Planning Allies realized landing on the far side of the channel at a place called Pas de Calais (where it would closest to France ) would be impossible. Therefore they picked Normandy as their landing site. Allies deceived Germans in thinking that they were landing in Pas de Calais. Germany place the bulk of its forces there. Allies were able to swarm Britain with ample supplies and men now that they had the ability to fend off the German U-boats. Allied forces were under the command of the Supreme Commander General Dwight Eisenhower The invasion was code named Operation Overlord It was a huge and complicated plan. Every detail was vital to success
Invasion Plan American and British paratroopers were dropped off inland of the assigned beaches. This was to suffocate a major counter account from the Germans by seizing roads, bridges and railways. All beaches were heavily bombed to soften defenses. Largest armada in the world’s history gathered around the beaches and bombarded them before the deployment of the infantry Americans sent 3 soldier divisions at beaches code named Utah and Omaha British sent 2 soldier divisions at beaches code named Gold and Sword Canadians sent 1 soldier division to the beach code named Juno Omaha was the bloodiest battle out of all the landing sites. Americans on Omaha beach were faced against the tough Nazi veterans from the 352 nd infantry division. The beach was the most fortified out of the five beaches with large stone cliffs offering defense for the Germans bunkers and artillery. Initial landings suffered heavy casualties Sword suffered low casualties, but Gold was hit fairly hard due to a fortified village near the beach
Juno Beach Had the second highest casualty rate (second to Omaha) at 961 Canadians first wave of soldiers consisted of the 3 rd Canadian Infantry Division and the 2 nd Canadian Armoured Division ( more than 21,400 soldiers) The objective was to capture the Caen-Bayeux road and the Carpiquet aerodrome. In the beginning, the assault looked like a disaster. Juno was well defended. Canadian front lines were met with a hail of machine guns and mortars destroying landing crafts and tanks. But it later turned around as more numbers were unloaded. Despite the tough German defenses the Canadians made the largest advance at D-Day of any of the other beaches, yet they still fell just short of their objective.
Top Left: loading the landing craft heading for Juno Bottom left: Landing at Juno Top Right: Unloading Supplies
Results Operation Overlord was a success! Allies now had a foothold on Europe. This allowed huge the Allies to flood France with supplies and men. This sparked the end of Germany’s unchallenged control of Western Europe. By July, the Allies had over one million soldiers entrenched in France.
The Allies Advance into Europe The battle into France was slow, it took almost a month to take Caen, a city in Normandy which was supposed to have been taken within 24 hours of D-Day Paris was taken in late August without a fight By winter, the Allies were approaching the border with Germany They bomb many German cities to rubble such as Dresden and Hamburg
Canada liberates the Netherlands While the USA and Britain were advancing east, Canada was given directions to advance north and liberate the Netherlands (aka Holland) from the Germans Many Dutch people were starving because Germany cut off their rations to the Dutch During the winter of 1944-1945, Germany launched one last counter attack called the Battle of the Bulge where they nearly broke American lines and split American and British forces The Canadians entered and liberated the Netherlands in April 1945 at a cost of 6,300 dead From there, they headed into Germany, meeting the Red Army on the Baltic coast on late April
The Eastern Front The Soviet Union stormed through eastern Europe at great cost of life to both sides In January 1945, they crossed the Oder River into Germany They then fought an extremely difficult battle for Berlin, losing 300,000 soliders Soviet Marshall Zhukov was not concerned with human life
Italian Front In April 1945, the Allies broke through in Italy The Germans surrendered Italian partisans captured Mussolini while he was attempting to escape Italy He was hung from a gas station in Milan
Downfall Hitler committed suicide on April 30 th 1945 after ordering the destruction of his people German command fell to Admiral Dontiz, who surrendered on May 7 th 1945 (V.E. Day) The Soviets ran amok in Germany to take revenge on the devastation of their country They permitted murder, looting and raping Estimates of German women raped range from 10,000 to 2 million In eastern Germany, there was also incidents of Ethnic Cleansing, as the Soviets and local inhabitants sought to remove the German presence from their area
The fall of Japan Japan began to lose ground on all fronts in 1945 The Americans began bombing Japanese cities 100,000 people died during the Tokyo firebombing The decision was made to drop the Atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki The Americans estimated they would receive 1 million deaths if they invaded Japan
The Atomic Bomb The Atomic bombs were part of the Manhattan Project to develop a nuclear weapon Most of the work was done in the deserts near Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA. The Uranium was from Canada Many of the scientists involved were Jewish refugees from Europe They wanted to develop a bomb to drop on Germany before the Germans completed a bomb themselves The A Bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6 th 1945 at a cost of 70,000 dead civilians The Americans nuked Nagasaki on August 9 th when Japan did not surrender Japan then surrendered
1.1 Million servicemen 46,000 deaths Canada ended the war with the worlds fourth largest army, fourth largest airforce and third largest navy