4 Section 1: The planning phase Preparations for a ‘second front’ against Nazi Germany date back to 1942.The Allies knew they would have to capture a port to ensure the success of the invasion of France.A ‘dress-rehearsal’ took place in 1942 when a British-Canadian raid on the port of Dieppe was carried out.The aim was to capture and hold a French port for a short period to test German defences.The raid was a total disaster: of the 6,086 men who made it ashore, 4,384 were killed.
6 Lessons learnedThe Dieppe raid had a major influence on the planning for D Day.The Americans would not commit to an invasion until they had ensured the following:Overwhelming force was assembledAir superiority over the invasion zoneThe Americans resisted strong political pressure from the USSR to launch a second front in 1943.The American troop build-up in Britain continued rapidly in , as did the intensity of air raids on Germany.
7 Roosevelt knew the risks of the invasion Roosevelt knew the risks of the invasion. He resisted Stalin’s pressure for an early launch of the second front. This delay was the cause of much bitter feeling between the Russians and Americans.
8 American locomotives sent to England being unloaded from a Liberty Ship.
9 Air raids in preparation for D Day The British and Americans began bombing targets in occupied France in preparation for D Day.The French railway system came under continuous attack.Raids were concentrated in the Calais region to mislead the Germans in to believing that was the intending invasion area.The Normandy region was bombed, but less heavily.
10 Operation FortitudeThe Allies began a massive deception of operation to conceal the intended landing zone.A massive build-up of fake armies and equipment was concentrated in Kent to fool the Germans in to thinking Calais was the intended target.Canvas and rubber tanks were assembled to confuse any German aerial reconnaissance aircraft. (In fact there were no German spy planes over England in 1944)
12 Fortitude – canvas aircraft What do such operations reveal about Allied planning for D day ?
13 Fortitude- fake radio signals Enormous amounts of ‘fake’ wireless messages were transmitted relating to possible invasion plans in the Calais region in the hope the Germans would believe them.
14 Agent ‘Garbo’The British Secret Service (SIS) managed to infiltrate a double agent in to the German intelligence apparatus.Agent Garbo (Juan Pujol Garcia) passed false intelligence to the Germans leading them to believe the invasion would come in the Pas de Calais region of France.Normandy was the best kept secret of the war.
15 Hitler expected the invasion here in the Pas de Calais Normandy
16 The French resistance (Maquis) assisted the preparations for D Day by disrupting French railways and causing other acts of sabotage to the telegraph and telephone system.Such acts brought terrible retribution on the local populations.
17 June 1944 The timing was now favourable for an invasion The U boats had been defeatedThe German air force was largely grounded for lack of fuel.
19 The Atlantic WallDespite all Allied efforts, the Germans obviously expected an Allied invasion somewhere in France.Hitler appointed two of his ablest Generals, Gerd Von Rundstedt and Erwin Rommel to take charge of strengthening the French coast line from attack.
20 Von Rundstedt with Hitler and at his trial at Nurenberg.
21 From Norway to the South of France the Germans built up a defensive line against the expected invasion.Tens of thousands of Russian POWs were put to work to construct elaborate defences.The line was by no means complete or evenly spread by the time of D Day.
22 Despite gaps in the line, the defences were formidable in some places.
35 The capture of Cherbourg was a key objective The capture of Cherbourg was a key objective. It was not captured until the end of June and was badly damaged.The Allies could not risk launching the invasion without a useable port.They constructed an artificial harbour which could be towed across the channel.
36 Sections of a Mulberry Harbour today in Normandy.
37 Towed to France in sections the Mulberry Harbours allowed the Allies to unload supplies until Cherbourg was captured.