By Jonty Harrison Shell 2 ‘J’ Social
By Jonty Harrison Shell 2 ‘J’ Social
Why Were the Normandy Landings a Success On and Following the 6th June? Introduction
The question of whether or not the whole of the 2nd Front, or just the landings, was a complete success, is still debated all around Europe today. However, there is one definite fact that the Allies had a victorious to the end of the war. The journey to the victory was tough, and I will be talking about that journey over the next few 1000 words or so. In direct competition, for every success there is a corresponding failure, so I will also look to “the other side” in order to try to understand the much less documented reasons for their failure – which no doubt aided our success. I will look at some of the key personalities on both sides to assess their impact on the outcome. Background & Sources
I aim to take a balanced view on this subject, and therefore will be looking at sources aimed at both sides.
In order to set up the operation that aimed to open a new front in Western Europe, the Allies created a new command composed of various combined operations. These operations, as well as amphibious operations, refer to a new military concept for the leading Allied nations, who discover its unthinkable importance during World War II. The combined operations bureau is led by the “COSSAC” (Chief of Staff to the Supreme Allied Commander), led by Frederick Morgan. The reasons for COSSAC were as follows: 1) To choose the exact landing point, 2) To retrieve as much information as possible from the previous leading combined operations (North Africa: “Sledghammer” and “Torch”, and Northern France : “Jubilee”), 3) To deal with the troops transport issues. Why Normandy?
The COSSAC had to, first of all, define the invasion landing location in Western Europe. The Allied opinions were very divided within each office. The provisional strategy was presented in August 1943 at the Quebec conference: Normandy was the official starting point of the allied invasion of Western Europe. The Allies finally chose Normandy for a few various reasons: 1) the Brittany coasts were too far away from England, 2) the Dutch lands were seriously flooded and didn’t allow the installation of a pre-fabricated solid beachhead, 3) The Belgian coastal currents were very strong at the time and dangerous, 4) and the Germans seemed to anticipate the Allies most likely landing place to be around the Pas-de-Calais area, 5) The Norman coast was mostly composed of sandy beaches (as well as rollers), and 6) The natural composition of the Norman beaches was relatively similar to that of which could be found along the Western English coast (thus, the soldiers could train on the other side of the Channel, and could even test the resistance of the tanks’ tracks on the particular type of sand). England: The Biggest Military Base
To prepare the final European invasion, it was necessary for the Allies to gather as many troops as possible in Great-Britain. This was in order to organise a much greater scale operation in France, which was then called “Round-up”. Initially, within the framework of the preparation for the invasion, the allied armies had to be equipped and trained to carry out various important and precise missions. The American and Canadian troops first started training on their own soil, but it was increasingly necessary to transfer their armies across the Atlantic and into England, which becomes the starting point of the attack in Europe. During late 1942, the first transport ships left the US and arrive in the UK. An intense anti-submarine battle began in the Atlantic between the allied surface vessels and the Nazi submarines. By 1943, the battle was won by the Allied forces. Once landed in England, the allied soldiers were installed at various places around the country, while the military material (tanks, vehicles, gun, etc.) is...
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