D-Day: an Important Page of History

On June 6th, 1944 Allied forces invaded Europe via Normandy, France. This day would go down as the biggest “D-Day” in history for more than 156,000 Allied troops invaded the beaches of Normandy. 4,000 Allied troops lost their lives that day and it is considered a turning point in WW2.

          The Americans joined the war in 1941 and by 1942 they and the British were considering a major Allied invasion across the English Channel. In November 1943 Hitler, who was aware of the threat of an invasion, put Erwin Rommel in charge of defense operations in the region. Hitler charged Rommel with finishing the Atlantic wall.

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          Before morning, when it was still pitch dark, paratroopers began the invasion. These were men who dropped from planes with parachutes. They destroyed key targets behind enemy lines and and captured bridges in order for the main invasion force to storm the beaches. Thousands of dummies were also dropped to draw enemy fire. In the next stage of the battle thousands of Allied planes dropped bombs on German defenses. Soon the main invasion force of over 6,000 ships carrying troops, weapons, tanks, and equipment arrived.  American troops landed at Omaha and Utah beaches. The Utah beah was successful but at Omaha beach, the fighting was fierce. Many soldiers lost their lives at Omaha. Eventually though, the Allies were able to capture Omaha.

          By the end of D-Day over 150,000 troops had landed in Normandy they pushed their way inland over the next 7 days. By June 17th over 500,000 Allies had pushed their way inland and had pushed the Germans out of France. The Allied dorces then prepared to enter France where they would meet the Soviet soldiers moving in from the East. The victory in Normandy was a huge blow to the Nazis. It prevented Hitler from sending troops in France to build up his Eastern front against the Soviets. On May 8th, 1945 the Nazis surrendered to the Allies. Hitler comited suicide a week earlier on April 30th.

          This relates to Anne Frank because this day was a huge turning point for the Allies in World War 2. In the long run it ended the war and saved many Jews, including her father, but sadly not her. Anne died in March, just two months before the war ended. The Holocaust ended the lives of around 6 million Jewish people, thats about two thirds of the ammount of Jews prior to the Holocaust.

          There is also some interesting facts about D-Day. The troops needed the light of a full moon to see to attack. Because of this, there were only a few days of the month where the Allies could attack, This is why Eisenhower went ahead with the invasion despite the bad wheather. Another fact is that the allies wanted to attack during high tide so they could avoid the obstacles put in the water by the Germans. The third fact is that although June 6th is called D-Day, D-Day is also a generic military term where D stands for day of any major attack. A fourth fact is that the Allies called D-Day “Operation Neptune.” The fifth, and final fact is that D-Day was the single largest invasion by sea in history.

Work Cited

  • World War II. Ducksters Educational Site, Technological Solutions, Inc., www.ducksters.com/history/world_war_ii/d-day_invasion_of_normandy.php.
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