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D-DAY JUNE 6,1944

Operation Overlord was the codename for the invasion of Normandy France. I will be discussing some background information in which led up to the invasion of Normandy. Also the planning and preparation of both German and allied forces alike through the use of detalied maps and images. In addition to that, the major problems that the allies faced during and after they hit the beachs. At this point in the war, the scale had tipped in favor for the allies. From one cornor of the globe to the other, the allies were driving the germans out From one continent to the next. As a result of these allied victoires, the allies were planning a major invasion of France. Why Normandy France one may ask?. Well France was the last toehold that the Germans had left in Europe. Morever, the Normandy invasion was the key to waging an effective ground war against Germany.

1D-Day is a military term designating the start for launching an operation but in modern history it is assumed to refer to the events of June 6,1944.The allied supreme commander was Dwight Eisenhower. The invasion of Southern France was scheduled for june 5,1944 but was postphoned because of bad weather. Nevetheless, the weather looked no better on the 6th or 7th of june. On the other hand, meteorologists gave a very thin glimmer of hope that there would be a break in the weather on june 6,1944. 2Despite hearing all of this bad news, Eisenhower gave the go ahead for the invasion of Normandy for june 6,1944.For months the allies were pouring men and equipment into Great Britian. To make the Germans not suspcious, the allies sent fake radio messages and rubber tanks on rafts that were far away from the intended target of Normandy beach.All of these things were done to keep the Gemans attention away from the allies original plan of action.

The allied troops that were stationed in Britain suspected that they would be going to France but they did know for sure.3An unprecendent level of security was imposed on the allied army to prevent information leaks. Only when the allies were aboard the troop transports and half way across the English Channel then the allies were told that that their assault would be at Normandy France.Prior to the invasion about 10,000 allied planes were bombing the coast at Normandy. The reason for this was to soften up the targets for the invasion force. 4The assault on Normandy began at 12:15am. It was composed of airborne and glider troops. They were to hit St Lo,Cherbough and Caen.MapRef1.jpg5the airborne units were to secure the flanks for the amphibious assault troops. In other words, airborne and glider troops were to capture bridges, crossroads and Costal batteries.6More than 5,300 allied ships were to sail across the English Channel in 10 lanes cleared by minesweepers.MapRef2.jpgThe beacheds that the allies were to assault were Utah,Omaha,Juno,Gold and Sword.MapRef3.jpg

The Germans knew that the allies would invade France but the question to them was where and when?. The commaning officers of the german army in Western Europe were Feild Marshal Von Rundstedth who was in charge of the land forces and feild marshal Erwin Rommel who was in charge of the costal defenses. Under Hitler's order, Rommel ordered the laying of millions of mines and obstacles.jpgand miles of barbed wire all across the shores of France. In addition to that,there was reinforced concrete bunkers with anti aircraft capability. Hitler called it theAtlanticWall.jpg.The aim of the wall was to throw any type of invasion force back into the sea.

When the allied troops hit the beachs, the tide was very low. This was good because it exposed most of the obstacles in full veiw before hitting the beachs.7Luckly for the allies, there was a break in the weather but the visibility was so bad for the pilots because most of the bombs went off course from there original targets. Due to the bad weather, the German navy cancelled it's routine patrol of the English channel.However, the Germans did not know there would be a break in the weather. When the Germans saw the mass Armada of ships, it was too late. Around 5am on june6 1944 the German shore artillery opened up on the approaching fleet.

The allied troops used Landing Craft Infantry(LCI) to get to the shores at Normandy beach.They could hold up to 25 troops at a time, It was a race against death to the beach. Many of the LCI's turned over because of the high seas or were hit by German artillery. The troops that didn't die from direct hits from the shore batteries at Normandy sank to the bottom of the sea because their packs were filled to capacity.8Within 10 minutes of hitting the beachs, there was a 96% casualty rate. The first wave was almost completely destroyed by German gunfire. In order for the allies to breakout from those beacheads, they had to destroy the mines and concertina wire by hand because most of their equipment was lost at sea. The allies had to do it that way because all of their tanks and aritllery pieces had sunk at sea because of the high waves and german gunfire from the Atlantic Wall. Meanwhile, the airborne and glider troops had their own problems to contend with. 9 The airborne and glider attacks became confused because of the stiff winds and the evasive flying of the pilots. 10Most of the airborne forces were blown off course as much as 20 miles from the drop zone.

Despite all of these overwhelming odds the allies secured their objectives but only at a very terrible cost of 11,000 casualites with 6,000 being U.S. servicemen. Approximately 156,000 allied fighting men had landed at D-Day. This goes to show you, that careful planning and preparation plays a key role in winning a war, Also the allies faced insurmoutable odds but over came them in the end. My question to you is, Was D-Day worth it in the cost of human lives or should we have went about it another way?.




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