The following appeared in The Daily Telegraph this weekend... The Longest Day was the first of a war that lasted for 45 years By Kevin Myers Sixty years ago, most of the landmass of the Eurasian continent and its attendant islands was in thrall to totalitarian dictatorships. Freedom had retreated to the Anglophone societies of Britain, its Empire and Commonwealth, and its former colony the United States. In the history of the world, there has never been such a titanic contest to the death between two sets of values: the free, common-law societies of the English-speaking peoples against an entire continent of various dictatorships with their hundreds of millions of regimented slaves... ...The Normandy landings were the first day in a Eurasian war that was to last 45 years, and would ultimately peel back totalitarianism from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Initially the foe was Nazism; its kindred creed, Communism, soon followed, to be confronted by economic might and military deterrence, until victory was won in 1989. Both triumphs were achievable only by the colossal sacrifices in men and riches of the US. But the primary price in Normandy 60 years ago was of people. Sydney Jary, in the book 18 Platoon, his account of his time in Normandy, relates how a private in the Somerset Light Infantry was shot in the chest at Hill 112, south of Caen, the bullet detonating an explosive phosphorus grenade in a pouch. Caught on barbed wire, the soldier lay disembowelled for all to see, his writhing body a smoking mass of burning phosphorus. Responding to his agonised screams to put him out of his misery, his platoon commander shot him, as he thought, through the heart. " 'Not there, sir,' cried the young soldier, in a final frenzied plea. 'Through the head.' The platoon commander obliged." The price of freedom. Incredible. Read the whole thing.