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D-Day. June 6 th , 1944. Dr. Seuss’ view of Operation Barbarossa – Hitler’s Great Mistake. What was the situation in 1944?. The Russians have defeated the Germans and are advancing in the East

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d day


June 6th, 1944

what was the situation in 1944
What was the situation in 1944?
  • The Russians have defeated the Germans and are advancing in the East
  • The Allies are victorious in Africa and have successfully launched an assault on mainland Italy through Sicily
the move on to france
The Move on to France
  • Having the Germans occupied in Italy allowed the allies to move forward with their plan to open up the long awaited western front in Europe
the impact of dieppe
The Impact of Dieppe
  • The Dieppe disaster had taught the Allies that the element of surprise was essential.
  • The Germans knew an attack was coming, they just didn’t know where or when
  • The Allies had to come up with a location, but they had to keep it a SECRET if it was going to be successful.
the criteria
The Criteria
  • The enemy must remain ignorant of the proposed landing site
  • The enemy must be prevented from bringing up reinforcements quickly once the allies landed
  • Complete Allied air and naval superiority in the English Channel
  • Local defences must largely be destroyed by air and sea bombardment
the location is decided
The Location is Decided...
  • The obvious choice for a landing area was Calais (because it was only separated from Britain by the Strait of Dover), so the Allies decided to land in Normandy.
  • To keep the Germans guessing, the Allies came up with a plan to fool them into thinking the invasion would come at Calais.
      • Across from Calais, the Allies created fake installations, air bases, landing craft, and tanks to make it look like troops were getting ready there.
  • Meanwhile, they were gathering the troops in the West!
normandy it is
Normandy It Is!
  • Normandy is a peninsula on the French Coast
  • It was chosen because the Germans expected the attack to be at Calais
operation overlord
Operation “Overlord”
  • There would be five sectors that would be attacked:
  • Utah – American
  • Omaha – American
  • Gold – British
  • Juno – Canadian
  • Sword - British
the time has come
The Time Has Come
  • On the evening of June 5th paratroopers dropped in to secure bridges for the allied advance
  • Heavy bombers dropped their payloads on what was supposed to be the beach defences
  • In the early morning the largest armada of ships left Britain for the French coast
  • By the end of D-Day, more than 155,000 soldiers, 6000 vehicles, and 3600 tonnes of supplies had landed in France

Germany was now fighting the war on 3 fronts: the Soviet Union, Italy, and France

the attack june 6 th 1944
The Attack – June 6th, 1944
  • Operation Overlord Simulation
the canadians on d day juno beach
The Canadians on D-Day – Juno Beach
  • Of the nearly 150,000 Allied troops who landed or parachuted into the invasion area, 14,000 were Canadians
  • Canadians landed at an 8km stretch of beach in Normandy code named “JUNO”
  • The Royal Canadian Navy contributed 110 ships and 10,000 sailors in support of the landings while the R.C.A.F. had helped prepare the invasion by bombing targets inland
  • Canadians suffered 1074 casualties, including 359 killed.

D-Day - What Happened - Summary


the battle for normandy
The Battle for Normandy
  • For the first month following the D-Day landings, a stalemate developed during which the Allies built up their forces
  • In July Canadian troops helped capture Caen and then turned towards Falaise where they aimed at joining an American advance from the south to encircle the German forces in Normandy.
  • By August 21, the Germans had either retreated or been destroyed between the Canadian-British and American pincers
  • The ten-week Normandy Campaign cost the Canadians alone more than 18,000 casualties, 5000 of them fatal.

D Day remembered 50 years later

  • Events of WW2 Chart:
    • Complete D-Day
    • Liberating the Scheldt
    • The Battle of the Bulge
    • Yalta Conference
    • Liberation of the Netherlands
    • Battle for Berlin
  • Map F: The Defeat of Nazi Germany page 119-120 of your workbook.
the atlantic wall
The Atlantic Wall
  • The Allies had to break through the ATLANTIC WALL if reclaiming Europe, or “Operation Overlord” was going to be successful.
  • The Atlantic Wall was an extensive system of coastal fortifications built by the Germans between 1942 and 1944
  • Built along the western coast of Europe to defend against an anticipated British led Allied invasion of the continent from Great Britain.
  • Thousands of forced laborers were forced to construct these permanent fortifications along the Dutch, Belgian and French coasts
the atlantic wall1
The Atlantic Wall
  • A string of reinforced concrete pillboxes were built along the beaches to house machine guns, antitank guns, and light artillery.
  • Minefields and antitank obstacles were planted on the beaches and underwater obstacles and mines were planted in the waters just off shore to destroy incoming craft
  • By the time of the invasion, the Germans had laid almost 6 million mines in northern France.
the liberation of northwest europe
The Liberation of Northwest Europe
  • In September 1944 the British captured the Belgian port of Antwerp
  • It was a key victory for the allies because they desperately required its docking facilities to bring in supplies.
  • The problem was that the Germans occupied both banks of the 70-kilometre long Scheldt River estuary linking Antwerp to the sea, and controlled the mouth of the river, between Belgium and the Netherlands.
  • Realizing the value of Antwerp to the Allied supply line, the 2nd Canadian Army under the command of Lieutenant-General Guy Simonds was assigned to the task of securing the Scheldt Estuary
liberating the scheldt estuary
Liberating The Scheldt Estuary
  • After five weeks of difficult fighting, the First Canadian Army with support from other countries was successful in securing the Scheldt Estuary
  • It took numerous amphibious assaults, crossing of canals, and fighting over open ground
  • Both land and water were mined, and the Germans defended their retreating line with artillery and snipers.
the scheldt con t
The Scheldt Con’t
  • The Allies finally cleared the port areas on November 8, but at a cost of 12,873 Allied casualties (killed, wounded, or missing)
  • Canadians suffered approx. 6400 casualties.
  • This victory cleared the way for the final Allied advance into Germany.
the battle of the bulge
The Battle of the Bulge
  • The Ardennes Offensive known to the general public as the Battle of the Bulge, started on December 16, 1944
  • Three powerful German armies plunged into the semi-mountainous, heavily forested Ardennes region of eastern Belgium and northern Luxembourg.
  • Their goal was to reach the sea, trap four allied armies, and impel a negotiated peace on the Western front.
the battle of the bulge1
The Battle of the Bulge
  • Thinking the Ardennes was the least likely spot for a German offensive the line was thin with American manpower concentrated north and south of the Ardennes.
  • Even though the German Offensive achieved total surprise, the American troops did not give ground without a fight
  • Within three days the Americans, assisted by the arrival of powerful reinforcements insured that the Germans would not achieve their goal.
battle of the bulge outcome
Battle of the Bulge Outcome
  • The German losses in the battle were critical
  • The last of the German reserves were now gone
  • The Luftwaffe had been broken
  • The German Army in the West was being pushed back.
  • Most importantly, the Eastern Front was now ripe for the taking and the German Army was unable to halt the Soviets
  • German forces were sent reeling on two fronts and never recovered.
the yalta conference feb 4 11 1945
The Yalta Conference – Feb. 4 – 11 1945
  • 3 main leaders of the Allied forces, Churchill (Britain), Stalin (Soviet Union), and F.D.Roosevelt (USA) met at Yalta to discuss the fate of a defeated Germany and post-war Europe.
  • Resulted in several key decisions:
    • Germany was to be demilitarized and denazified;
    • Post-war Germany was to be divided into 4 zones of occupation, with Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the US occupying one zone each;
    • The creation of the United Nations (similar to the League of Nations)

The major Allied ground offensive from the west against German territory began on 8 February 1945

  • In April, Canadian troops liberated most of the Netherlands
freeing the netherlands
Freeing the Netherlands
  • In February 1945, Canadian troops (175000 soldiers) joined the Rhine Offensive.
  • They successfully drove the Germans out of the Netherlands and back into northern Germany.
  • As they freed the Dutch, they discovered many people were on the verge of starvation.
    • In fact, many had resorted to eating tulip bulbs!
canada and the liberation of the netherlands
Canada and the Liberation of the Netherlands
  • To this day, the Dutch remain grateful to Canada for giving them their freedom from the Germans.
  • To show their appreciation, every year the Dutch donate 10000 tulip bulbs to Ottawa.
the final days
The Final Days
  • In April 1945, the battle is coming to a close.
  • On the 30th April, Hitler commits suicide together with his mistress Eva Braun hours after they were married.
  • Hitler gave strict orders for his body to be burned, so that his enemies wouldn't do what they had done to Mussolini, who was publicly displayed hanging upside down.
the soviets arrive berlin falls at the battle for berlin
The Soviets Arrive – Berlin Falls at the Battle for Berlin
  • By 2 May, the Reichstag, the old German parliament falls and Berlin surrenders to Marshall Zukhov, who receives the honour of being the conqueror of Berlin.
  • On May 5, 1945, a ceasefire is declared.
  • On May 7th, the German forces surrendered.
  • The battle for Berlin cost the Soviets over 70,000 dead. Many of them died because of the haste with which the campaign was conducted.
ve day
  • May 8th, 1945, is known as Victory-in-Europe, or ‘V-E’ Day