John McCain kicked the evening off with a wild exaggeration by describing the allied invasion of Normandy as "the greatest invasion" in history. Such historical comparisons are always dangerous. In scale, the D-Day landings were far exceeded by Operation Barbarossa, the Nazi attack on the Soviet Union, in June 1941, and the Soviet invasion of Germany at the end of World War II.Why would a reporter even bother including that as his first factcheck of the evening? One could argue that an amphibious invasion is more challenging than a land invasion. You could also argue, on the basis of success, the Normandy landing was greater. Or, again as Crittenden does, that the difference in the greatness of the two invasions lies in their difference in goals: domination and destruction vs. liberation. What greatness means in this context is up for discussion. But I just don't understand the mindset of a reporter, listening to a debate, that would leap up and say aha! we caught McCain in a mistake there.
A total of 326,000 allied troops took part in the initial D-day Landings in June 1944. By comparison, Hitler's sent an army of 4.5 million men into the Soviet Union in June 1941along a 1,800 mile front.
Or Dobbs could have made the correction that Quin Hillyer noted, that Eisenhower didn't offer to resign if the landing failed. He just took responsibility for the failure.
"Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone."McCain wanted to use Ike in his unsubstantiated crusade against Chris Cox. Somehow, McCain finds that Cox did more to cause the bailout than the policies since the 1970s that have encouraged and threatened mortgage lenders if they didn't loan more money to borrowers who couldn't afford the loans.
It was a dumb opening for McCain, but his mistake wasn't in terming the Normandy landing as the greatest invasion in history, but in using Eisenhower's honor and character as a cub with which to bash Chris Cox. And Dobbs revealed a bit too much of his eagerness to trip up McCain with his own silly factcheck correction.