Background Information Operation Overlord was the codename for Allied Invasion of Northwest Europe The assault phase of Operation Overlord was known as Operation Neptune Operation Overlord began on D-day and continued until Allied Forces crossed River Seine on August 1944
Background Information Cont’d June 6th 1944 close to 200,000 troops landed along a 50 mile stretch of heavily fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. General Dwight D. Eisenhower called the Operation a crusade in which “we will accept nothing less than full victory”. More than 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircrafts supported the D-day invasion. By days end on June 6th, the Allies had gained a foothold in Normandy. The cost of D-day was high, more than 9,000 Allied soldiers were killed/wounded.
Actors The assault was conducted in 2 phases Air Assault Amphibious Landing which Included infantry & armored divisions on the coast of France. The landings took place along a 50 mile stretch divided into 5 sectors. Utah, Omaha, Juno & Sword. The actors on the Allied side were: American, British, Canadian & French troops.
Motives The objective of the operation was to make an enclave that was anchored in the city of Caen. The believe was that as soon as Normandy could be secured, the Western European campaign and the downfall of Nazi Germany could begin.
Interesting Facts / German Defense By 1944, Nazi Germany’s military forces had reached its peak By D-day, 157 German divisions were stationed in the Soviet Union 6 were stationed in Finland, 12 in Norway 6 in Denmark, 9 in Germany 21 in the Balkans, 26 in Italy & 59 in France, Belgium & the Netherlands German defense had large bunkers containing machine guns & high caliber weapons The also used cliffs and hills to gain height advantage It is also said that their defenses were built and honed over a four year period It is obvious that the Germans were spread thin.
German Defense Cont’d Germans utilized the Atlantic wall Coastal fortifications built by the German 3rd Reich to defend against Allied invasion Barbed wire Thousands of mines to deter landing crafts/ships
Games Played (Deception) Deception - Various factions of French resistance were alerted of when to attack by BBC broadcasts from French service in London. Meaningless messages were sometimes sent with a few actually carrying a true message. Codenames were used to refer to various Operations in the invasion A deception operation called Operation Fortitude was conducted months leading up to the invasion to mislead the Germans regarding the day and date of the invasion The amphibious landings; the 5 beaches being named
Games Played (Pre-emption) / Pre-emptive attack The action of the Allies was waged in an attempt to repel or combat the threat of the Nazis Their goal was to gain an advantage in an impending & unavoidable war before the threat worsened (Pre-emptive attack) - Allied forces rehearsed their roles for D-day months before the invasion. On April 28th 1944, on the English coast 638 US soldiers & sailors were killed when German torpedo boats surprised one of the landing exercises
D-day Games against Nature Weather predicted for June 6th may have been advantageous in terms of the (Zero-sum) game against the Germans as opposed to the Game against Nature To invade only with favorable tides & full moon entailed disadvantages in terms of the Game against the Germans, but evidently more than compensating advantages in terms of the Game against Nature The Game against the Germans was strictly determined
Nash Equilibrium Given the strategy of the other player, neither player has an incentive to change his strategy. Each players strategy was the best reply to the others
Strategic Intelligence & Deception A player may allow the other player to apparently find out his strategy in advance, but this information may be misleading
Decisive military engagement D-day was an example of Decisive military engagement because as the Department of Defense defines: It was an engagement on land and naval in which a unit is considered fully committed and cannot maneuver or extricate itself The action had to be fought to a conclusion & either won or lost with the forces at hand Allied warships provided supporting fire for the land forces