This book is dedicated to everyone who lost some one they loved during D-Day.
This is the story of one of the most daring invasions ever attempted that changed the world as we know it. If this invasion never happened we might have lost World War II. Thankfully the invasion happen, allowing the Allies to win World War II. This daring and monumental invasion is know as D-Day.
At the beginning of World War II Germany invaded and occupied northwestern France in May 1940. France was an Allie. The Allies were a group of countries that were against the Axis. The Allie countries were Australia, Canada, Belgium, France, Czechoslovakia, Greece, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, United Kingdom, United States, and Russia.
The Allies wanted to liberate France and Europe from Nazi Germany. Ultimately, in order to free Europe, the Allies agreed that there needed to be some sort of large invasion. The Germans feared there was going to be an invasion on France so Adolf Hitler put General Erwin Rommel in charge of defenses.
General Dwight Eisenhower was put in charge of the invasion of France. He knew that the attack had to be near the English Channel so that the British Air Force could help in the attack. The Germans also knew that the attack had to be near the English Channel so Erwin Rommel set up defenses along any beach that was close to the English Channel.
Eisenhower also knew that if the invasion was to happen the Germans could not find out where they were going to attack. He created one of the greatest deceptions ever seen. Eisenhower created a fake army to make the Germans think the main invasion target was Pas-de-Calais rather than Normandy.
In addition, they led the Germans to believe that Norway and other locations were also potential invasion targets. This fake invasion army was made up of inflatable military vehicles. During the night they would move the fake military vehicles to make it seem like they moved.
They were going to attack the Normandy on June 5, 1944 but due to the bad weather the invasion was moved to June 6, 1944. Finally the ships left Britain and landed in France on June 6, 1944.
Fourteen thousand Canadians stormed Juno Beach on June 6, 1944, D-Day. The militaries courage and determination were one of the reason why they were able to overtake the forces at Juno. The price they paid was 340 Canadian lives and another 574 wounded.
John Keegan, eminent British historian, wrote Six Armies in Normandy. He stated the following concerning the Canadian 3rd Division on D-Day: “At the end of the day, its forward elements stood deeper into France than those of any other division. The opposition the Canadians faced was stronger than that of any other beach save Omaha. That was an accomplishment in which the whole nation could take considerable pride.”
Luckily for the British, Sword was not well defended. The goal of this point was to take control of the beach in Ouistreham and move inland to capture Caen and the Carpiquet Airfield.
Capturing the beach at Sword was a very important and easy mission. Due to the fact that the beach did not have many machine guns and landmines. Sword was the second easiest point captured by the Allies.
The landing on Gold Beach was one of the more successful of the D-Day landings. There were only 400 casualties. The casualities were very low compared to other beach landings by the Allies. At the end of June 6, 1944 Gold Beach had been taken over by British Forces.
Soldiers unloading at the Gold Landing point.
Most soldiers died getting on the beach because landmines were buried underneath the water. Since soldierscould not see or disable the land mines, it was the easiest points of capture.
A British slodier searching for land mines at the Gold Landing point.
Due to strong tidal currents, the Allies landed approximately 2kms off course. This error proved to work in the favor of the Americans as German coastal defenses where weaker.
The landing at Utah Beach was considered an almost perfect landing. The Americans suffered very few casualties. Less than 200 troops were killed. Once the beachhead was secured, it was used as a port to unload hundreds of thousands of men and approximately 800,000 tons of equipment.
Omaha Beach was living hell. It was the deadliest of the five landing points.Taking Omaha was to be the responsibility of United States Army troops. Very little went as planned during the landing at Omaha Beach. Difficulties in navigation caused the majority of landing craft to miss their targets throughout the day.
The defenses were unexpectedly strong, and inflicted heavy casualties on landing US troops. Working under heavy fire, the engineers struggled to clear the beach obstacles for the bunched up ships that used the few channels that were cleared. Weakened by the casualties taken just in landing, the surviving assault troops could not clear the heavily defended exits off the beach.
Diagram that shows the deffense at Omaha Beach
This caused further problems and consequent delays for later landings. Small penetrations were eventually achieved by groups of survivors making improvised assaults, scaling the bluffs between the most heavily defended points.
By the end of the day, two small isolated footholds had been won. Weaker defenses were exploited further inland, thus achieving the original D-Day objectives over the following days. There was about 5,000 casualities at the Omaha Beach landing.
The D-Day invasion began with paratroopers dropping behind enemy lines. This was a dangerous mission because machine guns were firing up at the paratroopers. If the paratroopers parachutes where hit by a bullet the paratrooper could hit the ground like a bomb dropping from the sky.
Paratroopers were assigned specific targets. During D-Day paratroopers were used to blow up bridges to stop the Nazis from sending in more man. They were also stopped enemy communication. This was important because the Germans could not call in reinforcements..
D-Day not only allowed the Allies to retake France, but also lead to Germany's surrender. Shortly after the invasion of D-Day, Nazi Germany surrendered and the Russian and British armies took control of the country. D-Day is also the most daring invasions ever attempted.
News paper article about the German surrender
Do you want to learn more about World War II?
The tension created in Europe by the First World War set the stage for another world wide war. World War II broke out two decades later and prove even more destructive.
Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist (Nazi Party) rose to power and made treaties with Italy and Japan to further his goal of world domination.
Hitler’s invasion of Poland in September 1939 drove Great Britain and France to declare war on Germany, and World War II began. Over the next six years, the conflict would take more lives and destroy more land and property around the globe than any previous war.
Diagram of deaths per month during World War II
Do you want to learn more about Genral Dwight D. Eisenhower?
Dwight D. Eisenhower was born on October 14, 1890 in Denison, Texas. In 1945 he became U.S. Army Chief of Staff. He became the first Supreme Allied Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1951. In 1952 he was elected president of the United States.
One of General Eisenhower's famous quotes
He served two terms before retiring to Gettysburg in 1961. Eisenhower died on March 28, 1969, at the Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C.
General Eisenhower on a boat when he was in the military.
This is a interesting and informative book about D-day. In this book there is information about the preparation leading to D-day and the battles that happened. It also talks about World War II and General Eisenhower. If you want more information on D-day go to http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/d-day
About the Author
Lukas Augsburg lives in Ardsley, New York and attends the Ardsley Middle School. He enjoys playing sport such as lacrosse. Lukas' favorite subject is history. This is the reason that he wrote a book about an historical event.