D-Day, The Allied Invasion at Normandy, France  

TTigerAtty 63M
3769 posts
6/6/2006 2:05 pm

Last Read:
6/7/2006 7:59 am

D-Day, The Allied Invasion at Normandy, France

Normandy campaign

June to Aug., 1944, in World War II. The Allied invasion of the European continent through Normandy began about 12:15 on June 6, 1944 (D-day). The plan, known as Operation Overlord, had been prepared since 1943; supreme command over its execution was entrusted to General Dwight D. Eisenhower. In May, 1944, tactical bombing was begun in order to destroy German communications in northern France. Just after midnight on June 6, British and American airborne forces landed behind the German coastal fortifications known as the Atlantic Wall. They were followed after daybreak by the seaborne troops of the U.S. 1st Army and British 2d Army. Field Marshal B. L. Montgomery was in command of the Allied land forces. Some 4,000 transports, 800 warships, and innumerable small craft, under Admiral Sir B. H. Ramsay, supported the invasion, and more than 11,000 aircraft, under Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory, formed a protective umbrella. While naval guns and Allied bombers assaulted the beach fortifications, the men swarmed ashore. At the base of the Cotentin peninsula the U.S. forces established two beachheads‒Utah Beach, west of the Vire River, and Omaha Beach, east of the Vire, the scene of the fiercest fighting. British troops, who had landed near Bayeux on three beaches called Gold, Juno, and Sword, advanced quickly but were stopped before Caen. On June 12 the fusion of the Allied beachheads was complete. The German commander, Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt, found that Allied air strength prevented use of his reserves. U.S. forces under General Omar N. Bradley cut off the Cotentin peninsula (June 18 ), and Cherbourg surrendered on June 27. The Americans then swung south. After difficult fighting in easily defendable "hedgerow" country they captured (July 18 ) the vital communications center of Saint-Lô, cutting off the German force under Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. The U.S. 3d Army under General George S. Patton was thrown into the battle and broke through the German left flank at Avranches. Patton raced into Brittany and S to the Loire, swinging east to outflank Paris. A German attempt to cut the U.S. forces in two at Avranches was foiled (Aug. 7–11). The British had taken Caen on July 9, but they were again halted by a massive German tank concentration. They resumed their offensive in August and captured Falaise on Aug. 16. Between them and the U.S. forces driving north from Argentan the major part of the German 7th Army was caught in the "Falaise pocket" and was wiped out by Aug. 23, opening the way for the Allies to overrun northern France.

See G. A. Harrison, Cross Channel Attack (1951); C. Ryan, The Longest Day (1959, repr. 1967); A. McKee, Last Round against Rommel (1964); A. A. Mitchie, The Invasion of Europe (1964); Army Times Ed., D-day, the Greatest Invasion (1969); S. E. Ambrose, D-day, June 6, 1944 (1994); R. J. Drez, Voices of D-day (1994); R. Miller, Nothing Less than Victory (1994); T. A. Wilson, D-day 1944 (1994).

non illigitimae carborundum

want2play926 47F

6/6/2006 4:00 pm

It is so important for the future generations to know this and remember that bad men everywhere NEED to be stopped as soon as possible and not let another Hitler do what he did.

micahbiguns 52M

6/6/2006 4:42 pm

Good post thank you for the reminder. My grandfather on mom's side was at normandy and he would not talk much about what happened only enough to know that it was hard fought and a bittersweet victory for him.

TTigerAtty 63M

6/7/2006 7:59 am

want2play926 - God help us IF WWIII were to break out! It is interesting to observe that school children were invited to the ceremonies in France. Perhaps, school children the world over should be taught more about prior wars. As I recall my history classes from grade school and high school, I did not learn enough about war and what caused the wars to develop.

micahbiguns - I'm glad your grandfather survived the Normandy invasion. I read one account that talked about 29,000 dead just on the beaches of northern France. God bless your grandfather!

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