The battle of Normandy

Introduction

The Battle of Normandy, popularly referred to as Operation Overlord was the united attack of Normandy. It started on June 6 of 1944, nicknamed D-Day and its last part was June 30 of the same year. The end was known as Operation Cobra. The participants of the Normandy on D-Day came from the United Kingdom, The United States and Canada. Sizeable Free French and troops from Poland as well took part in the combat following the attack stage.

There were also other groups from Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Norway and Netherland. Additional united countries took part in the seafaring and air troops.

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As of today, Operation Overlord still is the leading seaborne assault in times gone by (D-Day, the Battle of Normandy). It entailed more than 156,000 forces crossing the English Channel from England to Normandy. The initial seafront attack Operation Overlord was nicknamed Operation Neptune, with its aim being to get a grip on the continent.

This battle was and still remains one of the most significant occurrences of contemporary history as the united forces shattered the core of the Nazi troops and as a result speeding up the devastation of Nazi Germany, attaining the triumph of democratic system(s) over absolutism.

The Normandy attack commenced with all night parachute and sailplane touchdowns, immense air assaults, nautical onslaughts and an early morning land and sea chapter commenced on June sixth. D-Day troops set out from establishments by the side of the south coastline of England with the most significant of these being Portsmouth.

Allied preparations

The intention of the act was to craft a lodgment that would be attached in the City of Caen and soon after that Cherbourg after its harbor would be secured. If Normandy could be held, the Western European movement and the collapse of Nazi Germany could set in motion.

Close to 6,900 watercrafts would be employed in the assault, under the leadership of Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay. There would be 4,100 landing vessels, with 12,000 airplanes in readiness to shore up the landings under the command of Air Marshal Sir Trafford Mallory (The main phases of the Battle of Normandy). 1,000 transfers were to be in place to fly in the parachute forces with 10,000 tons of bombs.

Among the more atypical united groundwork included toughened vehicles in particular adjusted for the attack. They were built up under the headship of Major General Percy Hobart.

The vehicles were nicknamed Hobart’s Funnies and consisted of Duplex Drive Sherman tanks able to ‘swim’, fire hurling tanks, mine-clearing tanks, bride construction tanks and road construction tanks equip endowed with mechanisms for tearing down solid placements.

Preceding trials had been carried out on these vehicles and found successful. The mass of them were to be operated by the British Armored Division attached to the assorted troops.

The troops went over their functions for D-Day months to the attack. On April 28, 1944, seven hundred and forty nine American armed forces and seafarers were murdered when German bomber liners surprised one of these rehearsal workouts.

A few months to the attack, the united forces carried out a trickery maneuver, it was called Operation Bodyguard and the trickery arrangement was referred to as Operation Fortitude. There occurred a number of seep outs just before or on D-Day. In the course of the Cicero event, Germans got hold of credentials bearing indications to Overlord.

However, these credentials did not contain all the aspects. Driving forces drawn from Double Cross like Juan Pujol played a vital function in talking into the German High Command that Normandy was at most excellence an indirect assault.

Another important seep out was General Charles de Gaulle’s radio communication following D-Day. Contrary to all the other persons in charge, he reiterated that this attack was the actual attack. This held the prospective to mess up the united trickeries Fortitude North and Fortitude South.

For instance, General Eisenhower made a reference to the touch downs as the opening attack. The Germans did not accept as true De Gaulle’s message and hang around for much time to budge in additional units in opposition to their attackers.

Order of battle

The advancement was from east to west and just about as follows. 6th Airborne Division was turned in using parachute and sailplanes to the east of River Orne and was meant to guard the left edge. The first Special Service Brigade then landed at Ouistreham. Number 41 Commando which was a section of 4th Special Service Brigade touched down on the outlying right of Sword Beach (Ford, 2002, p. 34). Other troops then came in covering the left beaches and river shores. All these were drawn from the British group and numbered over 80,000.

The US troops covered Omaha, Pointe du Hoc, Utah and Sainte-Mere-Eglise to guard the right edge. These troops numbered 73,000 with 15,500 of them above the ground.

Atlantic Wall

The Atlantic Wall stood in the way of the attacking troops in addition to the English Channel. The wall had been ordered by Hitler in the anticipation that any approaching touchdowns would be timed for high tide. This led to the touch downs being timed for low tide.

After the landings

After the beachheads had been ascertained, artificial Mulberry harbors were drawn across the English Channel and made operational. British troops put up one at Arromanches while the Americans put the other at Omaha Beach. Ruthless rainstorms disrupted the landing of supplies for some time but by then a good amount of personnel and supplies had been brought in.

Plans had been to the effect that Carentan, Saint-Lo, Caen, and Bayeux be captured on the first day (Whitlock, 2004, p.59). However, none of this was attained as planned. The most encouraging thing was that wounded persons had not turned out as many as had been feared.

The German Panzer Division attacked the Canadians on 7th and 8th June and meted out profound losses but did not manage to break through. In the mean time, the beaches were being connected by the united forces. The Germans were being outdone in adding force to the front. A superior air presence and obliteration of the French rail ensured that every German force progress was sluggish and perilous.

Utah Beach

Utah Beach was the codification for the right/west most of the united troops’ touch down all through D-Day. Utah got incorporated in the attack program just before plans were complete and the reason for this was because extra landing crafts were on hand. The US 4th Infantry Division touched down on the 3 miles long beach with quite small opposition. It was unlike Omaha Beach where warfare was severe.

The plan involved touching down in four bearings. Just two hours prior to the focal attack force, a marauding party came ashore from a German surveillance point. The first platoon got there on time and all 20 vessels were released as planned. The attack craft brought down their access ramps and 600 soldiers walked through waist-deep water onto the beach.

Arrival on the beach was thus late by a few minutes and there was relatively no opposition at this point (Whitlock, 2004, p. 46). The 1st Battalion was planned to touch down straight opposite les Dunes de Warrenville.

Touch downs, on the other hand, were made 1,800 meters south. This blunder was potentially grave as it could have ended up in a huge misunderstanding. Fortunately, that never happened. However, this meant that the original procedures could not be executed thoroughly.

On realizing the mistake that had been made, Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jr. conducted a scouting of the area to find entry points which were to be used to get inland. He then got back to the touchdown point, got in touch with the commanding officers of the two contingents and directed the attack. These spur-of-the-moment plans worked out well and Roosevelt later got to be honored.

At the end of the day, over 23,000 forces had safely touched down with only around 200 injured persons reported. A number of issues facilitated success at Utah as compared to Omaha.

To begin with there were a small number of German defenses. There was effectual pre-attack salvo as several known bunkers were torn down from the air before D-Day. Landing as not planned turned out to be a blessing as the other areas were profoundly secured.

Estimated number German forces that got killed and injured were 200,000 while further soldiers totaling the same number got arrested as prisoners of war. They were held up at American prisoner-of-war camps where they underwent interrogation.

Assessment of the battle

The Normandy might have been pricey in terms of troops while the defeat meted out on Germans was one of the prevalent occurrences of the battle. Tactically, the operation led to the loss of the German occupancy in majority of France and the safe institution of a fresh key frontage.

The overall united idea of the battle was well-grounded, capitalizing on the powers of both Britain and the United States (Battle of Normandy). German inclinations and headship were for most of the part out of order. On a larger scale the Normandy landings were of much help to the Soviets who at the time were facing German troops. The landings abridged the clash.

Reference List

D-Day, the Battle of Normandy. Available from Accessed February 09, 2011.

Ford, K. (2002). D-Day 1944 (3), Sword Beach & the British Airborne Landings. London: Osprey Publishing. P 34 – 56.

The main phases of the Battle of Normandy. Available from Accessed February 09, 2011.

Whitlock, F. (2004). The Fighting First: The Untold Story of the Big Red One on D-Day. Boulder, CO: West view.

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