Operation Overlord Essay

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Will Cornette Research paper 9/24/11 Many people view D-Day as a great victory for the United States and its Allies but are highly unaware of the hardship and the failures that accompanied the success. In all reality, the Allies should have been defeated on the shores of Normandy. First, the weather made it difficult for the Allies to land on the beaches. The Allies suffered equipment failure. They also had to invade a daunting stretch of beach at Omaha. Lastly, the German defenses and the Atlantic wall proved to be formidable obstacles. Operation Overlord or more commonly known as “D-Day” was the invasion of Normandy, France on June 6, 1944. It was the largest amphibious assault in the history of war with numbers reaching nearly 4,100 ships and craft of all kinds. The goal of this mission was to liberate France of Hitler’s Nazi army and establish a western front to go along with the soviet front in the east. Much thought went into determining the place in which the Allies would attack. The planners narrowed the list to avoid places where the beaches weren’t wide enough for the landing craft to reach the beach or where troops would not be faced with high cliffs they would have to climb while being shot down upon by German forces. They also ruled out areas that were too far away from a good port. The eastern end of the French coast was an option at a place called Pas de Calais which was on the narrowest part of the channel. A successful invasion of Pas de Calais would put the allies in a favorable position to drive into Germany and end the war quickly. But because it was the most logical place to attack, the Germans had it well protected. So the obvious choice, by default, was Normandy. The landing would be on five separate beaches called Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha, and Utah. Americans would attack at Omaha and Utah, the British at Sword and Gold, and

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