World War II was a tragedy that spanned the world and turned Europe into a bloodbath from 1939 to 1945. The Axis had the Allied Forces on the ropes and had control of most of France. On, June 6th, 1944, the Allied Forces of Britain, Canada, and America made a major push to liberate western Europe from German control in what was known as Operation Overlord and was commanded by General Dwight Eisenhower ( Hill ). That day was D-Day. Over 156,000 Allied troops landed along the northern coast of France in what is known as Normandy and fought one of largest scale amphibious invasions in history ( Hill ).
Before the actual assault, Allied Forces used a strong force of deception to trick the Germans into thinking that the invasion would take place at a different beach and coastline rather than the French beaches of Normandy. Just some of the ways they tried to trick the German forces into thinking that they were going to attack elsewhere included fake equipment, double agents, and fake radio transmissions. Britain’s “Doublecross” system worked to perfection, every single Germany controlled Spy or Agent in Britain was either jailed, dead, or working with the Britain Intelligence to feed Germany wrong Information ( Tucker ).
2:00 AM, June 6th, 1944, the men on the planes were getting ready to make the first part of Operation Overlord. The planes were dropping United States Paratroopers on major bridges and roads to slow German reinforcement for the upcoming landing at the northern beaches of Normandy ( Reid ).
The Omaha Beach, or known by Omaha, was the beach sector that The United State Army troops landed at. The main objective of sector Omaha was to take a 5 mile stretch of beaches. With the British landing to the east at Sector gold, and more United States troops landing to the west at Sector Utah, they were all pushing back the German forces on the beaches of Normandy. The defending force was the German 352nd Infantry Division with about 12,000 active troops to defend the salty beaches of Normandy, France.
A bold move, but some companies of the United States Army Rangers changed main objectives, and along with strong and lightweight American Infantry Division assaulted the western half of the beach nowhere close to having heavy casualties. The battle-ready First Infantry Divison was given the eastern side of the shore. The initial assault waves, consisting of naval ships, heavy armor and tanks, and engineer forces, were carefully planned to destroy the coastal defenses and allow the larger ships of the second attack to land and bring reinforcements.
Germans were alarmed to furtherly fortify and prepare for invasion when the French cities of Dieppe and St. Nazaire were assaulted. Panicked by the assaults, Hitler ordered fortifications to be made along the entire Atlantic coast from Spain all the way to Norway. These fortifications, however, were not completed largely due to a lack of building materials and manpower to defend them. Normandy was also heavily fortified which made the D-Day landing even harder for the Allied Powers.
Extremely strong defenses of what Hitler called “Fortress Europe”, caused incredibly heavy casualties on the invading troops ( Hill ). After the first waves managed to clear a few channels, later landings were forced to funnel into the cleared channels and due to the heavy losses, assault troops were not able to clear the German entrenchments at the exits of the beach ( Hill ). Eventually, small openings were made by the survivors using improvised assaults. At the end of June 6th, only two footholds had been captured, but those ultimately led to further advances making D-day a success ( Atkinson ).
The success of Operation Overlord had turned the tide against the Nazis. It was a major blow and prevented Hitler and the Nazi Party from sending troops from the West to reinforce the Eastern Front where they had been struggling against the Soviets. Finally, on May 8, 1945, the official, unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany was accepted merely a week after Hitler had committed suicide.
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