D-Day June 6, 1944 … The turning point in WWII … The largest *seaborne invasion in history … The beginning of the end of German control over Europe … Only the beginning of a bitter battle as the Allies finally reach Paris and eventually Germany itself
<ul>Prior Events </ul><ul><li>Germany Invades Poland on September 1, 1944 </li><ul><li>This causes Britain, France, and Canada to declare war on Germany, *commencing WWII. </li></ul><li>Invasion of France </li><ul><li>Germany invades France in June of 1941 </li></ul><li>Pearl Harbor </li><ul><li>Japan, an ally to Germany (Axis Powers), attacks US naval base on </li></ul></ul>December 7, 1941. US joins the Allies the following day. Major Allies Major Axis . United States . Germany . Great Britain . Italy . France . Japan . Soviet Union
<ul>Introduction <li>Allies decide that an invasion into France was necessary to free the rest of Europe. </li></ul>Picture of General Eisenhower speaking to soldiers before mission. Dwight D. Eisenhower was the supreme Allied Commander. US General Omar Bradley British Marshal Montgomery <ul>The Big Three </ul>From left to right: Joseph Stalin, FDR, Winston Churchill
<ul>Objectives <li>To land on five beaches, stretching 50 miles along the coast of Normandy, France. </li><ul><ul><li>Beach code names: </li><ul><li>Utah
Sword </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>To secure the coastline in order to mobilize troops to liberate France from German control. Then to make their way on to Germany itself. On to ending with Hitler's rule over Europe. </li></ul>Attack Divisions . Utah- US . Omaha- US . Gold- Britain . Juno- Canada . Sword- Britain * * *
<ul>Objectives (cont.) <li>Make Germany believe the attack would be at Pas de Calais.
To form the largest army and naval armada the world had ever seen. </li></ul><ul>Plan <li>Massively build up fake armies and equipment in Kent to fool Germans into thinking Pas de Calais was the intended target. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Canvas and rubber tanks were assembled to confuse any German *reconnaissance aircraft. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>Inflatable Rubber Tank Canvas Aircraft
<ul>German Defense <li>Despite Allied efforts, Germany suspected an Allied invasion somewhere in France.
Hitler appoints two of his *ablest generals to take charge of strengthening the French coast line from attack.
Tens of thousands of Russian POWs are put to work to construct elaborate defenses. </li><ul><ul><li>They build approximately 15,000 *fortifications. </li></ul></ul><li>Atlantic Wall </li><ul><ul><li>To efficiently secure the coast, Hitler ordered the fortifications to cover from Norway to the south of France.
The line was, by no means, complete or evenly spread by the time of D-Day. </li></ul></ul><li>Hitler's plan was to have his German soldiers set up on the beaches with high powered machine guns and they would shoot the Allies coming out the carrier boats. </li></ul>Rommel inspecting defenses on the Atlantic Wall. Beach obstacles as part of the Atlantic Wall in Northern France.
<ul>Operation of Normandy Landings </ul>Also known as Operation Overlord, Operation Neptune. -June 5-6, 1944 <ul><li>British and American *paratroopers take off to Normandy to secure bridge heads, towns, and other vital locations.
Air assault lands 24,000 American, British, and Canadian troops shortly after midnight.
Bombings start at about 0500 hours. </li><ul><li>-Many bombers were confused by the cloud covers and bombed too late and failed targets. </li></ul><li>Paratrooper's main task was to capture bridges. This would eliminate the possibility if effective German counter- attack.
Three hours into attack, 5,000 Allied fighters defeated 119 enemy aircraft. </li></ul>Paratroopers. Operation was conducted in two phases: By Air: Aerial picture of Normandy landing area.
<ul>Operation of Normandy Landings (cont.) </ul>By Sea and Land: <ul><li>Allied soldiers arrive to the beaches in carrier boats to be dropped off.
Troops board the largest fleet of ships ever seen. (7,000)
During first few hours, commanders (including Gen. Bradley) consider abandoning the beachhead but eventually small units of infantry, along with naval artillery and surviving tanks *infiltrate the coastal defenses. </li><ul><li>-Within these few hours, 5,000 Allied troops die and 1,200 German soldiers are wounded or dead. </li></ul><li>Utah Beach had the lightest casualties of any beach.
Omaha was the most heavily fortified beach. </li><ul><li>- Of the 16 tanks that landed upon the shores of Omaha, only 2 survived the landing. </li></ul></ul>Infantrymen heading towards Omaha .
<ul>Operation Overview <li>Casualties on both sides was approximately 425,000 men.
By the end of D-Day, the Allies landed 130,000 troops by land, and 29,000 men by air.
D-Day was such a risk in Eisenhower's mind that he had prepared a letter to be released to press that Operation Overlord was a failure.
The Allies were successful in part because the German defenders have been surprised, and because of their fight against the Red Army in the east.
The battles that took place on D-Day and the several days after it, are considered by some to some of the most devastating battles that ever took place in the history of mankind.
Allies then move permanently to the offensive as the armies marched through Europe to liberate the other conquered nations.
D-Day was a big step towards the ending of the Hitler Empire in Europe, and WWII. </li></ul>German soldiers surrendering to Allies after D-Day. Alfred Jodl, Chief of the Operations Staff in the German High Command, signs the document of unconditional German surrender. Ending WWII. May 7, 1945.
<ul>Why if it all had failed? <li>WWII would have lasted at least another year.
The longer the war lasted, the more Jews would have been killed, probably wiping out the last of them.
The atomic bomb, created in the summer of 1945, would have been used on Germany first instead of Japan.
Weakened Germany could have allowed the Russian army to role right through Europe, leaving Communism in their wake. </li></ul>George W. Bush in the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial . Graves of Jewish-American soldiers were marked with a Star of David instead of a cross .