The Invasion of Normandy, D-Day

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The invasion of Normandy, commonly referred to as D-Day, was a crucial mission to regain power over Nazi Germany, and was critical to the Allied victory of WW II. Operation Overlord, commanded by General Dwight D. Eisenhower was the largest multinational land, sea, and air campaign in history. On June 6 1944, the attack started with multiple airborne and pathfinder units parachuting inland behind the Atlantic Wall, an 800 mile strip of coast occupied by Nazi Germany under the command of General Rommel. This Atlantic Wall was thought to be impenetrable, but under the careful command of General Eisenhower and his team of advisors and a considerable amount of luck, they were about to disprove that theory and spark the beginning of the end of WW II.
Operation Overlord was orchestrated by the Commanding General of Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who had responsibility for about three million troops made up of American, British, Canadian, French, Polish, Czech, Belgium, Norwegian, and Dutch contingents (Bowden 2). This responsibility was enough to hobble any man, yet Eisenhower knew the importance of his mission and how critical each part of the assault, the weather, the timing, and each unit’s role. Everyone involved in this offensive knew the outcome to be a deciding factor in the result of WW II. For months troops were deployed on these mock invasions, many of the troops did not know if they were actually going a training mission or the actual deployment of D-Day. Private Rosco Russo was quoted saying; “We would always aim the rifle, squeeze the trigger, and say, “Kraut bastard,” fully expecting that it would make killing Germans a lot easier.” This causes a belief that these multiple deployments on training missions, while staged in England, was to desensitize these young men and to combat complacency. Most of the men who were prepped to be part of the largest offensive of history were under the age of 21



Cited: Beevor, Antony. D-day: the Battle for Normandy. New York: Viking, 2009. Print. Foner, Eric. Give me liberty!: an American history. third ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2012. Print. Bowden, Mark. Our finest day: D-Day: June 6, 1944. San Francisco: Chronicle Books ;, 2002. Print.

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