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A brief history of d day in the united states

  • Eisenhower's exploitation of a small window in a period of very bad weather caught the Germans completely off guard;
  • Although the weather did have some affect and on the Allies ability to attack, it also caused the Germans to think that no attack was coming;
  • The Atlantic Wall consisted of barbed wire, thousands of pillboxes, gun placements and bunkers;
  • However, Britain and the United States had managed to slow down the expanding German forces.

With a huge force of over 150,000 soldiers, the Allies attacked and gained a victory that became the turning point for World War II in Europe. This famous battle is sometimes called D-Day or the Invasion of Normandy. Sargent Leading up to the Battle Germany had invaded France and was trying to take over all of Europe including Britain.

D-Day: Beachhead

However, Britain and the United States had managed to slow down the expanding German forces. They were now able to turn on the offensive. To prepare for the invasion, the Allies amassed troops and equipment in Britain.

They also increased the number of air strikes and bombings in German territory. Right before the invasion, over 1000 bombers a day were hitting German targets. They bombed railroads, bridges, airfields, and other strategic places in order to slow down and hinder the German army.

Deception The Germans knew that an invasion was coming. They could tell by all the forces that were gathering in Britain as well as by the additional air strikes. What they didn't know was where the Allies would strike. In order to confuse the Germans, the Allies tried to make it look like they were going to attack north of Normandy at Pas de Calais.

The Weather Although the D-Day invasion had been planned for months, it was almost cancelled due to bad weather. General Eisenhower finally agreed to attack despite the overcast skies. Although the weather did have some affect and on the Allies ability to attack, it also caused the Germans to think that no attack was coming. They were less prepared as a result. The Invasion The first wave of the attack began with the paratroopers. These were men who jumped out of planes using parachutes.

They jumped at night in the pitch dark and landed behind enemy lines.

  • D-Day Facts - 31;
  • The Canadians suffered 1,200 casualties out of 21,400 troops who landed at Juno Beach;
  • It was the largest construction project in European history, involving at any one time more than 100,000 workers;
  • The 'Bobbin' carpet layer tank was an AVRE adapted to lay reinforced matting on soft beach surfaces allowing armored vehicles to drive across difficult terrain and without sinking on the beach.

Their job was to destroy key targets and capture bridges in order for the main invasion force to land on the beach. Thousands of dummies were also dropped in order to draw fire and confuse the enemy. In the next stage of the battle thousands of planes dropped bombs on German defenses. Soon after, warships began to bomb the beaches from the water. While the bombing was going on, underground members of the French Resistance sabotaged the Germans by cutting telephone lines and destroying railroads.

Soon the main invasion force of over 6,000 ships carrying troops, weapons, tanks, and equipment approached the beaches of Normandy.

  1. The British and Canadians had suffered their own disaster at Dieppe on 18 August 1942. To prepare for the invasion, the Allies amassed troops and equipment in Britain.
  2. Vast, fake army camps appeared around Maidstone and Canterbury, with thousands of partly concealed dummy tanks and aircraft. There were 10,000 Allied casualties killed, wounded or missing on D-Day.
  3. Thus the German response in the first hours was spasmodic and uncoordinated.

The Utah landing was successful, but the fighting at Omaha beach was fierce. Many US soldiers lost their lives at Omaha, but they were finally able to take the beach. Troops and supplies coming to shore at Normandy Source: They pushed their way inland allowing more troops to land over the next several days. By June 17th over half a million Allied troops had arrived and they began to push the Germans out of France.

Eisenhower of the United States. Interesting Facts about D-Day The troops needed the light of a full moon to see to attack. For this reason there were only a few days during a month when the Allies could attack.

This led Eisenhower to go ahead with the invasion despite the bad weather. The Allies wanted to attack during high tide as this helped the ships to avoid obstacles put in the water by the Germans.

Although June 6 is often called D-Day, D-Day is also a generic military term that stands for the day, D, of any major attack. The overall military operation was called "Operation Overlord". The actual landings at Normandy were called "Operation Neptune". Activities Take a ten question quiz about this page.