Day Of Days


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Day Of Days

  1. 1. DAY OF DAYS June 6, 1944
  2. 2. Fortress Europe Even as Allies were  attacking Italy they were planning a dramatic invasion of France Its purpose was to  free Western Europe Operation Overlord,  was given to American General Dwight D. Eisenhower (“Ike”)
  3. 3. Smoke and Mirrors Eisenhower gathered an Allied  force of nearly 3 million troops  Americans, British, and Canadian  Planned to attack Normandy in Northern France To keep the plan secret the Allies  set up a huge phantom army  Had its own headquarters and equipment Allied commanders sent orders  to make this make-believe army attack the French port of Calais (150 miles away)  English Channel is narrowest  Hitler ordered his generals to keep a large army at Calais
  4. 4. The Invasion of a Continent The invasion was originally set  for June 5  Bad weather forced a delay Eisenhower gave the go-ahead  for D-Day to commence on June 6, 1944 Shortly after midnight, three  divisions parachuted behind German lines In the early morning hours they  were followed by thousands upon thousands of seaborne soldiers It was the largest land-sea-air  operation in human history  German retaliation was brutal
  5. 5. The Atlantic Wall Extensive system of German coastal  fortifications Minefields and antitank obstacles were  planted on the beaches themselves Underwater obstacles and mines were  planted in the waters just off shore  Intent was to destroy the landing craft before they could unload By the invasion, the Germans had laid  almost six million mines in northern France Gun emplacements and minefields  extended inland In likely landing spots for gliders and  parachutists, the Germans placed slanted poles with sharpened tops
  6. 6. The Landings Normandy was divided into five  zones:  „Gold‟ and „Sword‟ were attacked by the British Second Army  „Juno‟ was assaulted by Canada  „Utah‟ and „Omaha‟ were assaulted by the U.S. First Army At the end of the day there  were11,000 Allied casualties, including 2,500 killed British and American air forces flew  over 25,000 sorties by 9pm on June 6th The German air force managed only  319 on the same day Within six weeks the Allies had  suffered over 100,000 casualties
  7. 7. D-Day + 7 After 7 days of fighting the Allies  managed to hold an 80-mile strip of France Within a month they had landed a  million troops, 567,000 tons of supplies, and 170,000 vehicles in France On July 25 a massive air and land  bombardment against Germany began at St. Lo Opened a line through which  General Georg Patton and his Third Army could advance On August 23, Patton reached the  Seine River South of Paris
  8. 8. D-Day +7 Two days later French resistance  forces and American troops liberated Paris Patton informed Supreme  Commander Eisenhower of his victory…  “Dear Ike: Today I spat in the Seine” By September 1944, the Allies  had freed France, Belgium, and Luxembourg The direction of the war was  changing