Presentation on theme: "D-Day June 6 th 1944. The Story So Far: It is 1944. The War in Europe has raged for 5 years. America has recently entered the conflict in 1941. It’s troop."— Presentation transcript:
The Story So Far: It is 1944. The War in Europe has raged for 5 years. America has recently entered the conflict in 1941. It’s troop training and material production is reaching its peak. Despite attempts to invade “Fortress Europe,” namely Operations Torch in Africa and Husky in Italy in 1943, the allies have yet to penetrate the European mainland...
Planning The Invasion. D-Day: Code for the selected day of an invasion without going into specifics. OPERATION OVERLORD (Normandy invasion) originaly called OPERATION ROUNDUP. Called for the invasion of Europe in 1942. Crude, badly planned and near impossible to martial enough resources for in time, hastily drawn up by an angry and irrational America which was new to the war. European allies hesitant to fight through territory that were killing fields of WWI. Wanted to limit Russians access to Europe, invading from Italy and the Mediterranean in south would cut them off by creating a wall of Allied troops on Germany’s eastern border. Operation ROUNDUP was cancelled, materials were funneled into operations TORCH and HUSKY.
But the plan does not die… Americans is fighting a two front war. Is angry with the slow progress of the southern European battles. They want to end the war in Europe quickly (It’s not their war, it’s Japan they’ve really got a problem with), Western Europe is the quickest route to Germany. As they are supplying vital material and troops to the allies, their wishes carry a lot of sway. A new plan, operation SLEDGEHAMMER is devised. Dwight D. Eisenhower (an American commander) is appointed Supreme Allied Commander in November of 1943. The plan is renamed operation OVERLORD, and receives the green light in January of 1944.
The Invasion Site Pas de Calais is originally considered because it is the shortest distance from England (21 Miles), and because of it’s excellent landing beaches. It is also the best guarded strip of land on the Western seaboard, and the Germans will expect an attack there. Normandy, a region in middle France, is across the second thinnest section of the English channel (about thirty miles). It is less defended, but it is rockier, mostly cliffs and has no major ports. Landings will be difficult and spread out. Still, it gives the allies the vital element of surprise, and so it is chosen.
Deception. In order to confuse the German army, Operation FORTITUDE is created. FORTITUDE NORTH tasked with convincing the Germans that invasion of Norway is being planned, keeping troops deployed there instead of sent to France. FORTITUDE SOUTH attempts to convince the Germans that an invasion of Pas De Calais is eminent, keeping German forces in France deployed in the south. This will serve a dual purpose on D-Day, keeping troops that hear of the invasion at their stations in anticipation of more landings, instead of being transferred to Normandy.
Fake wood and inflatable landing craft and tanks are placed in strategic locations near the false invasion points. Radio traffic details fake movements of troop units (real and fictional) and is deliberately allowed to fall into German hands. Triple agents pass on false information detailing the invasion. Fake units of troops are created using civilians and support troops dressed in infantry uniforms. “Neutral” countries in German confidence pass on news of the invasion to the Germans.
Fake units of troops are created using civilians and support troops dressed in infantry uniforms. Fake information floods German embassies in an attempt to disguise any real info actually leaked. “Neutral” countries in German confidence pass on false news of the invasion to the Germans.
Training. Millions of combat ready troops were shipped to England in the months before D-Day. Veteran units of the Italian and African campaigns were shipped back to Europe. While already trained, special exercises were held to prepare troops for the invasion and keep them ready, using live ammo and locations similar to the landing beaches
One of these, Exercise TIGER, turned deadly when 2 German U-Boats snuck in among the LSTs and sunk them, killing 700 and injuring thousands. The incident was covered up until the 1980s. When training was finished all the troops could do was wait.
The Invasion Begins The Invasion is called several times on account of weather. On June 4 th the invasion is called, but there is a brief break in the storms. Evening, June 5 th, 1944: Paratroopers of the 82 nd and 101 st American Plus the 6 th British Airborne Divisions are parachuted into drop zones (DZs) in Normandy in Operations Detroit, Chicago and Tonga.
The 101 st misdrops due to heavy AA fire, no radio or radar, and inexperienced pilots. Scattered all over Normandy, they manage to raise caine for the Germans and confuse them as to the number of people and location of the attack, but are unable to assemble for days. The 82 nd drops behind Utah and take out the German units there, making the infantry landings easier. They take out the guns behind Utah beach and manage to capture the village of Saint Mer Eglise, the first liberated town of the invasion.
The Sixth British Airborne drops on the far left flank of the invasion to hold off the german advances across the Orne river. 45 Commando is dropped on between the Orne River and Sword beach to take out any german attacks if the sixth was wiped out. Other commando groups are dropped on the flanks of each beach.
The Beaches The main invasion force lands in the early hours of June 6 th, 1944. The Americans land on two major landing beaches, codenamed OMAHA and UTAH. The British and Canadian forces land at three aditional beaches codenamed JUNO, GOLD, and SWORD. The troops disembarked from a 6000 ship landing fleet in the channel, consisting of large transports such as Liberty ships, LCIs and LSTs.
They are carried ashore in small Higgins landing craft that carry about twenty men, (1-2 squads) or a single tank. DUWK “Duck” floating trucks are also used. M4A1 Sherman tanks are specially equipped with flotation rings so they can float ashore and break off the beaches. These sink in the channel.
Sword Beach Although well defended (tank traps, machine guns, bunkers, pillboxes and mines) resistance from the inexperienced troops at Sword was weak within 45 minutes the british 3 rd infantry and 27 th armored had pushed off the beach. They fought inland, linked up with the sixth Airborne and 45 commando, as well as the candian forces on their right flank later that day. 28,845 troops ashore. only 630 casualties. Failed to make their objective of Caen, bogging down 3 miles from town.
Juno Beach Was the most heavily defended of the beaches. The Canadian 3 rd infantry attempted to land, fighting on the beach for a short while, but taking over 50% casualties in that time. They managed to clear the beach after an hour. They pushed inland and made their objective of the Caen-Bayeux road, but were forced to retreat when the british infantry from sword did not show up. They penetrated farther into france than any other unit, and came closest to securing their objective.
Gold Beach The 50 th British Infantry landed at Gold beach. Initial resistance was heavy, but the 50 th cleared the beach quickly and casualties decreased once they cleared the german lines. They managed to link up with the Canadians from Juno on their left, but failed to link up with Americans from Omaha on their right. They failed to reach their objective of the Caen- Bayeux road. 24,970 troops were ashore. 400 casualties were taken.
Omaha beach. The Americn 1 st and 29 th Infantry land at Omaha. The tanks flounder in the channel, leaving the troops pinned down on the beach. Taking 50% casualties, 29 th push their way off the beach, the 1 st follow. They established a beachhead but did not proceed far inland.
Utah Beach By a fluke, 4 th infantry lands off target. They take 123 casualties on D-Day of the 23,000 landed. After fighting through the seaside resort of La Madeline, they link up with the 82 nd airborne and begin to push inland.
Summary Due to a lack of seaport, two mobile harbors were towed over from England. 10,000 troops died at D-Day (Half of the 20,000 estimate). Hundreds of thousands of troops were now in Europe, with a faster route to Germany. Despite failing to complete most objectives, most considered D-Day a great success. Operation Overlord ended with the capture of Paris two months later. D-day was important as it was the beginning of the end of the third Riech, and the allied victory in Europe.