Presentation on theme: "Imagine the land in this picture below & on the next page is heavily fortified – what sort of things are you going to have to plan for when trying."— Presentation transcript:
Imagine the land in this picture below & on the next page is heavily fortified – what sort of things are you going to have to plan for when trying to attack from the water?
Who landed where? What was the codename for the beach that: America landed at? – Utah & Omaha Beach. Canada landed at? – Juno Beach Great Britain landed at? – Gold & Sword Beach Who had it the toughest? – Omaha
What do you have to think about when attacking? The lessons learned from Dieppe perhaps? When to attack? (Night or daytime – first light) The enemy has an advantage of being from the elevated position – how do you overcome this? How do I get troops on the beach without huge causalities (like Dieppe had)? How many troops do I need to send in? What’s the best strategy? What obstacles are set up on the beach? (we’ll see) Does the enemy know I am coming? (Nope) What kind of weapons can overcome any shortcomings?
Numbers & Statistics Allied landing party 75,000 Brits & Canadians landed 57,000 Americas landed 7,000 ships & landing craft. The largest military assault EVER by sea. Casualities 10,000 that day for the Allies. 2,700 Brits. 946 Canadians. 6,603 Americans. Germany estimates between 4,000 to 9,000.
What the D-Day beaches looked like
What defenses did the Nazis have along the Atlantic Wall? Obstacles – tank traps
Obstacles for landing craft & tanks
Barbed wire fences
Pillboxes (machine gun bunkers)
D-Day aka the Day of ‘Deliverance’ (Delivering Europe away from the Nazis) Codename - Operation Overlord June 6 at 6:30am on years of planning the largest amphibious assault in the history of warfare
The decision to go May 1944 had been the time chosen at Washington in May 1943 for the invasion Difficulties in assembling landing craft forced a postponement until June, but June 5 was fixed as the unalterable date by Eisenhower As the day approached, & troops began to embark for the crossing, bad weather set in, threatening dangerous landing conditions. After tense debate, they decided on a 24-hour delay, requiring the recall of some ships already at sea. On the morning of June the 5 th, assured of a weather break, they decided to go ahead Within hours an armada of 3,000 landing craft, 2,500 other ships, & 500 naval vessels--escorts & bombardment ships--began to leave English ports. That night, 822 aircraft, carrying parachutists or towing gliders, roared overhead to the Normandy landing zones. They were a fraction of the air armada of 13,000 aircraft that would support D-Day.
The Landings The airborne troops were its first wave, & their landings were a heartening success. The British 6th Airborne Division seized its unflooded objectives at the eastern end more easily, & its special task force also captured key bridges over the Caen Canal & Orne River. When the seaborne units began to land about 6:30 AM on June 6, the British & Canadians on Gold, Juno, & Sword beaches overcame light opposition. So did the Americans at Utah. T he American 1st Division at Omaha Beach, however, confronted the best of the German coast divisions, the 352nd, & was roughly handled. During the morning, its landing threatened to fail. Only dedicated local leadership eventually got the troops inland. British troops pass through Hermanville, immediately inland from Sword Beach
Their gun barrels covered against the spray, U.S. infantrymen gaze from their landing craft toward Omaha Beach National Archives, Washington, D.C.
U.S. infantrymen wade from their landing craft toward Omaha Beach. An earlier assault wave lies broken on the shore. AP/Wide World Photos
The German response Meanwhile, the German high command responded. Hitler was unwilling to release the armoured divisions for counterattack. When he relented after lunch, elements of the 21st Panzer Division drove into the gap between the British 3rd & Canadian 3rd divisions at Sword Beach and Juno Beach & almost reached the sea. Had they done so, the landings might have failed. Fierce resistance by British antitank gunners turned the tide in late evening.
Next… The Allies need to reinforce. Perhaps one of the greatest feats of engineering of all time – they build a floating bridge from England to France across the English Channel. Code name, Mulberry. The outer breakwater of sunken ships was in place by June 11. The floating piers were half-finished by June 19, when a heavy storm destroyed much of the material. The Americans then decided to abandon their Mulberry, while the British harbour was not in use until July. Most supplies meanwhile had to be beach-landed.
Ambulances on a "Whale" floating pier of the Mulberry artificial harbour near Arromanches, Gold Beach EB Inc.
Significance Canada participates in the liberation of Europe with an active role. Shows Canada is a force to be reckoned with to the entire world – we are a part of the largest water born assault ever. International prestige. Redeemed after Dieppe (we had the least amount of casualities). The Nazis now start to loose WWII.