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Normandy Invasion

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Normandy Invasion

D-Day The Invasion of Normandy

When on D-Day-June 6, 1944-Allied armies landed in Normandy on

the northwestern coast of France, possibly the one most critical event

of World War II unfolded; for upon the outcome of the invasion hung

the fate of Europe. If the invasion failed, the United States might

turn its full attention to the enemy in the Pacific-Japan-leaving

Britain alone, with most of its resources spent in mounting the

invasion. That would enable Nazi Germany to muster all its strength

against the Soviet Union. By the time American forces returned to

Europe-if indeed, they ever returned-Germany might be master of the

entire continent.

Although fewer Allied ground troops went ashore on D-Day than

on the first day of the earlier invasion of Sicily, the invasion of

Normandy was in total history's greatest amphibious operation,

involving on the first day 5,000 ships, the largest armada ever

assembled; 11,000 aircraft (following months of preliminary

bombardment); and approximately 154,000 British, Canadian and

American soldiers, including 23,000 arriving by parachute and glider.

The invasion also involved a long-range deception plan on a scale the

world had never before seen and the clandestine operations of tens of

thousands of Allied resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied countries of

western Europe.

American General Dwight D. Eisenhower was named supreme

commander for the allies in Europe. British General, Sir Frederick

Morgan, established a combined American-British headquarters known as

COSSAC, for Chief of Staff to the Supreme Allied Commander. COSSAC

developed a number of plans for the Allies, most notable was that of

Operation Overlord, a full scale invasion of France across the English

Channel.

Eisenhower felt that COSSAC's plan was a sound operation.

After reviewing the disastrous hit-and-run raid in 1942 in Dieppe,

planners decided that the strength of German defenses required not a

number of separate assaults by relatively small units but an immense

concentration of power in a single main landing. The invasion site

would have to be close to at least one major port and airbase to allow

for efficient supply lines. Possible sites included among others, the

Pas de Calais across the Strait of Dover, and the beaches of Cotentin.

It was decided by the Allies that the beaches of Cotentin would be the

landing site for Operation Overlord.

In my opinion, the primary reason that the invasion worked was

deception. Deception to mislead the Germans as to the time and place of the invasion. To accomplish this, the British already had a plan

known as Jael, which involved whispering campaigns in diplomatic posts

around the world and various distractions to keep German eyes focused

anywhere but on the coast of northwestern France. An important point

to the deception was Ultra, code name for intelligence obtained from

intercepts of German radio traffic. This was made possible by the

British early in the war having broken the code of the standard German

radio enciphering machine, the Enigma. Through Ultra the Allied high

command knew what the

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