists who – because they believe they are above the law – have no fear of prosecution. And while I originally believed these assnozzles wore masks to protect their soy boy faces, it is apparent that they are doing so to protect their identities from the ever present cameras which are linked to facial recognition software.
Today, the Democratic Platform is changing as polling numbers indicate that low-income and minority voting blocks do not condone the behavior of #BLM and #Antifa terrorists in their communities. They do not believe just #BlackLivesMatter – they believe #BlueLivesMatter and #AllLivesMatter.
Because President Trump believes law and order is a critical cornerstone of freedom in these United States, he responded to the shooting of the L.A. County sheriff’s office deputies immediately on Twitter – and it would have been posted more quickly if he hadn’t been flying to Nevada for a campaign rally:
But last night, after the shootings, things were much different in the Biden-Harris camp. There was nothing but crickets regarding any Twitter response to these shootings. They were obviously both sound asleep – or most likely – they were waiting on internal polling to determine what their response would be. This is not leadership. This is pure weakness. They do not represent the American electorate. They are only hungry for power. And to continue on with Barack Obama’s desire to fundamentally change America and engrain the New World Order (NWO) into the fabric of our country. So, after more than 12 hours had elapsed since the deputies were shot, their responses to the tragedy both came out nearly simultaneously:
America does not need these two elected to the two highest offices in our land. We need steady, firm-handed leadership like that which Donald Trump has given us.
Donald Trump will take back our streets, cities, counties and states the correct way – with strong law enforcement. Because these #leftist #Utopian #Enclaves will not act, patriots are pushing back as shown in these two photos:
So, Americans, what are you going to do? Are you going to vote for a law & order president and reelect Trump/Pence – or are you going to vote for the waffling ticket of Biden/Harris which believes America is fundamentally flawed and want to introduce a New World Order? The differences between these two could not be more stark. America must stand strong and take our streets back. Otherwise patriots like us will have to do as Thomas Jefferson famously stated: “The tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” If the election of Biden-Harris is our lot, you can bet that I will put my blood on the line to refresh the Tree of Liberty. Will you?
Tennessee is known for great motorcycle adventure roads. Starting anywhere east of the Tennessee River, this state gets more pronounced hills until you reach the Cumberland Plateau – east of Cookeville. Going east from the plateau you quickly make your way into the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains – and there you get more grins per mile than perhaps anywhere in the continental United States. And while the Smoky Mountains are a major travel destination, for bikers, there is one motorcycle road on the Cumberland Plateau which is not as well known as the Tail of the Dragon and the Foothills Parkway – The Devil’s Triangle.
Getting to the Devil’s Triangle
The Devil’s Triangle is made up of Tennessee Highways 116, 62 and 330.
If you are coming from Nashville, you will want to take I-40 East to Monterey, Exit 300. Ride into Monterey and turn right on Hwy 62. Stay on Hwy 62 for approximately 50 miles until you reach Hwy 116 – which you turn left on to start your ride of the Devil’s Triangle.
If you are coming from Knoxville, or the Smoky Mountains, take I-40 west to exit 376-A and turn right on Pellissippi Parkway (TN Hwy 162). Follow signs to Hwy 62 and continue heading northwest, through Oak Ridge, to Oliver Springs. In Oliver Springs turn right on Hwy 330, taking it approximately nine miles to Hwy 116 where you will turn left to start your Devil’s Triangle adventure.
Riding the Devil’s Triangle
While the actual triangle includes three highways, 116 is the REAL deal. Highways 330 and 62 form the base of the triangle and are fairly mundane. The left and right legs of the triangle are formed by 116 and to say it’s a gnarly, hairy, monster of an adventure road is an understatement. It is highly technical – and dangerous. Why is it dangerous? Well, let the Grey Beard Biker tell you. This is an old mining road. It is nestled along steep cliffs and rock walls. Today, large logging trucks still navigate the road. It is perched along spines of low mountains on the Cumberland Plateau. Because this section of highway doesn’t connect any major villages or cities, it is not well maintained. You will often find sections of road which are crumbling on the cliff-side or gravel washed across the road – many times in the middle of blind curves.
You can actually ride the Devil’s Triangle in either a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction. If you are not a highly experienced rider, I recommend only riding this road in the clockwise direction. Going this direction, you will approach the four tight switchback curves on the eastern leg, from the outside, going downhill, making the hairpins easier to navigate. This is critical, because from the other counter-clockwise direction, these nasty curves gain 25-40 foot of elevation change in a matter of 25-30 yards. Many a self proclaimed experienced rider has taken these switchbacks in the wrong gear and tumbled down with their bike to the entrance of the curve. And I will also tell you this, having ridden in the mountains for many years, these switchbacks are unlike any you will find east of the Mississippi River. They literally curve back against themselves.
WARNING: make sure you are looking all the way through the switchbacks when going counter-clockwise!
Unlike the Tail of the Dragon, the Devil’s Triangle will actually give you some periodic breaks in the white knuckled, adrenaline filled, ass puckering excitement. And believe me, your numb hands will appreciate it. But don’t let these breaks lull you into complacency. Many of the curves you will encounter in these sections are of reducing radius. If you enter them too fast, your speed may well carry you through the curve and off the road. And because this area is largely unpopulated, another vehicle may not come by for a very long time. If you are unfortunate enough to go off the road, and need medical attention, you are going to be in a very bad bind as there is also no cellular coverage in the area for your mobile phone.
While the eastern leg of 116 is the most exciting, the western leg is also very technical on the lower 1/3. And while the switchbacks are not as unforgiving as eastern leg’s, there are plenty of them to provide you ear-to-ear grins.
Finally, do not forget to stop at the historic Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary, on the western leg. This historic prison housed James Earl Ray, the convicted assassin of Martin Luther King, Jr. Closed in 2009, it now has a great little restaurant and you can tour the prison daily. Additionally, there are several little general stores along Hwy 116 that are worth stopping at. The people are all friendly and it will give you a chance to have your heart-rate slow.
Until next time, bikers and patriots, keep the shiny side up, master trigger control and ride often! Grey Beard Biker signing off!
Good day fellow bikers, patriots and lovers of freedom! Hopefully you are getting plenty of wind-therapy and perhaps some time shooting and enjoying the smell of cordite! It is hard to believe July 2020 is in the history books and today is the first day of August. Not that I can really tell, it has felt like August since the last week of June. Today, I want to dive into what you can expect if it is necessary for you to use lethal force on a shitbag.
I hope you never find yourself in the terrible predicament where you need to defend yourself – with your firearm. You may be at home, you may be out on a dinner date or you may be at the gas station filling your bike with high-test gasoline. And things go quickly out of control. You pull your pistol from its holster and command the thug to halt what he’s doing. Maybe he’s pummeling your friend, holding you at knifepoint or charging at you with a pipe. Whatever he’s doing, you are in serious danger. You draw your concealed pistol, bring it to full ready and pull the trigger, hitting the scumbag square in the chest. He’s still coming so you put two more shots into center mass before your assailant goes to the ground.
Your life has now changed forever. At this point you need to call 9-1-1 immediately. When the police arrive they will inevitably approach you with their service pistols drawn and command you to the ground. You may well be thinking, “But I’m the good guy.” Unfortunately they have no idea what has happened up to this point. The only thing they know is that there is a guy on the ground, bleeding out, and you have a gun. Follow all instructions they give you. Explain that you feared for your life and you commanded the thug to cease what he was doing. Or, better yet, say nothing except that you want to speak to your attorney. You must understand that even if you did everything correctly, the police are going to consider you a criminal suspect at this time. Pretty scary, isn’t it?
If it can be demonstrated that you acted purely in self defense, you should have nothing to fear. But what factors are considered by the police, and more importantly, the prosecuting attorney’s office, on whether you are charged as a criminal or are quickly sent home with no threat of criminal prosecution?
** For more details on each of these five principles, click on the hyperlinks above. **
For each of these five items, you must be able to demonstrate – and prove – that you were in the right. If you fail to prove any single one of them, your argument for self-defense may well fail. The consequences of failure are immense – up to a very long incarceration in prison. This is why I always refer to firearms ownership as an immense responsibility.
Innocence seems pretty simple and straightforward. You were minding your own business and the scumbag came at you with a knife. But in order to be innocent, you cannot be viewed as the aggressor. More than likely there will be witnesses to the event. Will they corroborate what you said happened? Were you somewhere you were not legally allowed to be? Did you pursue the altercation? Did you take actions which sustained the incident? Was it a case of mutual combat (legal term)? Did any actions you take cause a small altercation to escalate?
Simply put, in order for your self-defense claim to be considered, there has to be an imminent threat of severe physical harm or death to you, or a third party you are protecting. If the dirtbag is 100 feet away from you threatening to beat you up – that would not be considered imminent enough for you to use deadly force. If he is threatening to go home and get all of his brothers, and come after you, that is not an imminent threat. If he is 18 feet away from you and has a knife pulled – that could well be an imminent threat that would allow you to use lethal force.
Proportionality is key to a self-defense claim. If you find yourself in a fist fight with a smaller guy, a proportional reaction would be to fight back with your fists. If you pull your sidearm and shoot the attacker, it would not be a proportional response. However, if you are being brutally attacked by a much larger man, and you are flat on your back being pummeled by his huge fists, you may well be able to use your gun to end the attack.
Could you have avoided using lethal force? While Tennessee is a “Stand Your Ground” state, could you have simply turned around and headed out the side door? Why allow a situation to deteriorate into a life changing event if it is not necessary?
If the police believe your actions were reasonable, given all of the circumstances, you are most likely going to be cut loose quickly. However, if they have any questions regarding whether your actions were reasonable you may very well find yourself in legal jeopardy. If it escalates to the district attorney, there will be an entire set of litmus tests regarding whether you acted as a reasonable person would have, given all of the circumstances.
I encourage you to take time and read each of the hyperlinked articles, above, as they provide much more detailed information on the five key components to a successful self-defense claim.
Until next time, keep the shiny side up, carry your club when you leave your cave and shoot straight!
Good afternoon bikers, patriots and Second Amendment supporters. I hope your week is off to a good start. But where do the weekends go? I was able to get about 300 miles in over the weekend, but it was hot and humid here. In fact, sultry probably describes it best. This Thursday I will be heading to the Smoky Mountains with a group of buddies to ride. I will work on a destination blog post when I get back.
In an article my article on Home Defense Basics, this past week, I promised to provide some additional information on Castle Doctrine. This article really could be a companion to that post as Castle Doctrine definitely ties to defending one’s home – or castle. Castle doctrine tends to be fairly similar from state to state, but some states are much more restrictive or have no Castle Doctrine provisions. Additionally, your state may allow you to not only protect yourself with deadly force while in your home, but also if you are in your vehicle, garage, car, hotel, motorcycle or even at work. But there are limitations:
Common Castle Doctrine Limitations:
Anyone that lives in the residence would be excluded from Castle Doctrine
A spouse or significant other would be excluded from Castle Doctrine
You may be in legal jeopardy if you shoot someone who is trying to flee the house after encountering them
We will review each state individually, but it might be good to review a case in which the castle doctrine defense was not allowed and the home owner was convicted.
Byron David Smith
Byron David Smith was a resident of Little Falls, Minnesota. He had become alarmed about a rash of break ins and robberies in his neighborhood and had experienced it at his residence. In order to lure the criminals into his house, he parked his car down the street so it would appear he was not home. The bait was offered and on Thanksgiving 2012 two teens broke into his home through a window. Smith had barricaded himself in his basement and was armed with a Ruger Mini-14 and a small caliber revolver. The first teen, Nick Brady came down the basement stairs and was shot three times with the Ruger Mini-14. The third shot was a lethal shot to the head. The second teen, Haily Kifer, would come down the stairs several minutes later. Smith shot her six times with the final shot being taken nearly at point blank range, under the chin and into her head. Smith did not call 9-11 but his neighbor did after Smith told him he solved the robbery problem.
He was arrested and booked on first degree murder charges. A jury of twelve convicted him of two premeditated murder charges and he will spend the rest of his natural life in prison. The unanimous verdict was largely driven by him moving his car from his home which they considered to be premeditated.
I am not an attorney. And I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. Nothing in this blog post should be construed as legal advice. I recommend you speak with an attorney if you have questions about Castle Doctrine.
Until next time, keep the shiny side up, your knees in the wind and carry often!
Greetings and salutations bikers, Second Amendment advocates, Patriots and God Fearing Americans! Unless you live under a rock – or a bunker in the mountains – you are aware of the #Marxist #Anarchists taking to the streets of America. These assnozzles do not care about your safety or your personal property. While they have typically stayed in the downtown urban areas of our larger cities, there have been cases of them wandering into neighborhoods to create chaos and fear. While it is unlikely you will ever experience a Black Lives Matter (#BLM) or #Antifa riot near your castle, you may well experience a home invasion or robbery. Have you done all the things you can do to protect yourself and your home? There are plenty of things everyone should do to secure their bunker.
Firearms are not your only protection
Secure your home with the simple things first. Use your firearms only as a last resort.
Make sure all of your windows are locked – especially those on the ground floor
If you have sliding glass doors, use a heavy doll rod, cut to proper length, in the lower channel of the sliding glass door to prevent it from being forced open
If you don’t already have them, install commercial grade deadbolt locks on all exterior doors (the deadbolt locks sold by big box hardware stores are not commercial grade)
Install adequate security lighting around your home’s exterior – most bad guys prefer to work in the dark
Invest in a canned-air horn, like what is used by pleasure boaters (a couple of quick blasts of one of these horns will probably scare a home intruder away)
If you do not have a home alarm system, consider having one installed. Besides securing your home more completely, you may also save a fairly significant amount of cash on your homeowner’s insurance
Once your home is secure, you need to consider your home defense plan in the event a bad guy is inside. The most important thing is for your family to come together in one place. My house is a two story structure with all of the bedrooms on one level. The meeting place, if I had other people living here, would the master bedroom. By having everyone assemble in one location, in the event of an emergency, a headcount can be quickly taken – insuring that everyone is accounted for. Once everyone is accounted for, barricade your family in the room. I have a dresser I can slide in front of the doors. Call 9-1-1. Remember, there is no need to search out danger. Stay put and protect your family.
Now that my children are adults, and are out of the house, I keep a pistol on my night stand beside my bed (cocked and locked with one in the pipe), an AR-15 with 208 grain subsonic loads next to my nightstand (cocked and locked with one in the pipe and 30 extras in the magazine) and a loaded shotgun under the bed. There are other pistols in a small gun safe in my master bedroom closet. But is a pistol the best choice for protecting yourself, and your family, within your home? My suggestion is to consider having a shotgun close by. Once you’re barricaded in your family’s gathering area, there is nothing that will cause the bad guy to turn and run like the sound of a shotgun being cycled. If you have done your job, up to this point, when the shit bag is trying to get through your barricade, he may well have an epiphany when he hears you cycle a round into the chamber of your shotgun. At this point, he may just turn tail and run into the police, who you recently called.
There has been a lot of debate about what type of load you should use in a shotgun for home defense. I prefer something with a lot of pellets for the first couple of rounds. #6 or #7.5 shot is a perfect choice. In the heat-of-the-moment, if you were to need to engage a bad guy, there is plenty of energy in this type of load to quickly stop an intruder and give them second thoughts about staying around. From close range it is quite lethal and the blast pattern is effective. But, in the event that this does not stop the bad guy, the last couple of shells in my shotgun are #00 buckshot. If it gets to this point, one of these rounds will stop the most strung out zombie in its tracks. And in the event that it is an actual zombie apocalypse, I still have my trusty AR-15 nearby.
In summary, have a plan for you and your family. Make sure all of your family members know where the gathering place is in the event of a break in. Once all of your family members are sheltered together, call 9-1-1. Give a couple of blasts on your canned-air horn. Do not search out the bad guy – let him come to you. Practice your plan a couple of times each year so your family instinctively follows the plan.
My next blog post will take this article as step further with a discussion of what you need to know about the realities of Castle Doctrine – there are some limitations. Don’t miss it.
Until we chat again, keep the shiny side to the sun and never leave your cave without your club – you know no smart caveman would ever do such a thing!
This is an exclusive Grey Beard Biker opinion piece. All opinions are his and his only. If you do not agree with them, please hop on your girly Honda Grom and motor away. – GBB
What the hell is going on with the America I grew up in? I mean, really? The shit we are seeing today is beyond unprecedented. It would literally be unfathomable, a scant seven months ago. And I am beyond pissed off. I am seriously pissed off. And all proud Americans should feel the same way I do. We are losing our identity so quickly I actually wonder if this proud republic will ever look the same. Our current state of affairs is not what our Founding Fathers envisioned when they drew up the Declaration of Independence 244 years ago. Many of them are probably rolling over in the graves right now thinking WTF?
A Brief History of 2020 – So Far
Here we are six months into a new decade. The things we have witnessed this year are unique, to say the least:
An illegitimate presidential impeachment
A worldwide pandemic
Total anarchy in the streets of America
Friends, bikers and fellow patriots, you just cannot make this shit up. And I have a lot of opinions on why it’s happening. And you know me, I am about to share the full skinny with you. And it ain’t the least bit pretty,. Consider this post as being unsuitable for children, soy boys or little girls who can easily get their panties in a bunch. It will definitely melt the #snowflakes.
This entire year has been a well planned cabal to remove a legitimately elected president from office. Before the 2016 general election was finalized, the electoral college electors cast their votes and Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president, the #Leftists were calling for his impeachment. Coincidence? Hell no. They knew they were beat as soon as Wisconsin was called for DJT. So, let’s look at these three seemingly disconnected events from 2020.
The Impeachment of Donald John Trump
When representatives Nadler and Schiff, with Speaker Pelosi, drew up articles of impeachment, they obviously had a desired outcome. They wanted to remove a duly elected president because they were ideologically opposed to everything our president stood for. Hell, representative Maxine Waters has been calling for Trump’s impeachment since Trump won the election in November 2016. Let’s take a look at the many things the Democrats have made into scandals:
James Comey firing
Obstruction of impeachment proceedings
Mishandling of Coronavirus
Obviously, #3 led to the drafting and eventual vote for the articles of impeachment. And now, they are still wanting to continue investigations into things they could use to impeach, or at least impugn, the character of Donald J. Trump ahead of the 2020 general election.
In what I prefer to call either the #CovidHoax or the #ChinaVirus, the Democrats believed they’d found the proverbial golden egg. In late December, while the House of Representatives were working on article of impeachment, word of Coronavirus was making its way around the globe. We knew people were dying in China but the entire picture of its severity was unknown.
In late January, Trump with input from his top advisors, announced a travel ban from flights originating in China. The left immediately latched on to this, calling him a xenophobe, and attempted to make another scandal out of it, saying it was a ploy to distract the American people from the impeachment. Nothing, of course, was further from the truth. He was trying to prevent unnecessarily bringing COVID-19 into the country. But, it did come.
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared Coronavirus a pandemic. Travel restrictions between European countries, China and the Middle East quickly were put in place. This was, of course, after major U.S. airlines had already canceled flights between China and the U.S. and the Federal government had placed restrictions on travel. Trump’s decisions proved prescient and necessary but the leftist socialists in congress still called him a xenophobe. And worse yet, they called his response to COVID late and unmeasured. Wait, how could this be? He wanted travel restrictions earlier. He had taken to the podium, during the impeachment proceedings, to warn Americans that COVID was a threat to the United States. But they cannot have it both fucking ways. Trump proved correct in everything he proposed and did.
Now, over six months into this “pandemic,” we know Coronavirus is dangerous. It is real. But it is blown totally out of proportion. Early predictions from the CDC and the WHO were way the hell off. At one point we were told 100 million Americans would be infected and millions would die. What a damn bunch of hooey. We now know that the WHO and China colluded on COVID – holding back the magnitude of the infection.
Today, we find our states rolling back phases to combat what we all hear are huge increases in diagnoses. This is playing into a narrative that the Leftists need. But what we do know now, unequivocally, is that while cases are going up, death rates and overall mortality rates are declining rapidly. Forcing masks on us, rolling back into stronger social distancing requirements and closing businesses will do nothing to shrink increases in COVID cases. Period. End. Of. The. Damn. Story.
For me, the #ChinaFlu hit so much closer to home. Through God’s loving Grace, I met a beautiful, caring, intelligent woman. Online, of all places. I never dreamed I would meet such an amazing gal online, but it happened. And to say I love her may well be the biggest understatement I could ever make. I fell in love with her. We had been making plans to meet for some time. The timing proved problematic for us. But we had hoped to be together over a month ago. And THEN it happened. She was diagnosed with the #WuhanVirus. So, yes, because this damn thing hit so close to home, I know it is real. And I am pissed off. So pissed off that I want to get a nonstop flight to China and throat punch the son of bitches responsible for bringing this thingy onto the world – and infecting my lifetime love. But she and I will persevere – I can guarantee this. #ChinaIsToBlame and #ChinaMustPay.
#BLM, #Anitifa and the dismantling of our values
The Leftists are always looking for a crisis or calamity to use for their desired outcomes. The most explosive crisis was delivered to them on a silver platter with the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. This was a tragic event. It was unnecessary. But it was the kindling the anti-American left needed to stoke a fire which had legs enough to engulf America in a cauldron of destruction.
Within days, the protests started. Black Lives Matter quickly joined forces with Antifa and rioted in the streets of major cities across the country including Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Atlanta and Nashville. Pallets of bricks and bottled water magically appeared. Lodging and food was provided for the anarchists. Everywhere, destruction was left in their wake. People were injured. People died. Businesses were torn apart – many of which will never open again. Innocent people are continuing to be blindly attacked and young black children are dying in places like Chicago and Atlanta. Statues of America’s Founding Fathers, abolitionists, war heroes, Abraham Lincoln and Confederate officers are being torn down. Flags are burning. Chaos is in places you’d never expect. And the goal of the anarchists? Not one of them is intelligent enough to tell you. The assnozzles obviously don’t even know what the fuck they want. And most of the protesters are inevitably clueless to the overarching desires of #BLM and #Antifa. They seem to be in it for a good time.
We Must Unite, We Must Do Our Duty as Patriots
The majority of you reading this are inevitably bikers, patriots and God-Fearing citizens of this great Republic. We all recognize what is going on. It is clear as the writing in this post. The Leftists are attempting to use anything they can to create fear. To create uncertainty. To create doubt. They want us to bend to their will. When the Russian collusion narrative failed, they looked for something else. It came in a now defunct narrative of Donald Trump colluding with Ukraine to undermine his political rivals. It led to a failed impeachment. Then the #ChinaFlu fell into their laps – during the impeachment proceedings. Yet another crisis which Donald Trump is responsible for. Fresh calls for congressional hearings. Now, we have the #AnarchyCrisis delivered to them with a pretty bow wrapped around it. The death of George Floyd is being used by them. What a damn gift it is. The hits keep rolling, patriots. But we can take control. We must take control.
Today, we have to commit to each other that we will fight all enemies foreign and domestic. The biggest threat to us are homegrown terrorists. We must use every available resource to call out the crimes and treason the Leftists are using to tear us apart. They want us to bleed. We must not ever let that happen. Go to Twitter, Facebook and Parler. Call them onto the carpet. Get involved in counter protesting. Don’t let the anarchists’ voices drown out the voices of Patriots. March on state capitols and demand they take their cities back. Write your state and local representatives and demand action. Tweet to @realDonaldTrump and urge him to send in the National Guards of the states where anarchy rules major cities. We either take our country back or lose it. The choice is ours.
Greetings fellow bikers and Patriots! I just got back two weeks ago from a fantastic ride through the North Georgia Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee. Over three days, I rode 950 miles of some of the most scenic country in the United States. Some of the major motorcycle routes I rode were GA Route 60 through the Suches area, the vaunted Moonshiner 28, the Blue Ridge Parkway and New Found Gap Road. These roads are all quite different, but one commonality on each route was that I was carrying concealed. I rarely leave home without a sidearm. And I mean rarely. In fact, I had my trusty SIG Sauer 1911 We The People on my side, with a spare seven-round magazine on my left side. That is 15 rounds of .45 ACP power! But carrying a concealed pistol in the summer – when the temperatures can cook an egg – can be uncomfortable.
During the summer months, you need to be cognizant of how you carry. When you are dressed in lighter weight clothing, it is much easier to have your firearm “print” through your clothing. While I have noticed a lot of people open carry over the past year, this is just not for me, as I do not want to become a target for someone wanting to score a new firearm. Plus, I firmly believe that surprise is the essence of self-defense. If you are open carrying, and you are unfortunate to be in the same place as a thug committing and armed robbery, you will be the first person the shit-bag aims at.
I am not a small guy at 6′ tall and 205 pounds. This allows me to typically carry outside-the-waist band (OWB). While I own several great inside-the-waistband (IWB) holsters, most notably Crossbreed Holsters Super Tucks, I typically wear tighter jeans when I am riding. Carrying OWB inevitably leads to its own set of issues as doing so makes your sidearm more likely to print through your clothing – especially given the fact that I prefer full-sized or commander sized pistols. That being said, I always wear shirts that would be a bit on the large size for my frame when I am carrying OWB. This helps to conceal my pistol, but because the shirt is a bit larger, it can make it more difficult to draw the pistol. If I decide to wear a shirt that is a bit tighter, I carry my compact SIG Sauer P365 SAS in a small OWB holster made by Crossbreed. It certainly is easier to conceal than my larger frame semi-autos but I also like to carry larger caliber pistols like my P226 SIG Sauer Legion and my P229 SIG.
My suggestion for you is to carry the pistol you are most comfortable with, in a holster that makes it comfortable to wear. The optimum rig would be an IWB holster as they make concealing your firearm easier. A lot of people I know also use an ankle or pocket holster. There are certainly some quality rigs for both type of carry, but neither works well for me. I find ankle holsters uncomfortable and pocket holsters only work for compact pistols which are not my preferred firearm since I do not shoot them as well as larger pistols. You, however, may find one, or the other, a very viable solution.
Know The Carry Laws Where You Travel
Traveling outside your home state can present a dilemma if you prefer to leave your humble abode with your pistol. Before any of my out-of-state trips, I always review the concealed carry laws for the states I will be traveling to. Because I travel to Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky and Virginia regularly, I know my Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit (HCP) is valid in each state. But if I were to venture into Maryland concealing a pistol, I would be subject to arrest and incarceration. If there is any chance that you may change your return ride mid-trip, make sure to check out the laws for each state. (Note: This author never recommends illegally carrying a firearm in states which do not have reciprocal reciprocity with your state. Doing so can result in arrest, expensive legal fees and incarceration.)
If you are planning a trip this summer, consider planning your ride to include only states you are legally allowed to carry in. This September, my beautiful lady and I are heading to The Race of Gentlemen in Wildwood. New Jersey. I definitely will not be carrying during this trip as New Jersey has some of the toughest gun laws in the U.S., and possessing a firearm there is a serious felony which inevitably would require time in their penal system. Something I am just not willing to risk. Some of these anti-gun states do allow you to carry an unloaded pistol, in a lockbox, but may only allow you to do so if you are not staying there – in other words – interstate travel.
Below is a map highlighting states Tennessee have reciprocal concealed carry arrangements with. The states in yellow are good. The states in brown are not so good. The states in black are plain evil and will not get any of my business on long trips on two wheels.
If you are going to conceal carry, carry your pistol in a rig which is comfortable for you. If you are traveling this summer, you should consider only going to states you can legally carry in with routes that take you through states that honor your right to self-protection.
Until next time, brothers, sisters and Patriots, keep the shiny side up, carry often and live like there is no tomorrow.
This is an exclusive Grey Beard Biker opinion piece. All opinions are his and his only. If you do not agree with them, please hop on your girly Honda Grom and motor away. – GBB
I have been suffering from writer’s block recently. It’s not that I don’t have opinions on things or have plenty to say. It’s because, as my beautiful gal in North Carolina says, “everything is rinsed and recycled!” My true love is definitely one damn smart lady – and pretty too. But that is another topic. So this morning, I was thinking about what I could bloviate on in a blog post. I could not think of a damn thing. #Antifa, #BlackLivesMatter, #COVID19, #BlueLivesMatter, #Anarchy – blah, blah, blah! I have absolutely nothing to say on any of these topics right now which haven’t already been beat into the damn ground.
But then, I thought about America. What America is to me. What I miss about our country – the greatest country on the face of the earth. The things which are not happening today with the re-tightening of COVID-19 lockdowns. There are so many things which are not happening today which really are part of the fabric of this great republic. Things which are unique to the America we all love. Things we do which sets us apart from any other country on the face of the planet. Let’s look at a few.
Major League Baseball
You inevitably do not know this about me. Your favorite Grey Beard Biker grew up playing baseball. From Little League through high school and then adult hardball. I was a catcher from the beginning, always wanting to be involved in nearly every play, calling the pitches and most importantly wearing the cool protective gear. Since the early 1970s I remember going to St. Louis Cardinals’ baseball games – and I would get especially excited when they were playing our arch rivals – those lowly baby bears – the Chicago Cubs. I devoured baseball stats and had my player heroes throughout many years: Johnny Bench, Ted Simmons, Lou Brock, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Dizzy Dean, Babe Ruth and of course Jackie Robinson (God Rest His Soul)! And the baseball cards. Does anyone else remember riding their bike to the corner store, buying a pack of Topps baseball cards, putting that paper-thin piece of rock hard gum in their mouth (it would shatter) and trading the cards you didn’t want with your little buddies? Man, I sure do.
Major League Baseball has been called the Great American Past Time for years – often being compared to apple pie. For many Americans, Spring Training is a great distraction from the winter doldrums. It is almost a national holiday for me when pitchers and catchers report in late February. And when Opening Day takes place, I almost always take the day off to watch my beloved Cardinals play on MLB At Bat. And you can count on me playing this song at some point during the day as it reminds me of MLB because Mastercard used to be the primary sponsor of the MLB:
Over the past couple of weeks, MLB and the Major League Baseball Players’ Union have come to an agreement to start the season during the last week of July – probably the last Friday of the month. This is great news. They have made some significant rules changes and also changed the playoffs, but we will be playing ball soon. This is good news. Even though the season will start out without fans in the stadiums, we will still hear, “Play ball!” resounding through our TVs.
Motorcycle Rallies & Events
Fortunately, for a biker like me, most of the rallies occur during the summer months. Rallies and other biker events, like MLB, mean summer is upon us and as bikers are a most patriotic group of Americans, the Stars and Stripes are proudly waving everywhere you look. This is America! The largest rallies, Laconia Motorcycle Week and Sturgis Motorcycle Rally are still taking place, although Laconia has been postponed until August. I have already missed one of my favorite American Flat Track races, the Red Mile, in Lexington, Kentucky, because it was canceled. There have been dozens of other events canceled too. And I cannot help but think this damned COVID-19 thingy is a #COVIDHoax! When these cancellations take place, millions of dollars of tax revenues do not flow into the cities and the states. Liberal governors and mayors are to blame for this.
Fortunately, there is still a full slate of rallies to go to and me and my lady have booked rooms for The Race of Gentlemen, in Wildwood, New Jersey, the last weekend of September. Hopefully we will see some of y’all there. It is truly an American biker/hotrod event and the Stars and Stripes will also be on full display there. Check out my video from a couple of years ago from T.R.O.G.:
Summer Vacations & Cookouts
I have pretty much ignored social distancing and shelter-in-place orders since the advent of them caused me to begin a constant Ground Hog Day loop. But even though I am a old damned Granite Head, and ignored the things I was ordered to do, it seemed like I was living in a suspended state of animation.
Summer for me means lots of trips. They may be weekend trips like last weekend’s 950-mile ride to the North Georgia mountains, the Blue Ridge Parkway and The Great Smoky Mountains. While I made this trip alone, I met lots of other bikers, smoked plenty of awesome cigars and slept like a baby every night.
But because of my Granite Headedness, I am doing things which many fellow Americans either can’t do – or won’t do. And those of you that are not grabbing life by the proverbial balls, I feel for you. Get out and live life. I still believe we need not let this #ChinaVirus cause us to lose our identities – and the things we love. Someone very dear to me told me recently, “I feel like life is passing me by.” While I haven’t let anything pass me by, many of you have. Don’t let this happen to you. Get on with your life. Take your summer vacations. Invite all of your friends over for a cookout and pool party. Don’t let this weird 2020 go by without doing the things you love.
Grey Beard Biker’s Must Do Thingys:
I never write an opinion piece without offering some sage advice on what all y’all should do. And this opinion rant is no different. So here are some things which we all need to do. It will help the economy and most importantly it will help Keep America Great – #KAG On!:
Support your local MLB teams, and when they allow fans back in the stadiums, buy tickets!
If you are a biker, reserve a room and attend a rally. If you want to meet the original Grey Beard Biker, and his amazingly gorgeous and beautiful true love, reserve your room for The Race of Gentlemen and buy your weekend passes!
Buy 30 pounds of hamburgers and 200 hot dogs, along with 12 bags of chips, 10 pounds of Muzzie deterrent bacon (for the burgers) and invite your entire neighborhood and all of your friends over for a cookout.
Plan your vacation and spend lots of good old greenbacks with locally owned businesses – they need YOU!
Go to the beach and get a tan
Throw a huge pool party and serve a few adult beverages
Get your fireworks and have a blast on the 4th of July (or go to the fireworks display if you are fortunate enough to live in a #RedState like I do)
Go to the park with your dog, lover or both (you know I will be doing this)
Take a long hike in the woods with that special person (you know I will be doing this)
Ride your damn motorcycle and make sure to give the biker wave to other bikers – I always do this
Until next time, bikers and great Patriot friends, enjoy life – don’t let it pass you by. And most importantly for you biker brother and sisters – keep the shiny side to the sun and dress for the slide not the ride.
This is an exclusive Grey Beard Biker opinion piece. All opinions are his and his only. If you do not agree with them, please hop on your girly Honda Grom and motor away. – GBB
On May 25, 2020 George Floyd was arrested for allegedly trying to make a purchase using counterfeit currency in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Unfortunately, after being cuffed and placed in the back of a police cruiser, he became unruly kicking the inside of the car, etc. He was pulled out of the cruiser and placed on the ground where an officer kneeled on his neck – and according to eyewitness accounts a knee was also on his back in the area of his diaphragm. He died after several minutes – and this was a true tragedy since Mr. Floyd was being arrested for trying to pass a fake $20 bill. But with every tragedy there is a lesson to learn. Mr. Floyd was not submitting to the police and was not following orders. But, at the end of the day, he should not have died. There were other options such as restraining his legs and promptly delivering him to the jail.
Promptly after Mr. Floyd’s unnecessary death nationwide protests broke out in major cities across the country including, but not limited to: Minneapolis, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Louisville and Nashville. These protests brought in the most unsavory characters from groups such as Black Lives Matter (#BLM) and Antifa (#Antifa). While some of the protests started peacefully, many erupted in violence as masked Antifa members burned businesses, cars and injured police officers. These assnozzle low life street thugs, who the day before were reclining on a couch in their mommy’s basement, eating Skittles, answered the call and showed up – I am sure excited to take part in the destruction of personal property and locally owned businesses.
Funding the move to Anarchy
These damn street thugs did not magically appear in hours in cities across the United States. Black Lives Matter and Antifa, are at best, loosely held and managed terrorist organizations. One would wonder, including Grey Beard, if they are registered with the IRS, pay income taxes or employee taxes. It is highly improbable they are 501(c)(3) organizations and tax exempt. It is even more unlikely that they have the financial resources to fund the travel of their masked minions to arrive in cities separated by hundreds if not thousands of miles. And the really curious thing about this is that with so many of these masked cowards (anyone wearing a mask when protesting is the very definition of a damned coward) it would be very difficult for them to arrive when, and where, they are needed.
And while arriving in a large American metropolitan area at just the right time and in the right place to protest, is rather curious, it is not the most curious thing. How did pallets of bottled water, snacks and bricks magically appear for them to use in their anarchical pursuits of injury, death and destruction? Did they magically fall by the pallet load from Black Lives Matter Airlines planes? Being that #BLM does not have properly tail numbered planes flying around this country, this is obviously not how it happened.
So what did happen? There has to be a large funding source. Granted there are donations flowing in from Hollywood celebrities, social justice warriors and other #Leftist assnozzles. But this is not the type of regular large scale funding necessary to carry the protests on for weeks. Could it be the original Marxist douchebag George Soros? He has billions of dollars at his disposal, he hates America, he hates our systems and longs for a state of socialism to exist here – and I am not talking about Democratic Socialism of the ilk of Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. What Soros wants is confusion, fear and uncertainty to proliferate the American electorate ahead of the 2020 General Election. And through shell companies and offshore accounts the money transfer to these terror organizations is not difficult to hide.
Current State of Anarchy in America
With the additional death of Rayshard Brooks, on June 12, 2020, at the hands of a white Atlanta police officer, more fuel has been added to the anarchical fires of #BLM and #Antifa. But, while Floyd’s death was an unnecessary tragedy, Brooks’ death was simply the result of his actions. Police found him passed out in his car in a Wendy’s drive through – quite obviously intoxicated. His criminal past (which the police were probably aware of) included four convictions: false imprisonment, simple battery/family, battery simple and felony cruelty/cruelty to children – all of which he was on probation for. He had voluntarily submitted to a field sobriety test – which he failed. Obviously fearful of being arrested for DUI, a charge by itself which would inevitably have caused his probation to be revoked, sending him to prison for a very long time, he decided to make a break for it, stealing the taser off the officer’s belt before turning on the officer. In a split second, the officer used fatal force to stop a potentially life-threatening injury or death to him or his partner. A taser is not necessarily considered a deadly weapon, but it would have incapacitated the officer making his gun an easy target to kill the officer(s). This officer used deadly force in a situation which called for it. If Rayshard Brooks had followed instructions, he may have spent a long time in prison, but would not have been another senseless loss of life. Here is some very sage advice from GBB: If you are in an encounter with the police – do what you are told. No more, no less.
Brooks’ death was avoidable. It has now caused more injuries and destruction in another city: Atlanta. Those who are continuing to protest are getting more bold setting up an autonomous zone – which is police free – in Seattle. They are living in squalor and filth. They are taunting police and citizens. Businesses are closed for fear of opening in the presence of masked street thugs. As things stand today, more bricks, water and supplies will magically arrive in whatever city the #Anarchists decide to target next. More police officers will be taunted into using force to protect themselves and the riots will continue.
What Should Be Done to Take American Streets Back?
As you know, having read my posts before, I will not throw a bunch of ranting opinions against the wall without providing some thoughts of what I believe to be a solution. These anarchical enclaves are in cities, and in most cases states, with very #Leftist politicians. These politicians are turning their backs on their constituents and allowing this confusion, fear and uncertainty to linger. They have recognized that COVID-19 was not going to destroy Donald J. Trump’s reelection chances. They started pushing for the mail-in-ballot during the Chinese Wuhan virus (yes, damn it, I said it: CHINA VIRUS) and have recognized they will not get it from Coronavirus. But these Libturd politicians are latching onto the spreading #Anarchy and race baiting to create the fear necessary to push again for the mail-in-ballot – the only way they believe they can beat President Trump. And worst, because they are devoted to removing Trump, these mayors and governors will continue to stand down their police and allow the destruction and injuries to mount.
Our solutions are limited at this point:
Use the full resources of the FBI, DEA and BATFE to investigate the origins of the money funding these illegal riots. Perhaps it leads to Soros, or perhaps to the illicit sales of drugs and firearms. There is no reason to doubt that this is going on now, but it may take months to end the funding of this domestic terrorism. (Drawback: this takes too much time – time we don’t have)
Governors from conservative states can activate their National Guards and send them into areas with the most terrorism occurring, but besides the District of Columbia, the states these guardsmen and women will need to deploy to have their own guards commanded by the liberal governors. The presence of guards from other states will be challenged in the court systems. (Drawback legal delays as it works through the court systems)
Donald Trump can federalize National Guard units from any states he chooses and send them to the cities controlled by the #Anarchists. These part time soldiers would inevitably cause a reduction in the violence and crime. (Drawback: time to nationalize and assemble the citizen soldiers)
Donald Trump can activate regular army units like the 82nd Airborne or 101st Air Assault divisions and send them into the zones of insurrection where #Anarchists are flaunting Federal and state laws. These troops would cause #BLM and #Antifa to scatter like chaff in a tornado. There is no way these little masked boys and girls will stick around when they see the U.S. Army arriving at their autonomous zone. (Drawback: activating regular forces would smack of near despotism on Donald Trump’s part with a large portion of the electorate)
While recently, it has been reported that Bikers For Trump and Oathkeepers have planned on being in Seattle to break up the autonomous zone, and there is not doubt a bunch of us bikers, and I would want to be there with them, could clear them out, they will inevitably be arrested by the local police.
This leaves me with one solution to taking back American cities plagued by #Anarchists and social justice warriors. #3 above: Federalize several of the state national guard units and send them into the areas of rioting. It will work and can work quickly enough to prevent anarchy also ruling at our polls in November.
Today June 6, marks the 76th anniversary of D-Day at Normandy. By the early summer of 1944, the U.S. had been embroiled in World War II for over two years. As a country, we had been against entry into the war until the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in December 1941. Everything changed on that day, with congress approving a war declaration and F.D.R. declaring war on Japan, shortly after Pearl Harbor. That would lead to Hitler declaring war on the United States. It was truly a World War and the United States was in it.
Prelude to War in Europe
Britain had long wanted the U.S. to join the fight in Europe against the Axis Powers – Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Vichy French troops. Until Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt could not be swayed. The U.S. had firmly entrenched itself as committed to be a neutral non-interventionist in Europe. After much prodding from Winston Churchill, Roosevelt signed the Lend Lease Act, in March 1941, which pledged support in the form of war ships and military equipment to the primary European Allies – Britain and Russia. Pearl Harbor would be the impetus which would lead to our joining the fight in the Pacific – with the Battle of the Coral Sea, Battle of Midway and Battle of Guadalcanal in early 1942 and the invasion of Vichy held northwest Africa (Operation Torch) in November 1942. The ultimate goal of Torch was to push west to Tunisia, trapping the Axis troops (German and Italian) on the peninsula at Tunis and forcing the surrender of the Afrika Korps, under the command Field Marshall Erwin Rommel. The Allied forces battling Afrika Korps would come from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Free France.
Roosevelt, all along, believed that the primary objective for the European theater should be Berlin, Germany – the headquarters of the Third Reich. He disagreed with Churchill, and the other leaders of the Allies, in an approach to Europe through Africa and southern France. F.D.R. believed that the quickest path to victory would be a straight line – and the straightest line led through northern France to Berlin. While true, the planning and build up to a cross-channel invasion would take years – years that homeland Britain, and Russia, did not have. Britain was being bombed daily from western Europe and Russia was being pummeled by Germany on the Eastern Front. After much prodding from Churchill, and Stalin, about the merits of striking the “soft underbelly” of the Axis in North Africa and Southern France, Roosevelt agreed to the invasions. This would allow the Allies to divert – or at least occupy – German forces on the two fronts in Europe, while the build up for the cross-channel invasion was completed.
None of the Allied leaders believed that the path to southern Europe, and the “soft underbelly” of the Axis, would take so long and cost so much. Ultimately that path would lead through the major battles of Africa, Sicily, southern Italy and southern France. The cost in blood would be staggering with the Allies suffering over 63,000 killed in action and nearly 340,000 missing or wounded. Battles would be named for locales which most Americans had never heard of: Oran, Kasserine Pass, Tunis, Salerno, Anzio, Monte Cassino, Ley Muy, Saint Tropez, Saint Raphael, Marseille and Toulon. The strategic goal of diverting Axis troops to the southern front was largely unsuccessful. Bombings continued unabated in Britain and Russian forces had their hands full on the Eastern Front. However, the invasions of North Africa, Sicily, southern Italy, Anzio and southern France benefitted the Allies significantly. These invasions all required huge flotillas, airborne infantry units penetrating behind enemy lines and immense beach landings of infantry, engineers and armored forces. Lessons learned during this time would prove essential for military planners preparing for the cross-channel invasion of Europe – code named: Operation Overlord.
Planning for Operation Overlord
Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces (SHAEF) was responsible for the planning and execution of Operation Overlord. Supreme Allied Commander, U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, was in overall command with British Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery being in command of the overall European Theater. Forces involved would come from: the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Poland, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Czechkosolovakia, Luxembourg, Greece, Netherlands and Norway.
Inevitably, Hitler knew the Allies were planning an invasion from England. But he assumed it would be at Pas de Calais – the closest point of continental Europe across the English Channel – and the launch site for V-1 and V-2 rockets which continued to bombard London. With this in mind, Hitler ordered this region heavily fortified. He was unaware that Allied planners had chosen Normandy because of its geography – there were less rivers and canals in the area so a broad front of Allied soldiers could mass after the landing. Additionally, the proximity of Normandy to the port of Cherbourg, in the American sector, and Brittany, in the English sector, made Normandy more appealing. The Allied Expeditionary Forces would require massive amounts of supplies, armored vehicles, clothing, ammunition and fuel. Opening a broad beachhead at Normandy would satisfy their port requirements – to a degree – once the Americans opened the port at Cherbourg.
The Allied planners agreed that there would be three phases of the cross-channel invasion:
Allied bombing raids would target rail lines, German manufacturing, fuel supplies and airfields. Codenamed Operation Point Blank, these bombing raids were designed to prevent quick reinforcement of Axis lines from the south and ensure air superiority over Normandy
Airborne infantry would drop behind Axis lines several hours before the beach landings to tie up some of the German defenses and open up pathways to the interior for infantry landing on the beaches.
Seaborne landings would begin on June 5 (later postponed to June 6 due to low cloud ceiling preventing airborne transport planes from dropping their sticks accurately) with First Army, commanded by Lieutenant General Omar Bradley, landing on the two western beaches (Utah and Omaha) and Second Army, commanded by Lieutenant General Miles Dempsey, landing at the three eastern beaches (Gold, Juno and Sword). Bradley’s First Army would include the American V Corps and VII Corps. Dempsey’s Second Army would include British I Corps, XXX Corps and the First Canadian Army. Included with the First Canadian would be troops from Poland, Netherlands and Belgium.
The objective for Operation Overlord was for Bradley’s First Army to quickly cut off the Cotentin Peninsula and capture the port of Cherbourg. The U.S. Airborne troops, consisting of the 82nd Airborne Division, commanded by Major General Matthew Ridgeway, and the 101st Airborne Division, commanded by Brigadier General Maxwell Taylor, would be transported on 432 C-47 planes and were tasked with opening the beach causeways and blocking German reinforcements coming from the east towards Carentan. The British airborne force included Major General Richard Nelson Gale’s 6th Airborne Division which would drop near Caen. They were tasked with capturing two bridges over the Caen Canal and Orne River, allowing ingress of troops once the Normandy beachhead was established.
D-Day at Normandy
Supreme Allied Commander, General Dwight D. Eisenhower communicated by letter with all Allied forces on the afternoon of June 5:
“You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.”
At 22:30 on June 5, the C-47s containing the U.S. Airborne troops began taking off from airfields in Great Britain. These serials would continue departing over the next hour. Entering France from the west, the C-47s decreased their altitude from 1,500 feet to 500 feet. Despite precise planning, the transports quickly scattered due to a solid cloud bank, heavy German anti-aircraft (flak) fire and unmarked/improperly marked drop zones. The two airborne divisions would take the better part of two days to organize.
Preliminary naval bombardment of the Atlantic Wall defenses began at 05:45 and continued until 06:25. Five battleships, 20 cruisers and 65 destroyers would fire tons of heavy naval ordnance with minimal damage being done to the Atlantic Wall defenses.
Overnight, infantry began departing the shores of Great Britain for their voyage across the English Channel. Code named Operation Neptune, the beach landing armada would include nearly 7,000 vessels – 1,213 of which were naval warships, 4,126 landing ships/crafts and nearly 900 merchant ships.
The first troop landings began at 06:30 with the U.S. 4th Infantry Division landing around 1/2 mile south of their planned landing zone. Commanded on D-Day by Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jr., son of President Teddy Roosevelt, the 4th Division would meet only minor resistance forming their beachhead. Suffering approximate 200 casualties, by the end of D-Day, they would push four clicks ashore by nightfall. Roosevelt would be the only general officer to land by sea on D-Day and would survive just over one month, dying on July 12 of a heart attack.
With the scattered nature of the U.S. Airborne drops – only 10% of the assault forces would actually land in their assigned drop zones – confusion ruled the early fighting. The 82nd Airborne Division would capture Sainte-Mere Eglise, but its failure to capture the crossing of River Merderet would result in a delay sealing off the Cotentin Peninsula. The 101st Airborne Division, The Screaming Eagles, would capture a crossing of the River Douve, near Caretan, somewhat protecting the southern flank.
Meanwhile, the more heavily defended landing at Omaha Beach was assigned to the U.S. 1st and 29th infantry divisions. Unknowingly, these troops were not facing a single German regiment, but the entire 352nd Nazi German Division. Casualties at Omaha Beach would be greater than all other landing zones combined as they faced concentrated artillery and machine gun fire from heavily fortified pillboxes along the heights overlooking the beach. By 08:30, landings would have to be delayed as beach obstructions were causing havoc along the entry points to the beach. Complicating matters were the scant five exit gullies from the beach – the only way to reach high ground. By noon, infantry, aided by naval gunfire, had started reaching the German defenses – which were beginning to run out of ammunition. The beachhead would remain quite tenuous over the coming days with D-Day objectives pushing out to D+3.
Second Army landings at Gold and Juno would be complicated by high seas and wind. Landings at Sword would be more successful with tanks and infantry clearing a significant beachhead and supporting the delayed landings at Gold and Juno.
Over the coming days, man made harbors would begin to be assembled to allow supply ships, infantry and tanks to continue the buildup at Normandy and supply food, medical supplies, ammunition and much needed fuel. The armada of military vehicles and tanks pushing into Normandy would eclipse 10,000 by D+1.
While the initial objectives of D-Day were only partially met, it would prove a singular success over the intervening years. The beachheads would continue to grow, with each passing day, allowing nearly 1.5 million Allied troops to enter France by July 25th and over 2 million by September 1st. But the cost would be extremely high on both sides. The butcher’s bill on D-Day alone, would climb to over 10,000 Allied troops – with 4,414 killed in action (KIA). Additionally 185 Sherman tanks would be lost, including most of their crews, landing at the beaches. Some of these tanks had been modified to disembark in deep water and push ashore via propellers. This proved folly, as most all of the “amphibious” tanks would never reach shore.
The Nazi German toll on D-Day is unknown, but estimated to be between 4,000 and 10,000. Many of these would be captured and sent to prisoner of war camps in the United Kingdom and the United States. Given the defenses along the Atlantic Wall, the lower casualties of Axis troops was expected.
The United States paid the highest price on D-Day. All told, recently updated casualty figures, from the US National D-Day Memorial Foundation, have confirmed 6,603 total U.S. casualties, with 1,914 KIA. The stiff resistance at Omaha Beach is where the majority of these casualties occurred.
The Grey Beard Biker’s respect for all veterans, current members of our armed forces and especially those airborne troops, infantry troops, army air force troops and sailors who took part on D-Day knows no bounds. While the veterans of WW II are called the Greatest Generation, Grey Beard views all who have signed their contract with the U.S. armed forces, in blood, to be greater than great. God Bless the United States, her allies and especially our troops in harm’s way!