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English D-Day Part 3/3


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  • 1. French ResistanceFrench ResistanceThe French Resistance was included in the plan for Operation Overlord. These groupsorders were to attack railway lines, ambushing roads or destroying telephone exchangesor electricity sub-stations.During the first month of the year 1944, the Resistance for example was able to destroymore than 800 locomotives and to sabotage the railway system more than 3,000 times.During June, 486 railway tracks and 26 telephone exchanges, such as the importantconnections between Avranches, Saint Lô, Cherbourg, and Caen, were destroyed.The Resistance forces were alerted to carry out these tasks by coded messages,transmitted by the BBC in its French program from London.During the month before D-Day several hundreds of these were regularly transmittedfor masking the few of them that were really significant.Only a few days before D-Day, the first line of Verlaines poem, "Chanson dAutomne",was broadcasted. "Les sanglots lourdes des violons de lautomne" - “Long sobs ofautumn violins” - alerted the Resistance in the area around Orleans to attack railwaytargets within the next few days.The second line, "Bercent mon coeur dune langueur monotone" - “wound my heartwith a monotonous strain”, transmitted late on June 5th, meant that the attacks were tobe done immediately.The German military intelligence service, called the “Abwehr”, had discovered themeaning of this particular pair of messages.They rightly interpreted it to mean that invasion was imminent or underway.Understanding the meaning of the second part, they alerted their superiors, and all Armycommanders in France. Unfortunately, a month before they had issued a similarwarning, when the Allies had begun invasion preparations and alerted the Resistance,but then postponed all operations. Having given this false alarm in the past, theirgenuine alarm was ignored or treated as a merely routine. by Markus Schultz Page 76 of 84
  • 2. French Resistance French Resistance fighter prepare the bombing of a railway track. A sabotaged railway track caused this Markus Schultz Page 77 of 84
  • 3. After the landingsAfter the landings Landing supplies at Normandy.Once the beachhead was established, two artificial Mulberry Harbors were towed acrossthe English Channel. Around 9,000 tons of material landed daily at each of them, untilCherbourg harbor was captured. Map of the Mulberry Harbor at Arromanche and a aerial picture of it. by Markus Schultz Page 78 of 84
  • 4. After the landingsThe Allied invasion plan said that Carentan, St. Lo, Caen and Bayeux should have beenreached on the first day, with all the beaches linked and a frontline six to ten miles (10to 16 km) from the beaches. In fact none of these had been achieved, but the casualtiesabout - 10,000 - had not been as heavy as Churchill feared (20,000).The allied troops werent able to advance as fast as they had planned trough Normandy.The German defence had been very strong because of the ideal defence situation for theGermans inland. They were also defending key-locations like Cherbourg and Caen.Cherbourg was liberated on June 26th and Caen on July 28th by General Pattons 3rdArmy Division and from that on the troops was advancing to the east – directed to Paris.The Allied forces liberated Paris on August 25th.By September, Allied forces were approaching the German frontier. by Markus Schultz Page 79 of 84
  • 5. Strategic analysisStrategic analysisThe Allies were victorious in Normandy due to several factors. Logistical innovations like the PLUTO pipelines (fuel pipelines through the English Channel) and Mulberry harbors enhanced the flow of troops, equipment, fuel, and ammunition. By the end of July 1944, 1 million American, British, Canadian, French and Polish troops, and hundreds of thousands of vehicles came ashore in Normandy. Allied Intelligence and counterintelligence (Operation Fortitude) successfully made the Germans focusing their attention on the Pas-de-Calais area, and so most German units were kept in this area. Allied air operations were also an important factor. The air forces offered close tactical support and attacked German lines, preventing fast movement of supplies and reinforcements. Despite initial heavy losses in the landing phase, Allied morale remained high. Faulty German orders and decisions also contributed to Allied victory. Several German commanders failed to react to the assault phase in a timely manner. The Communications problems caused by Allied air and naval bombardment. by Stefan Fiesel Page 80 of 84
  • 6. Sources - InformationSourcesInformation Operation_Overlord junobeach/juno-10-6.htm by Markus Schultz Page 81 of 84
  • 7. Sources - InformationPicture sourcesCover: Photo by Robert Capa Rommel inspecting[...] Invasion Plan %20maps /ww2%20map54.jpg20maps/ww2%20map54.jpgAmerican paratroopers in their C-[...] of paratroopers. Eisenhower with para[...] eisenhower_101st_airborne.jpgAmerican Paratroopers of the [...] of the 101st Airborne [...] from 82nd Airborne[...] Paratrooper from 82nd [...] Source unknownSoldiers from 82nd Airborne [...] of Operation Tonga. AB at Caen Canal Bridge[...] of 6th Airborne [...] of the area around the [...] units of 6th [...] Horsa Glider over France. of the four guns of the [...] intelligence picture of [...] in landing crafts soldiers wading [...] Source unknown – Picture taken by the famous war-photographer Robert CapaAt low tide the obstacles [...] of the Landing Beaches Self-madeBritish infantry waiting to [...] soldiers landing at [...] of Juno Beach landing at Juno Beach Canadian soldiers at [...] Http:// soldiers embarking their [...] assault.jpgGerman Soldiers preparing for [...] Source unknownSoldiers landing at Gold Beach. Source unknownTroops in an LCVP landing craft [...] of the Omaha beachhead. /785pxOmaha_beachhead_6_June_1944.jpgPlan of a Sherman DD [...] of a Sherman DD [...] of a LCVP “Higgins Craft” [...] medics try to save the [...] Source unknownReinforcements of men and [...] bombing of Pointe [...] Hoe.jpgUS Army Rangers demonstrate [...] of 2nd Ranger Battalion [...] of 2nd Ranger Battalion [...] of the Utah beach landings. of the 4th Infantry [...] of the 101st Airborne [...] Sherman DD Tanks [...] Resistance fighter [...] sabotaged railway track [...] supplies at Normandy of the Mulberry Harbor at […] Markus Schultz Page 82 of 84
  • 8. Sources - InformationSourcesInformation by Stefan Fiesel Page 83 of 84
  • 9. Sources - PicturesPictures by Stefan Fiesel Page 84 of 84