Thesis: Operation Overlord led to the Allies gaining a foothold in France and with the Soviet alliance it allowed the Allies to attack Germany on both fronts resulting in a turning point in the Allies favor on the Western front.
Background ●Allied leaders met and agreed to this plan at the Tehran Conference in 1943 ●Names for the battle: Operation Overlord, D-Day, Normandy Invasion ●Basically the battle that determined the war. ●German coast was… o A. Fortified o B. Very very fortified o C. VERY VERY VERY FORTIFIED
Even More Background ●D-Day took two years of planning o Giant rehearsals ●D-Day: June 6, 1944 ●Began as Leningrad ended, and after the Axis invasion of Rome. 2 Phases: 1) invasion of France 2) move toward Germany
Preparation Planning began in Spring of 1943 Original D-Day was set for May 1, 1944 U.S. Army general Dwight D. Eisenhower as the supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces Allied bombing aimed at transportation and communication centers The Allied air forces cleared the air of the Luftwaffe (German air force) by March Germans thought Allied assault would be launched across the English Channel at the Pas de Calais
Dwight D. Eisenhower British Lieutenant General Sir Frederick Morgan
Preparation Continued Operation Fortitude- Intent: to make the Germans believe that the Allies would attack at Pas de Calais. Dummy tanks, trucks, and tents. Radio traffic German intelligence would intercept German double agents Deception is successful Operation Neptune- increased force from 3 to 5 divisions Pushed back to June 5, 1944 bad weather pushed back to June 6, 1944 German Atlantic Wall Deception Hindered Atlantic Wall
Adolf Hitler General Erwin Rommel
“You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you.” -Eisenhower
Landings ●Utah o 1st of 2 American beaches; to establish beachhead on Cotenin Peninsula. ●Omaha o Omaha beach was the most difficult due to the German 352nd Division ●Juno o Seize Carpiquet airport west of Caen to link beaches Gold and Sword ●Gold o Used to secure a beachhead to capture Arromanches and link to Omaha. ●Sword o 3rd British landing zone; closest to Caen.
“The war will be won or lost on the beaches. The first 24 hours of the invasion will be decisive.” - Kenneth S. Davis "Overlord: The Allies' Triumph in Normandy."
Attack: Invasion ❖ Midnight on June 6th, airborne troops parachuted into France to capture bridges and roads ❖ Paratroopers were scattered but worked to their advantage ❖ By dawn, Allied warships were appearing off Normandy beaches ❖ British and Canadians attacked Gold, Juno, and Sword ❖ U.S attacked Utah and Omaha ➢ Omaha had heavy resistance and 2000 American casualties ❖ Allied planes started bombing beaches to clear a path for ground troops ❖ 156,000 Allied Troops successfully stormed the beaches ❖ Total of 4000 casualties and thousands more wounded or missing
Attack: Resolution ❖ June 11th, beaches fully secured ➢ 326,000 troops, 50,000 vehicles, and 100,000 tons of equipment ❖ Germans were confused and disorganized ❖ Allies fought their way across Normandy through harsh terrain ❖ By the end of June, Allied troops seized Cherbourg ➢ Landed approximately 850,000 troops and 150,000 vehicles in Normandy. ❖ By the end of August, 1944, Allies reached Seine River and Paris was liberated from Germans.
Impact ●June 26, 1944: Allies capture French port of Cherbourg. ●August 25, 1944: Paris was liberated. ●Germans believed Operation Fortitude, and retreated to Pas de Calais.
Impact ●Marked beginning of the end for Hitler’s regime. ●Forced Germans to fight a 2-front war. ●Opened up Fortress Europe.
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