Presentation on theme: "D-Day June 6, 1944 Battle of Normandy Beginning of the Western Allied effort to liberate mainland Europe from Nazi occupation during World War II."— Presentation transcript:
D-Day June 6, 1944 Battle of Normandy Beginning of the Western Allied effort to liberate mainland Europe from Nazi occupation during World War II
Purpose of D-Day After Germany invaded most of Europe, the Allies determined that Germany had to be defeated. U.S. agreed to Europe first strategy. Liberate conquered countries Germany had killed millions and was willing to spread it's fear of foreigners to even more of the world &in_article_id=466554&in_author_id=464
D-Day Preparations Enormous invasion force had been gathering in England for 2 years – 3 million soldiers – greatest array of naval vessels/armaments ever assembled in 1 place Germans expected the invasion to be at the narrowest part of English Channel Invasion came along 60 miles of the Cotentin Peninsula on the coast of Normandy
Tactical Plan D-Day and the invasion points were guarded secrets. The purpose was to get troops on the ground in an attempt to liberate France. After Allied troops gained a foothold in Normandy, they were able to destroy much of the German occupation forces, liberate France and continue to march across Europe and ultimately destroy Germany.
Project Overlord Code Name for the huge amphibious assault on Normandy beaches in France. It was the largest amphibious military operation of all time. Developments such as nuclear weapons and guided missiles make it unlikely that such a concentration of ships and assault troops will ever be assembled again. Operation Overlord nearly failed due to weather, operational errors, and stiff resistance by well prepared German forces. In the end, Overlord succeeded, the Allies surged into France, and the fate of Hitler's Third Reich was sealed. Information from Picture from
Preparation During the first six months of 1944, the United States and Great Britain gathered and trained land, naval, and air forces in England. At the same time, the Soviet Union tied down a great portion of the enemy forces on the Eastern Front. Allied airplanes photographed enemy defenses, dropped supplies to the resistance, bombed railways, and attacked Germany’s industries.
Soldiers in mess line in one of the marshaling camps in S. England
Before the Beach Invasion Needed to rid the area of Nazi defenses VERY Early June 6, 1944 – Airplanes, battleships bombarded the Nazi defenses – Paratroopers dropped behind German lines night before to seize critical roads and bridges for the push inland
Ready to Go A paratrooper boards an airplane that will drop him over the coast of Normandy for the Allied Invasion of Europe, D-Day, June 6, Soldiers of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions parachuted behind enemy lines during the night, while fellow Soldiers assaulted Normandy beaches at dawn
5 major beaches in Normandy – Utah and Omaha – US – Gold and Sword – British – Juno – Canadian 5,300 ships and 11,000 planes had crossed the English Channel and landed on the beaches of Normandy 156,000 troops crossed English Channel The Invasion
H-Hour—6:30 A. M. on June 6th The first wave of assault troops of the 29th Infantry Division had four rifle companies landing on a hostile shore. After long months in England, National Guardsmen from Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia found themselves in the vanguard of the Allied attack. In those early hours on the fire-swept beach the 116th Infantry Combat Team, the old Stonewall Brigade of Virginia, clawed its way from Les Moulins to Vierville-sur-Mer.
H-Hour—6:30 A. M. on June 6th It was during the movement from Les Moulins that the battered but gallant 2d Battalion broke loose from the beach, clambered over the embankment, and a small party, led by the battalion commander, fought its way to a farmhouse, which became its first Command Post in France. The 116th suffered more than 800 casualties this day - a day that will long be remembered as the beginning of the Allies' "Great Crusade.“ They were part of the National Guard.
Stats Over 5,000 ships carried assault forces along the Normandy coast More than 1,000 transports dropped paratroopers to secure the flanks and beach exits of the assault area Amphibious craft landed approximately 130,000 troops on 5 beaches along 50 miles of Normandy coast On D-Day, an estimated 2,500 Allied soldiers were killed.
After Securing Normandy Allied losses had been high: – U.S. AIRBORNE- 2,499 – U.S. / UTAH- 197 – U.S. / OMAHA- 2,000 – U.K. / GOLD- 413 – CAN. / JUNO- 1,204 – U.K. / SWORD- 630 – U.K. AIRBORNE- 1,500 – TOTAL-9,000 casualties, approx. 3,000 fatalities Fighting fierce, but superior manpower and equipment forced German troops off coast of Normandy in a week Allied forces went on to liberate Paris August 25, 1944 Force most of German troops out of Belgium and France by September