The events of the Second World War have always been of high interest for the people all around the world. Massive ruinations, enormous attacks, never ending sufferings and a large number of victims go alongside brilliant plans, excellently projected strategies and flawlessly employed operations. One of such legendary operations is the one that happened on D-Day, the day that shifted the balance of powers of the whole war, the put the beginning to the victorious march of the armies of Allies and became one of the first signals of German defeat. The events that happened on the day the operation was launched led to the creation of second front and a major loss for the Nazi troops. The day is still remembered as D-day for a reason.
We will write a custom Term Paper on Invasion of Normandy in World War II specifically for you
301 certified writers online
The operation genially designed and planned began on the sixth of June in 1944. According to the plan, the troops of Allied armies on Great Britain, the United States and Canada were directed to Normandy coast that faces the English Channel. This operation had a code name “Overlord” and was intended to remove some of the pressure put in the Soviet Army confronting the German invaders. This operation created a second front, because of that the forces of aggressors had to split and spend much more effort in order to carry on their plan to occupy all of Europe. In fact, for the first time Joseph Stalin, the leader of the USSR, made a request for the Great Britain to start creating the second front at the very beginning of the war in 1941, but back then it was impossible for the British to organize such great change without help, so they did all they could to help the Soviets to hold on by throwing help and providing supplies for the Soviet Army.1 The United States joined the war in the end of 1941. Franklin Roosevelt supported the idea of opening the Second front with the purpose of withdrawal of German troops from the Eastern front, Stalin continued to insist that the allies organize some help, but Winston Churchill was still convinced that Britain is not ready for such action.
The actual preparation for the D-Day started in 1943, and it was initiated by Winston Churchill, who also pushed many other collaborative operations of Anglo-American Allies.2 It is interesting to notice that the written version of the plan for the operation consisted of one hundred and three pages in total. It included complicated maneuvers, geographical schemes, combat engineering and mathematical calculations. The overall number of people involved into the operation counted one hundred and seventy-five thousand soldiers. The plan consisted of airborne and amphibious attacks with the use of thousands of planes and vessels; there also were infantry and artillery units. The whole plan was a big risk. Practically, bringing an enormous number of troops from across the ocean and landing them in the South of France that was occupied by Germans was highly dangerous. If the operation went wrong it could have led to serious problems and weakened the armies of Allies.
After a year of preparation and planning the operation finally faced its D-day. The Allies relied majorly on tactical surprise for the German leaders. The planners of the operation “Overlord” organized a massive and complex military deception, which was distinguished and employed as a separate operation called “Bodyguard”. With the help of new engineering technologies developed specially for the D-day the Allied armies managed to cause confusion in the time and pace of the main attack so that the Germen troops ended up unprepared for the infiltration of Americans, British and Canadians. In order to put operation “Bodyguard” in practice, two more deception plans were launched. They were called “Taxable” and “Glimmer”, their purpose was to disable the German radar system and stimulate the invasion spoof convoys directed to other regions of France.3 In order to confuse the German troops and make them believe that the traffic was actually moving towards the coast of France the Allied armies launched a group of dummy vessels, which were equipped with radio technologies animating the spoof convoy and making the fake attack more believable. A complex system of tactical, engineering, technological and diplomatic deceptions preparing the ground for the D-day and “Overlord” was held on multiple layers and consisted of around twenty other plans with various code names. A deception of such complexity is unique for the whole history of wars.
The actual landings happened on five different parts of the coast of Normandy. American troops arrived to the beaches called Omaha and Utah, the British landed on Gold and Sword beaches, the Canadians occupied Juno beach. The American mission was to take over Cherbourg and cut the connection with Cotentin Peninsula. The Canadians together with the British were to occupy Caen, which was decided to be a staging territory for the preparation for further and deeper invasions. The first troops that reached the shore suffered major losses because they had to run through over two hundred yards of bald beach without any rocks or trees, and they were under constant armed attacks, besides they had to carry pounds of equipment.4 Over four thousand of infantry soldiers died during the operation. Previously to the beginning of the operation, the German military leaders never managed to agree about the potential area of landing of the Allies. Even though they were aware of the possibility of the invasion, they could not identify which part of the British Channel would be invaded5.
By the end of the day on the sixth of June the invasion of the Allies managed to take over the beach areas several mines inland. The tropes and vessels kept arriving day after day since the beginning of the operation “Overlord”. On the seventh of June ninety-eight new ships came to the coast of Normandy. On the eights the number of new coming vessels reached two hundred and sixteen. This massive operation served as the breaking point of the course of the Second World War. It is a known fact that less that in a year after the launch of the operation “Overlord” the war was over and the aggressor armies were defeated. It is interesting to know that Hitler was asleep through half of the day when the invasion of Normandy began. There are versions that his people were simply afraid to wake him or that they did not do so intentionally because they did not take the invasion seriously thinking that it was only a diversion.6
After the success of the operation “Overlord” the Allied forces continued to work together and initiated more collaborative plans and operations in other areas, they helped to free Europe; they conducted military projects in Africa and Mediterranean region. The leaders of the two powerful countries united and became closer, their co-operation was highly fruitful and important for it changed the history and speeded up the end of the Second World War.
Barbier, Mary. D-day Deception: Operation Fortitude and the Normandy Invasion. Santa Barbara: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007
Burns, Russel W. “Deception, Technology and the D-day Invasion”. Engineering Science and Education Journal 2005: 81-88
“D-day Overview.” Dday.org, Web.
Holderfield, Randy and Michael Varhola. D-day: The Invasion of Normandy, June 6, 1944. Cambridge: Da Capo Press, 2009.
Lusted, Marcia Amidon. D-Day: The Normandy Invasion. Edina: ABDO Publishing Company, 2014.
Morison, Samuel Eliot. Invasion of France and Germany. Chicago: University Illinois Press, 2002.
- Mary Barbier. D-day Deception: Operation Fortitude and the Normandy Invasion. (Santa Barbara: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007), 2.
- Randy Holderfield, Michael Varhola. D-day: The Invasion of Normandy, June 6, 1944. (Cambridge: Da Capo Press, 2009), 3.
- Russel W. Burns. “Deception, Technology and the D-day Invasion”. Engineering Science and Education Journal (2005): 81.
- “D-day Overview.” Dday.org, last modified 2013, http://www.dday.org/history/d-day-the-invasion/overview.
- Samuel Eliot Morison. Invasion of France and Germany. (Chicago: University Illinois Press, 2002), 43.
- Marcia Amidon Lusted. D-Day: The Normandy Invasion. (Edina: ABDO Publishing Company, 2014), 84.