The furthest extent of Hitler’s empire in 1942. Section 1: The planning phase. Preparations for a ‘second front’ against Nazi Germany date back to 1942. A ‘dress-rehearsal’ took place in 1942 when a British-Canadian raid on the port of Dieppe was carried out.
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Section 1: The planning phase • Preparations for a ‘second front’ against Nazi Germany date back to 1942. • A ‘dress-rehearsal’ took place in 1942 when a British-Canadian raid on the port of Dieppe was carried out. • The aim was to capture and hold a French port for a short period to test German defences. • The raid was a total disaster: of the 6,086 men who made it ashore, 4,384 were killed.
The Raid on Dieppe • The Americans would not commit to an invasion until they had ensured the following: • Overwhelming force was assembled • Air superiority over the invasion zone
Roosevelt knew the risks of the invasion. He resisted Stalin’s pressure for an early launch of the second front. This delay was the cause of much bitter feeling between the Russians and Americans.
Air raids in preparation for D Day • The British and Americans began bombing targets in occupied France in preparation for D Day. • Raids were concentrated in the Calais region to mislead the Germans in to believing that was the intending invasion area. • The Normandy region was bombed, but less heavily.
Operation Fortitude • The Allies began a massive deception of operation to conceal the intended landing zone. • A massive build-up of fake armies and equipment was concentrated in Kent to fool the Germans in to thinking Calais was the intended target. • Canvas and rubber tanks were assembled to confuse any German aerial reconnaissance aircraft. (In fact there were no German spy planes over England in 1944)
Operation Fortitude Fakes Canvas and Wooden Aircraft An inflatable Rubber Tank What do such operations reveal about Allied planning for D day ?
More Fortitude Fakes Enormous amounts of ‘fake’ wireless messages were transmitted relating to possible invasion plans in the Calais region in the hope the Germans would believe them. The British Secret Service (SIS) managed to infiltrate a double agent in to the German intelligence apparatus. Agent Garbo (Juan Pujol Garcia) passed false intelligence to the Germans leading them to believe the invasion would come in the Pas de Calais region of France. Normandy was the best kept secret of the war.
The French resistance (Maquis) assisted the preparations for D Day by disrupting the French railways and causing acts of sabotage to the telegraph and telephone system. Such acts slowed down the German Army but also brought terrible retribution on the local populations.
D-Day June 6th 1944 • The timing was now favorable for an invasion because: • The U boats had been defeated • The German air force was largely grounded for lack of fuel. • Despite all Allied efforts, the Germans obviously expected an Allied invasion somewhere in France. They decided to build massive bunkers everywhere.
From Norway to the South of France the Germans built up a defensive line against the expected invasion. Tens of thousands of Russian POWs were put to work to construct elaborate defences. The line was by no means complete or evenly spread by the time of D Day.
Futuristic looking German blockhouse on the island of Jersey and some of the crew.
General Eisenhower Admiral Ramsay General Montgomery Leigh-Mallory ‘Operation Overlord’ planning meeting.
Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight Eisenhower gives a pep talk to American paratroopers the evening before D Day.
The capture of Cherbourg was a key objective. It was not captured until the end of June and was badly damaged. The Allies could not risk launching the invasion without a useable port. They constructed an artificial harbor which could be towed across the channel.
Towed to France in sections the Mulberry Harbors allowed the Allies to unload supplies until Cherbourg was captured.
The troops spent up to four hours in the landing craft and most were violently seasick.
American troops on Omaha Beach, scene of the heaviest fighting and over 5,000 US deaths on D Day.
Secured beachhead area D Day +1 156,000 men ashore on day 1
French civilians ponder their liberation from Nazi occupation as they survey the ruins of their homes.
Caen was a D-Day objective, but took more than two months to capture, by which time the town lay in ruins.
The capture of the town of Carentan, linking Utah and Omaha beaches, was crucial to the survival of the Allied beachhead
The Mayor of Southampton honorsthe millionth American soldier to embark for France. D Day + 1 month.