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The Role of D-day in The Second World War

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Imagine you were a solider on the coast of Normandy storming the Omaha beach alongside your fellow American friends as you’re getting shot down by the German army right as you jump onto the grainy sand. Around 34,000 other soldiers went through this exact moment on June 6th, 1941, but that amount of people were only there on Omaha beach. Combined with the United States force was joined with Canadian and British armies. In all, they totaled around 156,000 soldiers landed to solidify this invasion as the largest amphibious invasion in military history.

This war was in the mid-point of the war and was the official entry of the war for the United States. Before D-Day happened, some significant wars and events occurred such as the German invasion of Poland which was the official start of the Second World War, Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain, Operation of Barbarossa which was Germany invading Russia. Then on December 7th, 1941, kamikazes from Japan delivered a devastating blow to naval ships in the ports in Pearl Harbor. This was the first attack on United States soil. This brewed the tensions and made the United States switch from isolationism and neutrality to wanting to join in the war. Six months later the United States attacked back at Japan in the battle of midway, sinking four carriers and taking down 248 aircraft. This battle was a success for the Americans and later led on two days later the start of D-Day. The allies up to this time of war were the United States, Britain, Russia, and France. The axis powers were Germany, Italy, and Japan. At the top of German country was the fascist leader Adolf Hitler. Hitler modeled the term Blitzkrieg as is was how he attacked and rolled through countries such as Poland, Holland, and France using this method. Blitzkrieg, also known as lightning war, is a term used to describe an offensive warfare tactic designed to hit an opponent with a quick, strong attack at an enemy using mobile forces, including armored tanks and air support. This method leads to a quick victory and limits the loss of supplies and human life. The controller of most of Europe was the Soviet Union but Germany had allot of land too.

Though the war with Germany and Poland started WW2 with an attack on Poland by the Nazis in September of 1939, the United States did not officially enter the war until after Japan bombed the navy fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941. In 1934, leaders from Great Britain and the United States made a plan to launch a massive invasion of the European continent to defeat Hitler and the Germans to bring an end to WW2. This invasion is called Operation Overlord but somewhere in the planning stages, this was renamed to the famously known name, D-Day. This attack was costly but successful when it occurred on June 6, 1944. It was believed that the German defenses were weaker than Calais, therefore the invasion was planned there. The United States led Great Britain and Canada on the day of the invasion. The plan of the attack for each country attacking the beaches was to just storm the coastline then creep up to the towers and take over the areas. Operation overlord which has its famous name, D-Day, the origin of the name is unknown but historians have since tried to decipher the name and ultimately came up with the departed day. Thousands of paratroopers and gliders were on the ground behind enemy lines. The invasions that used the amphibious vehicles started at roughly 6:30 am. The British and Canadians overcame the opposition and captured beaches Juno, Sword and Gold, and the US captured Utah beach. The US forces were faced with heavy resistance at Omaha beach. There were over 2000 American casualties. By the end of the day, 156000 allied troops stormed Normandy beaches. According to some estimates, there were more than 4000 allied troops that died that day and a couple thousand wounded or missing.

There was an actual attack on D-Day, but there was also a behind the scenes faux scheduled attack that was said to happen but never did. That was all part of operation bodyguard, this was the code name for the ww2 deception plan that was intended to mislead the German command to when and where the invasion would happen. They also hinted at the operation fortitude, this was a planned fake operation that suggested a larger invasion that would occur in Norway or Calais. The overall purpose of this operation was broken down into two main parts. Fortitude south and fortitude north. South was made to mislead the Nazis that the allied powers were going to attack at Pas de Calais, the most narrow part of the English channel, while the north was made to convince the Germans of an invasion in Norway. On a sunny morning on June 4, 1944, in England, fog set over the allied commanders that were staying inside Southwick’s house. The years of preparation put into this invasion may have been proved worthless because hours before this operation Captain Stagg posted a delay. The allied powers packed tightly on the landing aircraft nervously awaiting their time to face the Germans on the beaches of Normandy. The commanders were disappointed because they had specific dates for the invasion because they wanted a full moon to light up obstacles and landing spots for the gliders. They were also wishing for a low tide at dawn to expose the underwater defenses. They also were told by the forecast that they would encounter horrible weather on the English Channel that they have seen in two decades.

The 5 codenamed beaches that were planned for the invasion were Utah, Juno, Omaha, Gold, and Sword.

The effects of D-Day hindered the German forces. Their Achilles heel was fighting a war on two fronts just as they did in WW1. This fight ended the Germans as we know under the reign of Hitler. After 4 years of occupation, Paris is liberated by the French 2nd armored division and the United States 4th infantry division. Germans resistance was light, and the commander of the German garrison defied an order by Hitler to blow up Paris landmarks and burn the city to the grown before its liberation. The allied victories after D-Day consisted of United States destroying Dresden in an incendiary attack, the atomic bomb attacks on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

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The Role Of D-Day In The Second World War. (2020, September 01). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 25, 2021, from
“The Role Of D-Day In The Second World War.” GradesFixer, 01 Sept. 2020,
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