(German: Overlord, more rarely, lord) was an operation by the during the , which had the aim of reducing the German occupiers from northern France, and there build a solid base. These included the invasion of Normandy under the code name Operation Neptune and several subsequent operations. took place from 6 June 1944 D-Day until the 25th August 1944 when the Allies occupied at the end of the ’s capital city Paris.
To relieve the Red Army Josef Stalin urged the Allies to open a second front. Thein November 1943 decided landings in northern and southern France, the operations Overlord and Anvil. Main objective of the planning was the control of the larger cities Caen, Bayeux, Saint-Lô and Cherbourg. Participated in the landings troops from Britain, the USA, Poland, France, New Zealand, Canada and many other nations have. At the same time the largest invasion fleet of the war for the crossing, landing and replenishment was contracted (naval warfare during Operation Overlord), as well as a huge number of aircraft provided (air war during Operation Overlord).
The Germans had built on the Atlantic coast, a system known as thedefenses of calculated and – because of the Allied deception operation Fortitude – with an Allied invasion in the Pas-de-Calais (German situation in Normandy in 1944).
After landing on the Normandy beaches – Operation Neptune – the Allies were trying to expand their bridgehead. In the west of the invasion area they disabled it, which is difficult to penetrate bocage terrain, while the Germans in the East their elite armored units concentrated (of Caen). But by an advance of American troops ( ) soon succeeded in breaking through the German lines in the west of the invasion area. The Americans were then a part of their forces in Brittany before ( of Brittany), while they marched with the rest of Caen direction which included together with the Canadians and Brits in the meantime forced back to the South Germans in the and several German armies destroyed. To 25 August before the Allies marched to Paris, which was handed over to them a day later to get the city ( for Paris).
To commemorate the fallen and the events that built former combatants in the war several cemeteries, memorials and museums in the former area of operations (in memory of the Operation Overlord). Operation Overlord is also the subject of many books, movies and games.
Background and Allied planning
The “Free France” and the situation in occupied France
On 25 June 1940 founded the French Generalin London, the committee “Free France” and was head of the “ ” (force française libre FFL) and the “National Defense Committee”. It was then sentenced to death in August 1940 for treason in the absence of Military Council of the Vichy government.
Most states recognize the Vichy regime of Marshal Pétain as the legitimate government of France.Although initially tried diplomatically to the Vichy regime, but supported , leaving the North Africa at Mers El Kebir under the command of Admiral François , Pétain’s Secretary of the Navy, which was anchored French fleet with approximately 1,300 men on board destroy ( ).
Several French colonial possessions, mainly in Africa, including Cameroon and Chad, and later from 1942 Diego Suarez in Madagascar and Dakar in French West Africa assumed in the course of the war, the created de Gaulle’s Free France, ruled by his Comité National Français. He worried particularly that in France the Allied camp by his “French Free Forces” (FFL), who continued the fight on several fronts, always remained present. Among other things, he promoted and stimulated thanks toPassy, and especially , the movement of “intérieure résistance”, which he transformed from “Free French” to “France combattante” fighting for France.
USA entered the war, first plans for an invasion and “trial run at”
Despite the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. naval base on Oahu, Hawaii, on 7 December 1941 and the related entry into the war the United States agreed to the governments of the U.S. and UK on the principle of “Germany first”, that is the victory over Germany as a priority aim of the war. In addition, the invasion was to prevent too wide advance of the Red Army to the west.
Immediately after thein June 1940, the British began with the investigation of the Normandy coast, because they were considered a suitable area for a landing on the mainland of Europe: The proximity to England the way for the attacking troops and their subsequent short supply. The flat land seemed suitable for a rapid advance and the landing of gliders, the German concentration of forces and the fortifications were weaker than in other coastal areas. Cherbourg offered as a port with sufficient capacity for landing troops greater consequence. Stalin called for the first time in July 1941, a second front. Concrete plans to invade the Allies began designing in 1942 and controversial to discuss. This process began with the in Washington DC between the American and British leaders rods of 22 December 1941 to 14 January 1942 took place. The British Prime Minister called for a strike from the periphery to avoid a grave war, as in . From the outset it was clear that an amphibious landing should take place in North-West Europe, as well as the penetration of the Allied forces over the Mediterranean. In addition, it should be too far advance of Soviet troops into Central Europe can be prevented. Two plans were drafted into the basic structures, the operation Sledgehammer for an invasion in the year 1942, and the operation , which provided a much greater scale invasion in 1943.
The Allies also planned to carry out an attack on the French town of, which mainly was aimed to explore whether it would be possible to keep a port on the occupied land over a short period of time. Furthermore, should collect intelligence information and the behavior of the German occupiers are analyzed. This operation was significantly Jubilee of Admiral Lord , Chief of Combined Operations, and was held on 19 August 1942 instead. For the attack mainly Canadian soldiers have been selected, the back should fight a match after long time use.
In the UK, solidified the realization that demanded bya second front in Western Europe in 1942 could not be established. Furthermore, provided the attack important insights for later Operation Overlord. The extent of the mock attack should serve to convince Stalin that the invasion claimed by him in 1942 was not yet possible, is disputed among historians.
The German propaganda tried to play up the failed Allied advance as a failed attempt at a large-scale invasion. The losses of the Allies totaled 4304 killed, wounded and prisoners, including 907 dead Canadians. 2210 to 4963 Canadians returned after use, many of them wounded. A total of about 2,000 Allied soldiers came into German captivity. 119 Allied aircraft were lost (which with 106 machines of the highest daily loss in the history of the RAF). In contrast, thehad losses of about 591 man suffered (at least 311 killed and 280 wounded), also 48 Aircraft.
had already set out in the spring of 1942, the first landing attempt in North Africa. Due to the limited capacity boats and troops to invade the European mainland in the same year would not have been possible. The North Africa plans met with massive protest the Soviet side, and first to restraint in the American generals.
The planning of the invasion in 1943
At thein January 1943, after the meanwhile successfully conducted the first invasion of the North Africa’s coast, , the came to the conclusion that the preparations would not be completed for operation before mid-August. For a start the invasion not before the late autumn of 1943 would be possible, which would mean that could not support the Soviet summer offensive. The landing on the Italian coast of Sicily should be preferred, and the invasion of Western Europe was postponed to 1944, with the British still reserving the option for a small bridgehead at the end of 1943. In addition, the destruction of the air raids in 1943 and subsequent attacks on supply facilities, it was decided that should prepare the large landing 1944.
On the Anglo-American Trident Conference in May in Washington,and lay down on the May 1944 invasion date as proof. Stalin was informed only after the conference believe that in 1943 there will be no invasion. On the Quadrant Conference in Quebec this August first detailed plans for Operation Overlord were presented.
The Roundup plan has been significantly extended by the BritishGeneral Sir , later COSSAC from March 1943. The first version, called Operation skyscraper, called for a landing on the beaches of Caen and the eastern Cotentin beaches, with four divisions form the first wave and another six this should directly follow. Eleven additional details were planned for special operations and also four airborne divisions to attack the German supply. After the initial beachhead, which also included Cherbourg, had planned the conquest of other ports in securing the local replenishment. The move should run in the direction of the ports on the Seine estuary, with a need for further landing at Le Havre. In the course of Antwerp should fall to establish the Allied forces between the Pas-de-Calais and the Ruhr. The planning of skyscraper was marked by the discovery of the main problems for the channel crossing, which were mainly in the provision of a sufficient number of landing ship s. As an absolute minimum number of ten divisions to be conveyed was considered that would just be enough to combat the current enemy units in the West. Should the Allies are not able to prevent additional relocations to France, the invasion fleet to transport other divisions had to be increased. Two additional divisions had to be ready for coastal defense.
The operation Skyscraper placed high demands, not least in order to unravel the dependencies of troop levels, availability of materials, time frames and costs that contributed to the cessation of Roundup planning. But the planners also urged a quick decision to their demands not to enforce against an emerging enemy rearmament. The longer dragged the planning phase, the more it turned out that the Allies for the invasion were not ready. Finally, the objectives of the operation were still pinned to skyscraper high. The British planners withdrew from the bar because they did not show enough of the idea of ”strong opposition” to determine the number of divisions attack. This led to a break in the invasion planning.
The Operation Overlord
Since some of the planners changed to COSSAC rod, many of the skyscraper ideas were not lost and were transferred to the Operation Overlord. But General Morgan also saw that a fresh start with a new approach was necessary. Although a lot of usable data had been collected, but a plan that made its name, was missing. Morgan told his planning staff, the existing plans utmost account to save time, but to look at the design work as something completely new.
The overall design then presented consisted mainly of a large-scale land offensive, culminating in the invasion and occupation of Germany consisted of about 100 divisions. The opening scenario, should deny a Canadian Army in the southwest, while the main force in the United States stood ready to cross the Atlantic. Given the need for air support the attack from the left flank should be made against the British units. Other U.S. forces should expand the bridgehead and capture the ports on the main unit from the United States should go to shore. In order to prevent confusion of administrative responsibilities, it was better to call the Canadian beachhead as a left cover of the Americans. Anyway, the opening of the Atlantic ports meant a relocation of place of invading further east to west. Morgan was so clear that the landings could take place only in France. To conquer the ports in Belgium and the Netherlands, would have meant that the landing of the troops struggle to Germany would also have to absorb directly.
Under the assumption that the Germans would establish the best possible defense on the coast, and in view of the Allied resources available, estimatedJohn Hughes-Hallett, the British naval chief planner in May that the landing force of four divisions with additional 16,000 troops would consist in armored landing ships and about 12,000 vehicles in LSTs and similar vessels. Another division would have to go within 24 hours ashore.
But the main problem is the availability of landing ships of all kinds, was still not solved. The British tried, the Americans wrest an assurance that the ships circumstances in good time. By the then current situation in the Pacific war, but the Americans did not initially persuaded to such a promise, even though the mass production of amphibious units because of Marshall -’s memorandum was in full swing since 1942. The responsibility for carrying the U.S. Navy, although s all kinds of ships built in their yard from theto the , but had no experience with landing craft. In addition, the yards were still heavily loaded with older orders. For this reason, they gave the orders to smaller yards into the American home. But it was difficult to find and train the teams that drove the boats to the Atlantic coast. This task took over the U.S. Coast Guard with technically poorly trained staff. For example, could a serious accident that a young commander of a domestic ferry almost triggered, only narrowly avoided. He drove at night a dropship down the Niagara River and missed the turnoff to the Erie Canal, so he ran directly to the Niagara Falls. Ignoring all the warning signs from the shore, but his boat ran several hundred meters from the waterfall due. When questioned later, he testified that he had seen the light characters well, but did not know their meaning. Although this inexperience delayed the program, but could not seriously threaten it. In February 1943, the program ended for the time being as intended with a record production of 106 146 tons displacement. The program was continued thereafter, but the production numbers were down, and in May 1943, only 60,000 tons a month were produced.
The British urged the U.S. to increase production in order to have the scheduled date in the spring of 1944 about the planned landing fleet. As the British were even production at full capacity, the boats had to come from the USA. In return, the Americans argued with the delay of her other shipbuilding programs by the high output of landing ships since 1942. They were not willing for the next six months to accept additional order carryover.
At the first joint meeting in November 1943 in Tehran, the Tehran conference, next to Franklin D.and Winston Churchill and attended the, the Allies agreed on landing operations in France. Initially, Churchill wanted to postpone the landing again and only fully conquer Italy, where the allied advance had become bogged down, but that’s not prevailed. While the British and Americans proposed two separate actions, Stalin wanted to see this presented as simultaneous pincer attack from the south and the north of France to the German occupiers. So that the came under pressure and began now finally work out the Operation Overlord, as well as in detail. As early as 1944 she started in the UK with the first exercises for the landing, which could not yet follow the elaborations for Operation Neptune, the assault plan for the Normandy coast, however, as it existed at the time only the basic features.
To a joint command post has been envisaged that had to take over the coordination of the preparation and implementation of the action. This was established with the founding of the(SHAEF) in mid-February 1944. SHAEF included, in addition to the senior management and operational departments, a reconnaissance battalion, which was extremely important for spying on the German positions for the planned landing.
The Staff of SHAEF took the plan developed byplan and formed it into the final version of the Operation Overlord, on 6 June 1944 by General Dwight D. and the land forces commander for the initial part of the invasion, General Sir Bernard was started.
The planning mainly involved the following operations:
•various training operation for the participating naval and land troops to land on the beach sections, including the Operation Tiger
•to distraction and disinformation of the German secret service, and education (see The Allied deception measures – “ ”)
•Operation Neptune – assault on the fortifications in Normandy and the establishment of a bridgehead, including the construction of two supply ports (Mulberry Harbour)
•Capture of Cherbourg, with its deep-water port
•over the Normandy and later on the complete France
•Complete conquest of the French Channel coast with its harbors
•Advance of the troops in Paris with the aim to liberate the city
•Liberation of the whole of France
•Planning a strategic bombing of German targets on German soil
•Formation of an Allied.
Preparation of the operation – the year 1944
Particular equipment of the Allied
At the beginning of 1944, Major-Generaland could perform flamethrower tanks a brigade of amphibious DD tanks s, Crab mine vehicles and AVRE-tanks and a regiment of Crocodile, all belonged to the Hobart’s Funnies. Montgomery was convinced that it should be made available to the U.S. armed forces, and offered them half of the vehicles available. But the response it did not turn out particularly strong. Eisenhower liked the swimming tank, but he left the decision to the other leaders, such as General , who in turn referred it to his officers. Of the other designs, the Americans took nothing.
Given the need of some new experimental vehicles that should support the progress of the French invasion beaches, 1943, the decision by Field Marshal Sirhad already been taken to develop this. It was needed as soon as possible to remove the obstacles to the British landing beaches of the way, because the relatively flat hinterland allowed an early German counterattack. Some of the ideas were a bit older, were tested and have been used, such as the Scorpion flail tank, a converted Matilda tanks, which had opened in North Africa the British way through the German minefields.
The invasion plan also saw the construction of two artificial harbors, the so-called Mulberry, in order to bring in the first weeks of the invasion troops and equipment ashore. Furthermore, should extend below the water pipelines are scheduled to provide the Allied forces with fuel (Operation PLUTO).
Using aerial photography n, drawings of the Resistance, the collection of private vacation pictures in the UK and single command operations where additional sand and rock samples were taken, the Allies created a profile of the landing area.
The British Admiralty has over the BBC on 19 May 1942 addressed the population, with the request that their postcards and photos showing the French coast, would be sent. Within a short time the Admiralty received nine million photos and maps, of which approximately Were 500,000 copies and evaluated by experts. In this way, a variety was discovered by geological details that were not on any map.
In the fall of 1943, the cartographers of the Allies realized then that the map of Normandy were based on surveys of 1895/96 and thus were used only to a limited extent. There were therefore photographed all sections from both landing altitude of 10,000 meters and at low altitude. Calais were a distraction for any flight over the two in the Pas de Normandie performed. The aim was to create a “D-Day Invasion Maps”, which should facilitate the orientation of all units. The map work was finished in June 1944 and went with a total circulation of over 18 million units in production.
On the night of 3 on the 4th July 1943 landed ten members of the so-called “Forfar Force”, a special unit of the X. “German” squad of 10 Inter-Allied Commandos and the Special Boat Section (SBS), near the Norman seaside resort Onival at Tréport. The landing was the first of seven attacks during the Enlightenment Forfar Easy operation whose aim was to identify the German units stationed near the coast to determine the extent and nature of the beach obstacles, recorded German positions and to take soil samples. Equipped were the German soldiers of the special with German uniforms and weapons. In part, the troops were on a long time in the villages in Pas-de-Calais region and in Normandy and exchanged with the locals postcards drawn against German positions chocolate. Until August 1943, the task force had completed its operation.
In the preparations for theand British chariots (manned torpedoes) and combat divers were used to scan the seabed along the Normandy coast to obstacles. They examined the water and inspected the beach, if that was possible, which is why the Allies were good information for landing area. In addition, models were built around the n based on aerial photographs of the Royal Air Force and reports of French resistance fighters.
On 12 January 1944 found the COPP (Combined Operations Pilotage Parties) that there could be some problems with the landing beaches, since samples peat and clay were found. The physicist Professor JD Bernal described the possible effects of peat and clay:Because Bernal’s report further exploration missions were ordered to take additional samples. In addition, French geologists were sent to Paris to seek geological maps of Normandy. Four cards were found and smuggled to England, where they were examined by the Oxford Inter-Services Topographical Department. The warnings of Bernal proved to be too pessimistic, although still had to be expected with the loss of some armored vehicles.
On 17 January stabbed an Allied submarine, HMS X20, in the course of the operation Postage Able to sea from England, four days to explore the French coast. During the day, the crew analyzed the shoreline and the beach with the periscope and explored with a depth sounder from the seabed. On the nights of the two crew members swam to the beach – each with special equipment, which included among other things an underwater notebook with pencil, a compass, a .45 revolver and an auger. Soil samples were collected in condoms. The divers went in two nights ashore to the beaches in four-Ville, St. Laurent, Les Moulins and Colleville, that would make the U.S. section of beachto overlook. On the third night they should go to the Orne estuary on land, but this could not be carried out because of fatigue and bad weather conditions, whereupon it on 21 January returned to England. They brought with them information about the geology of the beaches, the position of rocks and the tides.
On 31 March was the coast of northern France already under observation by Allied aircraft specially equipped with horizontal and vertical cameras.flights brought to light that the number had risen German batteries within eight weeks from 16 to 49 artillery batteries (for the entire coast of northern France). Exercises and planning gaps
The Allies were rehearsing the invasion months before D-Day. It was for Allied forces on 28 April 1944 south of Devon during thea landing. As was the convoy of German speedboat en discovered and torpedoed, 749 U.S. soldiers lost their lives.
A threat to the success of Operation Fortitude (see The Allied deception measures – “Operation Fortitude”) and thus the entire invasion turned the travel ban into and out of Ireland (which was neutral and partially cooperated with the Germans) that also such as the prohibition to move in the coastal areas, which were used for Operation Overlord. To validate this clear reference to an invasion overwhelmed the Allied intelligence, the German consul ate with misinformation, so that the bans were ultimately ignored by the Germans.
In the weeks before the invasion caused the planners of Operation Overlord, the surprisingly large number of cross words of the British Daily Telegraph’s the same code name represented in the invasion, for sedition. The British secret service MI5 kept this only a coincidence, but when the word “Mulberry” showed up, they became restless and sought the creator of the puzzle on. The creator, a teacher who knew nothing of the operation, but later turned out that the words had been proposed by his students that this in turn had heard from soldiers, but did not know what they meant.
There were several before planning gaps and on D-Day. A major fault of the Allies turned the radio message of General de Gaulle after D-Day. He presented there, unlike any other Allied leaders determined that the invasion was the right and only the Normandy invasion. This statement could affect the overall effect of the operations Fortitude North and South. Eisenhower, for example, described the invasion as only an initial invasion. However, the Germans did not believe de Gaulle, emulated their own view of a second invasion at a different location and therefore no additional units installed in Normandy.
Operation Anvil / Dragoon – the planning of the Allied landings in southern France
The Allies planned alongside the Operation Overlord, the then operation was called Hammer, Operation Anvil (= anvil). Winston Churchill feared that Anvil would distribute the combat power of the Allied forces in too many theaters of war simultaneously and lead to the associations of thewould be slower than the Soviet allies penetrate towards Berlin. He claimed later to have been harassed until he accepted the invasion, which should take place under the code name .
The American proponents promised themselves from the operation, the rapid conquest of two major ports – Toulon and Marseille, with their taking care of the troops fighting in France, including the fighting in Normandy, would be greatly facilitated. Indeed, it was to the capture of Antwerp’s about a third of the total supply offrom Marseille on the Rhone route, including repaired bridges and railway lines are transported to northern France in December 1944. was on the Côte Azur between Toulon and Cannes 15 August 1944 start.
To the west of the Normandy coast consists of granite and limestone cliffs in the east, which rise up to 150 meters high. In some places, especially in the middle of the region, but there are also miles of sandy beaches. Due to specific coastal phenomena, the water level at the peak of the flood can be more than ten feet above lie at low tide (tidal range). Therefore, the flow often reaches a speed of 35 kilometers per hour. Throughout the year prevail in Normandy westerly winds, often in hurricane strength.
In the north Normandy is bordered by the English Channel and crossed by several rivers such as the Seine, Orne and Vire. The Orne was tactically important because it is a natural border between the German 7th and 15th Army figured that could only be overcome through the bridges. Therefore, it was of benefit to the Allies to destroy this bridge, and so to prevent the merger of the armies. Celtic farmers had built about 2000 years ago hedge Wall n the western part of Normandy for the purpose of field borders. This so-called bocage involved many fields, small roads, rivers and streams, which offered good defensive positions during Operation Overlord. In the two millennia the hedgerows had been formed at about one to three meters wide, and up to three and a half meter high walls. These hedgerows were mostly overgrown with blackberry and other thorny shrubs and bushes so that the hedges could obtain a total of up to 4.5 meters in height. Survivors Allied soldiers reported that each field had to be conquered by fierce fighting. In addition to the Bocage but was in the West still another natural obstacle to the Allies: extensive swamps ranged in area of Carentan and made a crossing by vehicles impossible. Of these swamps are five major and several smaller ones in the level of Carentan, which were further expanded by the German defenders by artificial flooding. Because of this impenetrable swamp, the Allies had to ultimately move forward through the bocage.
In the area of Arromanches to the Orne estuary, the Germans had bricked the sea-facing windows of the houses and provided with loopholes to resist in an emergency, there can. All roads led to the beach promenades, the Germans had blocked with concrete walls, whereupon they formed a line with the fronts of the houses.
To the east of Normandy – Caen in space – the ground was mostly flat, dry and solid. Therefore, he was well suited for large tanks maneuver. Moreover, it has good and especially broad overview because of the little hilly country. The Germans knew the tactical value of this area and therefore stationed the bulk of their armored divisions located in Normandy in the space of Caen. Moreover, they posted lookouts on high-altitude buildings and towers to take advantage of the good overview of the area for themselves.
The Allied deception measures – “Operation Fortitude”
To let the Germans accept that the invasion would take place at Pas-de-Calais or in Norway, the Allies launched the so-called Operation Fortitude. This operation was divided into two parts – “Fortitude North” (Norway, British) and “Fortitude South” (Pas-de-Calais, Americans).
In southeast England, therefore, the fictional First U.S. Army Group (“FUSAG”) was established under the command ofand George S. . False radio traffic encouraged the German suspicions that the invasion would take place in the region of Pas-de-Calais. It was reported from various U.S. states ation of the conscript soldiers. Fictional commanders were invented and complete baseball – football games and transferred between departments. Even private messages from the non-existent soldiers back home were read.
The Germans had a network of spies in the UK installed, however, largely uncovered by the British MI5 in the course of the war, and could be used as a double agent s part. This defector delivered under the “Double Cross System” the Germans false information about the location and concentration of the allied troops. At the same time dummies from landing craft in ports in South East and East of England were placed, which were photographed by theand hardened as the adoption of an invasion in the Pas-de-Calais area.
In the course of the operation Fortitude North was simulated radio traffic from Scotland to make the Germans believe that an invasion would take place in Norway. As a consequence, maintained thein Norway, which would otherwise have been transferred to France. The British also created a non-existent army, the 4th British Army, which was used to carry out this invasion of Norway as a fictitious organization.
The German situation in Normandy
The concern for an adequate expansion of the’s already engaged the Germans since 1941 because they expected of them, especially in occupied France with an Allied invasion. They suspected the Pas-de-Calais, but other areas were not able to exclude and therefore not focused on preparing countermeasures of invasion. Nevertheless, the preparations were for coastal defense until 1943 under the lowest priority level.
The, took its additional tribute by repeatedly troops were withdrawn from the Western defense zones.
The High Command of the(OKW) worked towards the end of 1943, a detailed plan that included all sorts of hostile scenarios that could result from an invasion of the various coasts of the West. The plan called for the postponement of three infantry divisions from Norway and Denmark, an infantry division, a pitcher corps and a corps headquarters from Italy, as well as of four infantry divisions and smaller units and hunters from the Balkans for the invasion of France. This should be done against the background that the allies in the West, “a” major attack planned invasion. In January 1944, the High Command began to doubt this “a” big attack. Although everything pointed to an attack on the channel closest point, they thought they had also spotted signs that it could also lead to invasions companion, for example, in Portugal or the Balkans. The German got doubts by the Allied landing at Anzio on 22 January yet more food. General was of the opinion that this landing was not connected with the Italian front, but the beginning of a number of smaller operations is that should shatter the German forces and distract from the main landing in northern France. For France, he saw ahead landings in the Bay of Biscay and the south of France, which should cut the Iberian Peninsula. The considerations were not taken so seriously that set up in February as a result of two new infantry divisions and 19 Army were assigned to the south. By the was the 9th Deducted SS and moved to Avignon in reserve. To guard the Spanish border and the Bay of Biscay coast received the first A new army division.
Because the location was subjected to theand in the of rapid changes, the OKW could draw as good as any long-term plans for the future, but only plan from day to day. In March the order was issued to withdraw the previously issued Defence Plan and the related redeployment. It also happened to the instructions to the commanders that redeployment would only be approved in detail, after the enemy had launched a major invasion attack. Plans to transfer the reserve units for possible invasion scenarios were developed. After these , a corps headquarters, two reinforced mechanized infantry regiments, a reinforced infantry regiment, fighting groups of three infantry regiments as the basis for a new division and a motorized artillery regiment, five country rifle battalions and a rocket launcher battalion would get. This newly established units were of course not comparable with the results expected according to the old plans eight divisions in experience and combat power. However, since the top leadership emanating from multiple locations invasion instead of a large-scale attack, the existing deployed forces appeared to be sufficient.
At a meeting of the executive level within March 1944, Field Marshal Erwin tried to enforce an extension of his command, what would s led to a de facto separation ’s and Leo Geyr of Schweppenburg as commander of the defense forces. In particular drum called a subordination of all motorized and armored units and artillery under his supreme command. was impressed by his contributions to and promised a review of the current situation. Only one study of the surgical staff of the OKW, which supported a protest letter written later , should resume the old course. However, some changes have already taken, and have not been revised again. The second, 21 and 116 had been placed under full tactical control as a reserve for drum. Of Schweppenburg but remained responsible for their training and organization.
Around the same time the OKW were asked four more armored units available in the OB West sector. These were the 1st and 12th SSDivision, the 17th SS Panzer Division and the . They should serve as a central mobile reserve.
The last change in the command structure took place in May, whenordered the construction of a second army group, the command of the 1st and 19 Army took over. was under John Blaskowitz and took, besides the two armies and the other three tank divisions in France, the 9th, 10th and 2nd SS Panzer Division. On the establishment of the new headquarters of tried to define his new position. Thus, it was clear that the orders from OB West or directly from Hitler would come in the critical phase of defense preparations. Hitler, who was sitting at his headquarters in East Prussia Wolf’s Lair was working intensively on the , he traveled only after the successful invasion of the West. Furthermore, he even seemed to make no direct tactical suggestions, so that lost its decisions in detail and barely contained political definitions. Hitler’s order without authorization interfered with the further this already troubled relationship between and von .
The focus of the German defensive preparations was in the room Pas-de-Calais, as expected there was most likely due to the short distance to the mainland of England with a landing attempt. These assumptions were confirmed by the Allied deception operation, Operation Fortitude. The Germans assumed, furthermore, that on the day the Allies would attack during good weather and at high tide, since they had observed this in previous Allied invasions.
Special operations and sabotage
The role of the Resistance
Since early 1941, entertained the British(SOE) contact with the , the Resistance, jumped off as the first agent via France to establish a sophisticated structure for message delivery. After a central communication control turned out to be not useful, 17 radio operators were sold in 1942 along with 36 other agents in France. There were also additional supplies supplies about Gibraltar and the South of France, so that a relatively secure communication structure could be built. The biggest obstacle to the supply of the Resistance with weapons and ammunition for the underground struggle were the few available aircraft.
Only when COSSAC drew the participation of theduring Overlord plan as a bonus considering gradually increased the number of supply flights to France. COSSAC initially wanted to take a French uprising in the planning, but this is rejected again as too uncertain. The British Army and the SOE finally convinced the planners of the vast opportunities offered by an integrated Résistanceeinsatz in the invasion. The many successful actions that carried particularly the organization of the , the planners came to the conclusion that the Resistance wholesome for guerrilla operations provided. Now the U.S. flew supplies to the Resistance.
The most effective blows led the French Resistance against the French road and rail network to prevent the Germans to transport supplies and troops. In the first three months of 1944, for example, they could sabotage 808 locomotive n. The Vichypolizei resulted in a report of more than 3,000 attacks on the rail system. The closer the D-Day came, the more coordinated the attacks of the SOE Resistance. Immediately before the D-Day specially selected road and rail connections should be interrupted. Then should follow further action. To tell the exact date of the landing of the resistance, SOE operated by British broadcaster BBC. The organizers of the Resistance had already received months before the statement, every 1st, 2nd, 15th and 16 each month to listen to the station, and wait for a prepared, coded message. As soon as they heard this, had to wait that followed shortly thereafter of security or the second validation message. 48 hours after the BBC announcements sent coded messages related to the exact locations and actions to be taken. Since the attacks of the Resistance were usually planned regionally, they could easily or with the respective operations of Overlord Neptune will be matched.
Throughout June and especially in the days after the landing of the Resistance destroyed rail tracks 486 and 26 telegraph lines, including the connections between Avranches and Saint-Lô Saint-Lô and between Cherbourg and Saint-Lô and Caen.
Further plans tied to the Resistance fighter even as a solid French associations in subsequent operations with a. Although the number of members of the resistance was difficult to calculate, but in London, the headquarters of the FFI (Forces Françaises de l’Intérieur) was established under General Joseph Pierre Koenig, who in turn a three state supreme command, consisting of French, British and Americans began. The FFI was then directly to the. Again, the problem of supply, in particular protected with heavy weapons such as artillery. These were in the days following D-Day eleven special units of the SAS, of whom five of the UK and six from North Africa en Erten started off under the command of -General Browning parachuted appropriate weapons and guns in the air.
Operations of the British and French SAS in Brittany
During the night of 5 on the 6th June 1944 jumped four groups of French 4 SAS (36 soldiers) from across the southern and northern Brittany to build the bases “Dingson”, “Samwest” and “grog” to, of which supported the French Resistance and landing and take-off zones should be marked for the rest of the battalion. The task of the French SAS was to destroy all communication lines and channels and prepare ambushes and sabotage acts to prevent the Germans from advancing towards Normandy.
The night after the D-Day eighteen French SAS teams (58 soldiers) named “Cooney teams” have been appointed to jump in large areas of Brittany and the sabotage of railway lines, roads, bridge, etc., before were prepared by the other units to execute. The associations moved from June to July 1944, the land and prepared the local members of the Resistance with a weapon. They also trained them to fight.
Night after night, were flown to the area of Saint-Marcel “Dingson” more SAS groups and replenishment goods, which succeeded the allied associations to stop the sabotage in most cases successfully. The SAS team grouped around there about 10,000 Resistance fighters who helped them to fulfill their tasks. On 18 June, delivered 200 men of the French SAS, along with four armed jeep s and about 2500 members of the Resistance a fight with an estimated 5,000 German soldiers who were supported by mortar teams. The SAS troops and the Resistance held their positions well into the night, to then withdraw under cover of darkness. After these battles the SAS units were hunted by the Germans by any means, so many were killed. Now a museum in Saint-Marcel recalls the battles.
In August moved the VIIIof the 3rd U.S. army in Brittany, and the battle for Brittany began. The second of the 3rd SAS was flown to Brittany, to the men of the 4th SAS replace. In addition, many vehicles were brought Vannes, Morbihan by glider into Brittany. The French SAS (530 soldiers) had lost the war ended more than 55% of men in the fighting in Brittany: 81 dead, 195 wounded.
The start of the operation
To conceal therose on the morning of the 6th June 1944 Allied aircraft on aerodromes at Dover and threw off the British coast over the English Channel from silver foil. The radar echoes produced thereby deceiving the Germans before the approach of hundreds of aircraft and the crossing of just as many ships in the direction of Pas-de-Calais.
Originally the launch of Operation Overlord was established with the Operation Neptune on a Maitermin. Due to poor weather conditions the day of landing (D-Day) but had to be postponed several times. 8 May 1944 began the Allied supreme commander of SHAEF, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the D-Day on the 5th Established in June 1944. After the fourth June for the next day bad weather was predicted Eisenhower postponed the date to the 6th June. At the crucial meeting at 4:15 clock on 5 June the company was given the green light (→ Weather forecast for the 5 and 6 June 1944 at the English Channel).
For reasons of secrecy not only the individual operations themselves and their start date received military cover names, but also provided for the landing on the coast of the Cotentin peninsula beach sections. The first U.S. Army landed on the beaches of Utah at Sainte-Mère-Église and Omaha at St. Laurent. The second British Army went into the sections Gold at Arromanches and Ouistreham ashore at Sword, Juno, the Canadian section at Courseulles-sur-Mer.
When Eisenhower on the eve of D-Day, the 101st U.S. Airborne Division visited, he had already formulated its official press release for the event that the invasion failed,:
Operation Neptune (D-Day)
On 6 June 1944 the strongest forces landing in military history were used. Were supported and carried them through the most powerful ship ever with a total collection of over 6,000 ships (see naval warfare during Operation Overlord).
Established to ensure the fleet and to support the ground troops, the Allies prepared about 4190 fighter s, 3440 heavy bombers, 930 medium and light bombers, 1360 troop transport and cargo planes, 1070 machinery of the coastal command, 520 reconnaissance aircraft and 80 rescue plane e. A total of 11,590 aircraft were used on D-Day on the Allied side. The attack took place at a width of 98 km, between Sainte-Mere-Eglise on the Cotentin peninsula in the west, the east and Ouistreham. In the western sections of American troops (codenamed Utah and) landed three infantry divisions in the adjacent sections Gold, Juno and , two British and one Canadian Division, a total of about 170,000 men on this day
The Allied airborne divisions, who jumped on D-Day, had to secure the flanks and aim to capture important key points and batteries or destroy.
Sixteen minutes after midnight began the operation of 6 British Airborne Division,with the landing of gliders on the bridges over the Orne and the Caen Canal at Bénouville. The 6th Airborne Division was to land the job, with paratroopers and glider troops in three landing zones (K, V, N), to take the Orne Caen Canal Bridge and keep to destroy bridges over the Dives off the coast battery Merville and space to hold between Orne and Dives and thus to protect the left flank of the Allied landing. The paratroopers quickly succeeded to take the landing zones and to prepare for the landing of reinforcements. Also blasting the bridges over the Dives in Troarn, Bures, Robehomme and Varaville get. Until the evening of the 6th June, the division achieved all the goals. A second part of the operation consisted of the landing of paratroopers in the artillery battery at Merville, which should destroy what they – with heavy losses of about 50% – succeeded.
The 82th Airborne Division was in the course of the operation and the Detroit 101 U.S. Airborne Division land on the western flank of the invasion area during the surgery Chicago. Due partially unmarked landing zones, bad weather and poor land the paratroopers were scattered and could not get together often. Some of the paratroopers drowned even in lakes or flooded by the Germans terrain. After 24 hours, only 2500 of the 6000 members of the 101st had Airborne Division together. Many of the soldiers wandered for days afterwards by the terrain. The 82th Airborne had already written on the morning of 6 June, the town of Sainte-Mère-Église captured, so this was the first controlled by the Allies city during the invasion.
A special group of 101 U.S. Airborne Division, which consisted of twelve men let their hair mohawk hair done s to intimidate the German forces. This group was called “Filthy 13″, and the members were notorious as a hard fighter and for their great courage. The idea for the campaign was the paratroopers Jake McNiece, a half-Indian from Oklahoma. The group was in front of the D-Day by a photographer of the magazine “Stars and Stripes” recorded when she auftrugen war paint on their faces and thus known – the material was also used later by several films. The “Filthy 13″ fought to the end of the war, a total of about 30 different soldiers replace fallen or wounded members. The Germans should have even suggested that the “Filthy 13″ were criminals who had freed the Americans and sent into battle.
An Allied paratroopers described his experiences at the D-1, the 6th June 1944 as follows:
The landing zone was about five miles long and was divided into four sections with the name Oboe, Peter, Queen and Roger. She was the easternmost of the Allied landing zones.
Troops of the 3rd British infantry Division in a thickness of about 30,000 troops landed on D-Day at 7:25 clock on this stretch of beach east of the Orne and the Caen Canal. Them had been allocated to strengthen British commandos. To join the French at the land of their own coast,in London had made strong for participation and received approval to participate. As well as French troops went ashore on Sword Beach with. In defense were on Sword Beach parts of the German 716th Division, the regiments 736 and 125, as well as powers of 21 Panzer Division, which could interfere in the nearby hinterland. In the east, behind the Dives was also the 711th Division stationed.
The British broke the German resistance despite go inland and with the soldiers of the 6th Airborne unite. Since the storm on Caen could not be carried out by some paratrooper units alone, the troops were waiting for the units of the 1stunder the command of Lord Lovat, who arrived in the late morning at the Pegasus Bridge. The advance on Caen was increased significantly by 21 Armored Division and later the “Hitlerjugend” disabled. It was not until mid-July until Caen was fully occupied. The losses of the British at Sword beach section to be approximately 700 soldiers numbered.
The landing zone was divided into two portions with the name Mike and Nan.was between the sections Sword and Gold. Canadian troops under Major General Rodney Keller Fredi Leopold landed on this stretch of beach, which is therefore also often called Canadian beach. was defended on the beach zweitheftigsten to . The section was of the German 716th Infantry Division defended under the command of General Wilhelm Richter.
In the first hour after the attack took place, the Canadian losses amounted to about half of all soldiers gone ashore; roughly comparable to the American losses at Omaha Beach. The landed Swimming Tanks n succeeded but to fight the German defensive positions successfully. Once it was the Canadians succeeded after an hour to overcome the wall of the beach side, they could quickly penetrate further inland and the Germans fight much better than the Americans at Omaha Beach.
Around noon, was the third complete Canadian Division to land and penetrated several miles into the hinterland to take bridges over the Seulles. The town of Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer was at 18:00 clock in Canadian hands. A group of 6 Canadian armored regiment could reach as only the targets in Normandy. They had moved 15 km inland and crossed the main road between Caen and Bayeux. But without the supporting infantry they had to retreat again.
At the end of D-Day, it was the Canadians succeeded as much as any other Allied unit to advance on French soil, although they had encountered when landing on similar resistance as the Americans at Omaha Beach. By this procedure, a total of 340 soldiers, another 574 were wounded. The merger with the British troops, who had landed on Sword Beach, was the evening of the next day.
The landing beach was divided into four sections How, Item, Jig, and King. The last two were further divided into sub-sections Green and Red, so finally six sectors were present.
British troops of the 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division under the command of Major-General Graham, belonging to the second British Army under Lieutenant General, landed on 6 June 1944 on this stretch of beach. They consisted of the four regimental ren Devonshire, Hampshire, Dorsetshire and East Yorkshire. Were still in the jig sector 231 and the 69th king sector Assigned to the Brigade Troops landing because the beaches were long enough to accommodate the number of two brigades of troops upon landing. In Item 47, the sector struggled Command together with the 50th Division. In defense here were part of the German 716th Infantry Division at Le Hamel and a battalion of 352 Infantry Division Team Meyer.
The main task of thewas to establish a bridgehead on the beach and then take the town of Arromanches, which had been selected as a location point for a Mulberry harbor. After the contact with the U.S. units at Omaha Beach and the Canadian troops should be made on Juno Beach.
Although the German resistance was always fierce, succeeded in the 50th Division break through at a relatively low losses. This was partly due to the embellishment of the landing troops with tanks and armored vehicles n the 79th British Armored Division. These included the so-called Hobart’s Funnies, which were equipped with 290-mm mortars to clear obstacles such as minefields and larger fasteners out of the way.
La Rivière was already around 10:00 clock, and Le Hamel was the afternoon in British hands. The British could take until early evening around 25,000 men ashore and saw a total of about 400 dead. The bridgehead was expanded inland of ten kilometers, and contact with the Canadians from eastern Juno Beach was made. Arromanches was fully occupied approximately around 22:30 clock, and the British arrived shortly thereafter the outskirts of Bayeux.
Omaha Beach was the most extensive, with more than ten kilometers landing section and once again divided into eight landing zones that were referred from west to east as Charlie, Dog Green, Dog White, Dog Red, Easy Green, Easy Red, Fox Green and Fox Red. Easy Red was the longest section of about 2.2 km.
For coastal protection, the 716th was Infantry Division used. It was commanded by General Wilhelm Richter with headquarters in Caen. The 716 Infantry Division has been used since June 1942 on the coast as so-called static division. From mid-March 1944, the 352 came Infantry Division in addition to the beach area and took over half of the defense sector of the 716th
The landing of troops at Omaha Beach suffered the biggest losses since the 448 B-24 bombers with 1285 tons of bombs n the second Bombers of the 8th Division U.S. Air Force due to poor visibility missed the German positions and thus the defenses remained largely intact. 117 B-24 bombers even returned with its cargo back to England, when they found their targets.
The first major breakthrough came in at 9:00 on the clock White Dog section. Here was the only defense of lightweight, non-concentrated machine gun fire from the pocket of resistance WN60. About 20 minutes later the home side’s Company C, 116th Rangersand the 5th Ranger under the command of General , to ascend the steep beach section and move into the hinterland. General Cota led his men from the east to four-Ville and then fought his way to the beach (Beach Exit D1) down.
In other places in Omaha Beach much more armed and fortified German defenses were overcome. General Bradley received around noon the news that large troops stuck on the Easy Red beach section. In the sections Easy Red and Easy Green met a further reinforcement waves, and the wounded were carried away.
The German strongpoint WN 72 was located approximately at 13:00 clock, so the beach output D1 to four-sur-Mer was free. From 20:00 clock arrived more landing waves that brought additional material such as tanks and artillery. On the west side of Omaha Beach managed the first U.S. division not to reach the goals for the day. On the morning of the 7th June took part in the German 915again a push towards the coast. This venture failed and led to the final collapse in the beach area.
From the 7th June 1944, the remaining German troops withdrew only as a struggle on with small arms and the occasional tanks was not possible against the superior forces of the Allied tanks, artillery and air force.
At, which is often erroneously stated in U.S. Army documents as “Pointe du Hoe,” six German positions with 155-mm artillery guns, guarded the beach and therefore the American landing forces were at the beach sections Utah and Omaha Beach under attack could take. Although the positions were often attacked by naval artillery and bomber units, the fortifications were too strong and the fire was kept. Why was the U.S. 2 Ranger commissioned to destroy the guns on the morning of D-Day.
Comprised of 225 men Rangerled by Lieutenant (Lt. Col.) James Earl Rudder. The plan was for the three Ranger companies (D, E and F) to land from the sea at the foot of the cliff and then climb up with ropes, ladders, and the like, the rock walls. After that the troops should invade the upper cliff. The attack should be executed before the main Allied landings. It was proposed to begin the attack at 6:30 clock in the morning. Half an hour later, a second group was composed of eight companies to follow. Then they should be replaced by troops who landed at Omaha Beach on the “Green Dog”.
After some initial setbacks due to bad weather and navigation problems the Americans landed 40 minutes later than planned at the foot of the cliffs, while the attack by Allied destroyers n was supported. However, the Germans offered dogged resistance and threw rocks and hand grenades at the Americans climbing up. At 7:08 clock every Ranger arrived on the cliffs and stormed the German positions. After about a 40-minute action, the cliffs were taken with relatively low losses.
The guns had been taken away, however, possibly because of the bombing, which ushered in the invasion. The Rangers were formed on the cliff again, erected defenses, and sent some men further inland to search for the guns. One of the patrol found the guns unguarded and without ammunition in an orchard about a kilometer southwest of. The patrol destroyed some of the guns with thermite – Grenade, whereby the height and tilt mechanism was destroyed. The second patrol came up and destroyed the remaining guns.
After the Pointe du Hoc Ranger had conquered, they were on the 6th and 7 June repeatedly attacked by German troops encircled and 200 m from the top of the cliff. The 116 U.S. Infantry Regiment and the 5th U.S. Ranger Battalion, who came from Omaha Beach, moved about 900 meters closer to the trapped Ranger. On the night of 7 on the 8th June ordered the commander of the German troops, the einkesselten the rangers to withdraw, whereupon the American reinforcements could break through.
At the end of the second day, the unit of more than 225 men had been reduced to 90 men still capable of fighting.
The landing plan included four waves. With the first wave should be a total of 20 landing craft, each with a 30-strong team of battle, the 8th Infantry Regiment of the 4th U.S. Infantry Division were occupied, two beachheads are established.
The entire operation was based on the first landing wave, which was scheduled for 6:30 clock in the morning. Around the same time, eight swimming tanks equipped with four landing craft e should be sent on their way.
However, the first wave was 1800 meters south of the planned landing section of the country. This was the result of a strong lateral flow, the abdrängte the landing craft to the south. Since the shoreline was covered as a result of the previous bombardment of smoke, missing the crews of the boats landing points of reference for a course correction.
The landing site would actually wrong can lead to great confusion, but did not enter. Although the commands were not run in detail, but Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., the deputy commander of the 4th Infantry Division had the situation under control and made to attack the achievable strong German positions. So the Americans could quickly advance to the main roads in the back country and attack the Germans from there.
The soldiers struck only against relatively little resistance, so that the losses could be quantified with 197 men as very low. Some German artillery shelled the ships at sea, but could do no damage there.
At the end of the day had more than 20,000 soldiers entered with 1,700 vehicles onon French soil. They had to complain only about 200 victims.
The German response to the invasion
The German defense knew of two lines from Paul Verlaine’s poem autumn song that should trigger just before the invasion disruptive actions of the French resistance movement, and were read on BBC. The crucial second line announced the invasion expected from 0:00 of the clock following the announcement day within the next 48 hours. This verse was on 5 June bugged at 21:15 clock by German radio stations. The 15th Army, however, was stationed at Pas-de-Calais, was then put on alert. The 7th Army in Normandy was not notified of not-follow reasons.
As for the 5th and 6 June 1944 bad weather had been predicted, many generals were absent. Some, such as the commander of the 7th Army, Colonel General Friedrich Doll Man held on with business games (staff training) in Rennes. Rommel visited on 6 His wife June in Germany, as this their 50th Birthday celebrated.
The SS Panzer divisions, including the, were allowed to be s set in motion only with permission of . But since this was sleeping, the division remained where she was stationed, and did not intervene in the fighting. The hostilities were downgraded by the Germans as a attempt to deceive the actual invasion of the Pas-de-Calais. Since the Resistance had destroyed the telephone and telegraph lines, there was little information on the Allied troop movements among the Germans. The Allies also continued dolls paratrooper uniform, which they called Rupert and combat loudly imitated over from Normandy. Because in addition to these imitations also bailed six SAS soldiers and repeatedly ran bill attacks on German positions, the Germans were completely confused and not able to make sense to act.
To cover up an air landing, led by the Allied aircraft bomb n which they yielded to different destinations in the region. A number of Allied paratroopers also jumped from about accidentally wrong area, so they had to struggle through to their units in Normandy and during their march there on several occasions attacked German associations. Also by the Germans were distracted by the actual operational theaters and sent their troops back into the less important areas.
The allied forces faced a relatively small German Air Force. Early morning landing there were two German fighter planes, flown by Lieutenant Coloneland Heinz Wodarczyk who attacked the Allied troops landing on the beach with on-board weapons. Around 10.00 clock attacked twelve Fw 190 of I. / JG 2, the invasion fleet with BR-21 launcher fired at, a landing ship was hit. Many aircraft were on the 4th June has been moved inland, as you looked at the existing airfields for the threat. Some units have already moved back during the day in the combat zone. In the evening, several of the attacks took place with SG 4 fighter-bombers of the Allied invasion fleet and vehicles, two hits were reported on landing ships . During the D-Day the Allies had absolute air superiority (→ air war during Operation Overlord).
Some time later, the Germans realized that an invasion took place. But they kept it for a feint, and suggested further that the real invasion would take place in the region of Pas-de-Calais. Some of the German generals expecting even months later with a home invasion in the Pas-de-Calais.
The first reports of the invasion reached Germany, was the official reaction of the population relief, even joy. It was felt that one could finally decisively defeated the enemy, who was now within reach. But others (eg Example, on the Eastern Front, where in the summer of 1944 took place a total collapse of) was under the hand of the opinion that the war was lost after the disaster of Stalingrad anyway, now (year and a half later), will soon come to an end . Anyway disappeared in the days following the Allied invasion of Normandy abruptly at the entire population’s confidence in the since 1942 by the propaganda promoted as insurmountable . In other “walls”, for As the Western Wall, it was later otherwise.
The following days of the landing
The Allies had recognized their amphibious landings in the Mediterranean, that it required a well thought out organization on the beaches, to coordinate movements of ships and vessels, and to store the goods or supplies to use. Therefore, they used a beach master, where it landed per section (Omaha, Utah Beach, etc.) a Beach Naval Officer-in-(NOIC) announced that would organize the supply. So the Allies ensured even for bakery and barber stalls and other facilities on the beaches. Admiral Ramsay said later:
For coordinating the arrival and return of supplies and convoys two floating command posts were set up in each area, which bore the names of Captain and Captain Southbound Sailings Northbound sailings. The Omaha Beach after D-Day served as a port facility while already started three days after the landing of the fastest possible construction of the two Mulberry, Mulberry B at Arromanches first and shortly thereafter Mulberry A at Omaha Beach at Four-Ville Saint-Laurent. In order for the supply of the British island was secured. Although Mulberry A on 19 June was destroyed by a severe storm, were up to 31 October 628,000 tons of supplies of goods, 40,000 vehicles and 220,000 soldiers go ashore.
To establish a secure bridgehead, the nearest towns had to be taken and made a merger of the landing troops. At the same time, the beaches had to be protected in order to bring the supply transports safely to shore can. For these reasons, all the patrols and combat units were sent to the countryside, the cities should move forward and conquer, but what were trying to prevent the Germans. As a result, heavy fighting flared up behind the beaches. So tried the 12 SS Panzer Division “Hitlerjugend” on 7 to 8 June back the Canadian teams to the beach, which they did not succeed.
Also, during the(8th to June 15th) of Carentan German resistance was finally broken and occupied by the Allies.
The offensive of the Soviet Union – binding German forces on the Eastern Front
Due to the great summer offensive of the Soviet Union in the central portion of the Eastern Front, the, on the third anniversary of the German attack on the Soviet Union on 22 June of the year 1944 began, the German forces were weakened tremendously.
Because of the Allied invasion of Normandy German associations had been withdrawn from the eastern front, so fewer troops were on the German front lines in the East. Four Soviet “fronts” (army groups), along with more than 120 divisions and 2.15 million soldiers marched against the strong with about 600,000 soldiers inferior and ill-equipped German troops of the 9th and 4th Army and thefront.
The Red Army took advantage of their superiority and achieved breakthroughs in every aspect, then wedges into the tanks were advancing. Operationally, they used it for the first time in three years the method previously used by the Germans against them thes. This was favored by Hitler’s orders to hold, and to form “fixed seats” rather than move to mobile defense. So it came to boilers and ultimately to the destruction of Army Group Center with three German armies (total of 25 German divisions).
There was a German retreat from 500 kilometers to the west, where the front was not until mid-August before the German frontier to a halt.was cut off from all land routes, but held until the surrender in May 1945 in Courland. According to recent estimates, the Germans lost during the operation, 19 to August continued, over 670,000 men, the Red Army, approximately 765,000 men, the losses of the armed forces could not be re-balanced, especially since Germany was at this time in a three-front war. So also the resupplies for German troops at the invasion front in northern France were always less, which favored the advance of the allied troops to the east.
Foray into the interior
To 12 June, the Allies to join the bridgeheads over a length of about 100 km and a depth of some 30 km inland with each other. In just seven days they had succeeded, 326,000 soldiers to land more than 54,000 vehicles and 100,000 tons of war material. Despite this success, they ran their Overlord planning afterwards. For example, the capture of the city of Caen was already provided for Landungstag. Also, the advance through the bocage terrain of the Cotentin Peninsula in the direction of places in the interior, as Carentan (→) and the major port of Cherbourg channel proved to be extremely difficult. The hedges and ditches offered the German defenders excellent coverage options. Especially for sniper n the terrain was perfectly suitable.
Not least because of Allied air superiority and the French railway track destroyed e the German side failed to move as quickly as possible additional units in the combat area of Normandy. On 14 June 4 succeeded Infantry Division, despite strong opposition, to break through the German main line of defense in the north. In the West, the U.S. VIIalso progressed slowly because they had to cross the rivers and Merderet Douve. By increased Allied bombing of German positions, the U.S. managed 18 June seal off the Cotentin peninsula, with a quick thrust to the west. The Germans retreated on 20 Of June in the town of Cherbourg back, which was expanded into a fortress (→ ).
Cherbourg fortress under Commanderfell on 26 June after heavy American artillery shelling and fierce street fighting. Now the Allies of a deep-sea port, which allowed them to troops and military equipment were zoom in even greater numbers than to create lake in possession.
Thehad collapsed at this time in a number of small battles in which Allied infantry, supported by artillery, had bogged down and very slowly were advancing against the German defense. For example, lamented the U.S. between the 2 and 14 July, more than 10,000 victims in an area gain of only 11 kilometers.
Since the Germans were still on the east bank of the Orne and fired from there with motorized artillery and mortars to Sword Beach, the Allied supply replenishment of goods over this stretch of beach was much more difficult. The area east of the Orne was the landing area of the 6th Been British Airborne Division during, this was not to conquer and hold the section. Originally, the stretch of beach in front of this area was also planned as an Allied landing beach code-named band Beach but later discarded. When the German attack was more precise and more and lost more ships, landing craft and supplies went, the Allies gave the first July 1944 to Sword Beach, since no meaningful replenishment longer possible from there.
The capture of Caen (→) proved for the allied forces of the British and Canadians on the east side of the Normandy beachhead as much more difficult. Caen was fiercely defended by strong German forces. Montgomery therefore conducted several military operations to conquer the strategically important city and to control its environs. Control of Caen and the surrounding region would allow the Allies to build runways for aircraft supplies, or the use of the airfield at Carpiquet. Moreover, the crossing of the Orne by the capture of the city and its bridges would have been easier. In defense of the Germans laid 150 heavy and 250 medium tanks in the Caen area. This, and also the occasional adverse weather conditions made it difficult for the Allied capture of the city. Until 8 July, more than a month later than planned, managed to conquer the all-important airfield at Carpiquet. Thus, the front line had approached moved to the city of Caen to less than a kilometer. The next morning the allied troops entered the northern end of Caen, but were stopped at the further advance of snipers. The pioneer Arthur Wilkes described the state of the city as follows: “. Mountains of rubble, about 20 or 30 feet [≈ 6 or 9 m] high [...] the dead lay everywhere” 21 The war diary of the 1st Battalion King’s Own Scottish Borderers is also an entry for the 9th July: “In the abandoned houses acting slowly began a resurgence, as the French civilians, it became clear that we conquered the city.They ran with glasses and bottles of wine out from their homes. ” 22. It took about 9 more days until the southern and eastern parts of the city, as well as the area and the suburbs south and east of the city on 19 Were captured in July 1944 by the British and Canadians.
A major setback, however, the Allies met during, at the Montgomery tried with tanks to break the German resistance and escape from the area around Caen. More than 430 British tanks were destroyed, and the Allied troops complained more than 5500 dead and had to withdraw. The Germans were able to keep their key positions with a loss of 109 tanks thing for them., In contrast to the Allies, was high since they were able to replace the losses difficult Tactically, the operation was indeed a defeat for the Allies, but reached the operation strategically seen that the Germans the main Allied attack even stronger now suspected in the British sector to break out of the bridgehead.
Skip to conquer the operation of the plateau s at Cramesnil and La Bruyers and capture of the city VERRIERES southeast of Caen was one of the costliest of Canadians in the. The Canadians lost about 1,500 men.
On 25 July, the Allies had only reached the D +5 line, that is, they held positions they loudly Overlord already planning on 11 Would have reached in June. Thus, a lack of Allied planning for the days after the invasion was uncovered. It had been so preoccupied with the problems that brought the invasion itself that an adequate concept for the expansion of the bridgehead was missing. Especially the tactical problems on the front of the first U.S. Army in the West had not anticipated.
After the capture of Saint-Lô (→ Battle of Saint-Lô) the Americans, therefore, undertook the same time with the thrusts of the other Allies on 25 July an attempt to break out of their bridgehead sector (→), which led to the outbreak of Avranches in the west of the Cotentin Peninsula in the following days.
On 30 July led the U.S. Army by a regrouping and reorganization of its units in Normandy. With the 3rd U.S. Army under the command of General George S.was set up a new army, which together with the first U.S. Army, now commanded by General , was placed under the command of Bradley’s 12th Army Group. Simultaneously, the 1 Allocated to Canadian Army under General Henry Crerar General Sir Bernard Montgomery’s .
The unforeseen great success of Operation Cobra led on 4 August to a change of plan by the Allies that a further advance westward to the Atlantic ports in favor of a rapid advance to the Loire and the Seine and just put aside a portion of the third U.S. Army, the U.S.General sent to Brittany under Lieutenant. Cobra clearly marked the path from the position – the war of movement and was the beginning of the persecution of the German armies through northern France, which eventually led to their embracing of the .
Allied advance into Brittany and His direction
Surprisingly, the Americans, the bridge Cobra undamaged fell in Pontaubault the Sélune shortly before the end of the operation in the hands, so that succeeded
vehicles cross the bridge to the eastern Brittany to lead. With the advance of the U.S. VIII Corps of the 3rd U.S. army to Brittany (Bretagne → Battle of) the Americans succeeded, the major Atlantic ports of Saint Malo and Brest remove the occupying German forces and to use the replenishment delivery for allied troops in northern France. Lorient and Saint-Nazaire, were rounded up in the long term. Moreover, could the troops stationed there under the command of the German forces in Brittany, General Wilhelm Fahrmbacher be prevented from falling to the Allies in their advance towards Germany in the back.
On 6 August, the Germans launched under the senior OB West, Field Marshal, a counter-attack at Mortain (→ Company Liege). Many small and scattered elements of the 6th Armored Division were rubbed on their way to Mortain between the rivers Sée and Sélune. Around noon, but then intervened to help the induced significantly superior allied air units and brought the advance to stop. On the night of 8 August von Kluge decided to suspend the attack for the time being, as part of the 3rd U.S. Army were moved into the area between Laval and Le Mans and the German southern flank threatened. Hitler then reacted very angrily and threatened to dismiss von Kluge of the command, which he then at 17 August with the appointment of as a new OB West also exported.
In mid-August, there was near Falaise and Argentan (→) to a decisive battle between the Allies and the Germans. The Allies were able to weaken the German units so sensitive that they could not recover from this defeat.
Only when Allied advance towards the Seine, 21 to 25 August, the area east of the Orne captured from where about a month earlier of Sword Beach was shot by German artillery and had to be abandoned. The 6th British Airborne Division came from 17 to 27 August 40 miles to Pont Audemer ago, while progress has been made on the entire front also. The Sword Beach, however, was not activated again, as already sufficiently many ports were under Allied control.
The German Wehrmacht lost in the fighting in Normandy on 6 alone June 45,000 men, to 15 July, the number rose to 97,000 dead and wounded until the end of July to 114,000 men and 41,000 prisoners after the battle of Falaise on 21 August were total 240,000 men in Allied captivity. Of material, the Wehrmacht lost while a 1,500 tanks and assault guns, 3500 guns and 20,000 vehicles. The Allies figured their losses to 21 August at 209,672 men, including 36,976 casualties.
Since the Allies were hardly German resistance was in the way, they could 25 August liberate Paris (→ Battle for Paris). It was originally intended to bypass the city and conquer later. Especially the Parisians, however, expected that the city would be conquered. In Paris there had been riots in which French resistance fighters of the resistance some streets and buildings, including the Town Hall income. On the evening of 24 August was Generala small armored column of the second French Armored Division drive into the city and advance to City Hall. At 10:00 clock on the morning of 25 August stood Leclerc Division and the 4th U.S. Infantry Division inside the city. On 26 August withdrew Charles de Gaulle, leader of the “ ” (force française libre FFL) and the “Comité français de la Libération nationale” (“ ”), in the Department in the Rue Saint-Dominique a. After Charles de Gaulle held from the balcony of the Hôtel de Ville, an address to the people of Paris. He made 9 September, a new provisional French government.
The company ended the Cobra and Falaise battles of Normandy to begin the rapid advance through northern France, which lasted until about mid-September 1944. The Allied advance then ended not because of German resistance, but due to lack of equipment. The Allied troops had become the victim of its own success and overran the possibilities of its logistics.
during Operation Overlord
Prepared for Operation Overlord, the Allies a large repertoire of ships – sevene, two monitors, twenty-three cruisers, three s, 105 destroyers and 1073 smaller warship e -, which during landing or just before, the German forces at the beaches wear down and their positions should destroy. They should also provide protection for the entire invasion fleet and supply transports.
The American Captain Anthony Duke remembered the Allied armada:
The applications of the German Navy against the Allied landing operations were limited (→ situation of the German forces in Normandy in 1944). In June 1944, the Navy had no major surface units in the bases in France. The entrances to the canal were also protected by strong associations of Allied warship n, also the Allies had air superiority over the channel (→ air war during Operation Overlord). It was therefore obvious that the Navy had no chance to stop the Allied supply lines across the channel, however units of the Navy in this senseless from today’s perspective undertaking were sent.
The Navy had on 6 June 1944 in the entire channel region only five torpedo boat s, 39 s speedboat – five of which were not ready, 163 minesweepers and Räumboot s, 57 s patrol boat (fishing boat war) and 42 Artilleriefährprahme. There were five destroyers, a torpedo boat, 146 minesweepers and 59 minesweepers and patrol boats stationed on the Atlantic coast between Brest and Bayonne. In the central channel – where the Allied invasion took place – but they only had four torpedo boats, speedboats fifteen, nine patrol boats and six Artilleriefährprahme.
The battles were heavy losses for both sides. Most of the fighting between German and British speedboats motor torpedo boats were running from, but the Germans used their five destroyers, but this was unsuccessful.
The Allies succeeded as artificial harbors – the so-called Mulberry – to build and conquer the technically important supply port of Cherbourg and to secure such important supply positions. One of the main supplies of goods was fuel. To place this in the Normandy,(P ipe L ines U Direction T he O cean) started. At the beginning of the action was pumped directly from tankers off-shore fuel ashore and placed in the vehicles. As Port-en-Bessin was conquered by the Allies, there were built the first tank farm. At this time the construction of the first underwater pipeline was already in full swing. They could be put into operation in August in Cherbourg. Others followed later in the Pas-de-Calais. A total of 21 fuel pipelines were laid through the English Channel. Until April 1945 incorporated in 3100 tonnes of fuel daily in the supply bases of Normandy. So the Allies were able to support their units in the country and help them expand the bridgehead.
Air war during Operation Overlord
The air war during Operation Overlord belongs – in addition to the, the carrier battle s in the Pacific and the strategic air war against the German Empire – the most important air battles of . The Allied landing in Normandy was made possible with the air superiority of the allied forces.
Before D-Day, the Allies bombed German supply lines, artillery batteries and supported the French Resistance from the air with ammunition and equipment.
During the D-Day allied fighters secured the airspace above the landing area, while bombers bombed German positions in the hinterland. Simultaneously examined Allied warplanes from the lake to German U-boats and bombed them not to endanger the Armada and replenishment ships. Since the Germans for the most part until June 1944, a landing at Pas-de-Calais believed (→ German situation in Normandy in 1944), they were the Allies on D-Day oppose only a few fighters and fighter-bombers. Most aircraft were moved further inland, to protect them against low-level attacks and bombs, and had now only be moved back again.
After D-Day, the Allies supported their offensives on the floor with concentrated bombardment, but also destroyed as scenery and towns and killed many French civilians. A Welsh soldier said to the bomber squadrons, which appeared in the course of the battle for Caen in the sky:
In addition, Allied fighters were the Normandy after German troops from associations and shot them to avoid having recourse against the land forces. Since the Germans initially could fly no useful reconnaissance flights, they had the Allied air superiority little to counter.
End of August 1944, with the dissolution of the boiler of Falaise, the Allied losses amounted to 4099 aircraft and 16,674 crew. By contrast, the Germanlost 1522 fighters. The loss rate for fighter aircraft in direct air combat was 3:1 in favor of the Allies, and the loss rate per service with the German Air Force was six times higher than the Allies. While the Allies were able to replace their losses through intact material supply routes, the loss for the German Air Force was largely unersetzt.
German and Allied propaganda and processing of invasion in the press
In German as on the Allied side, the invasion was imminent with propaganda and with – accompanied press reports – mostly propaganda inked. The Germans in turn gave confidence that the invasion would go well for them, which is recognizable in the following excerpts from speeches by the German propaganda minister. Goebbels said in a speech on 5 June 1943 at the Berlin Sports Palace:
On 4 Goebbels then held in June 1944 in Nuremberg at a mass rally on the occasion of the district council of the district city of Nuremberg Nazi another speech:
Also in German magazines arrangements have been highly praised. Thus, the Atlantic Wall was often depicted in a heroic action. As a staunch German soldier was on the cover of the German weekly newspaper “The Kingdom” presented with a sign that says “Atlantic Wall” and anrennt a powerless against the British. In other newspapers such as the Brussels newspaper of 13 April 1944 is also shown the invasion lurid and commented:
The Allied commander Dwight D. Eisenhower, however, was confident that the Allies would win the victory. So he said in his speech before the D-Day:
The Germans reported mostly positive about the invasion and propagated that they would inflict heavy losses to the enemy. Reported as a German editor about how to deal with the Allied invasion of releases:
The propaganda, however, referred not only to the soldiers or populations of the parties, but also on the respective opponents. Thus the Allies guarantee the German soldiers who would voluntarily surrender, a comfortable and secure life. These messages were distributed via leaflets. Thus, for example, were the first allied aircraft on 5 and 6 June 1944 over the skies of Normandy on the way to drop leaflets, and only then followed by the machine with the paratroopers on board. The leaflets were in the local language of the respective opposite side written (German fliers in English and vice versa). In some cases, however, orders were printed in the language of the Austeilers to ensure comfortable treatment of the prisoners. In addition to guarantees and the like for the soldiers contained these leaflets but sometimes bomb warnings etc. for the civilian population. The allies dropped from these leaflets from several million copies.
There was, however, not only pamphlets, magazines were also dropped from the air behind the enemy lines. As the Allies dropped from 25 April 1944 a new edition of the daily newspaper “News for the troops” from that initially consisted of two, but four pages later, and news about the military situation and another contained. This campaign was developed by a combined American and British staff for Operation Overlord. Besides started this magazine, the British and Americans, the magazines “front post” and “front cover”.
According to the book Overlord by Max Hastings, however, the most effective method of propaganda was operated by the British radio station Radio Calais, thealmost reached the half. According to Hastings, the Germans heard the Allied announcements about captured German soldiers who were read over the radio attentively.
The Germans attempted, with their “miracle weapons” such as V1 or V2, both the German population to convince them of the opportunity to still win the war, as well as to demoralize the Kills on London, the British population.
When the Allied troops also came to the sultry voice of Mildred Elizabeth Sisk Gillars well, which was known as the propagandist Great German Radio, Radio Berlin under the pseudonym Axis Sally. Your infamstes radio feature titled Vision of invasion consisted of that on 11 May 1944 shortly before the planned invasion of Normandy played an American mother who had lost her son in the English Channel. An announcer’s voice brought it to the point, with the words: The D of D-Day stands for doom … disaster … death … defeat … Dunkerque or Dieppe.
The situation of the civilian population during Operation
Victims among the civilian population
Because of the conditions for civilians in Normandy (artillery shelling and bombing), the number of civilian victims of particularly high. To escape the bombs and grenades, people sought shelter in cellars, caves, quarries, and covered with bundles of firewood trenches.
Several thousand people fled south on roads and trails that were bombed regularly. Among them were men, women and children, including the sick and elderly who started on foot, in carts and sometimes with their cows the way. Some did so spontaneously to flee the fighting, while others were given by theorders to leave their homes. The refugees moved sometimes alone and sometimes in convoys heading south, mostly on routes that had worked out the Vichy regime.
The majority of civilian victims died from the air, which had the goal of destroying roads to stop the German supply due to Allied bombing. The deadliest attack took place on the evening of 6 June and during the night of 6 on the 7th June place, said destroyed. More than 3,000 people were killed. The leaflets that were dropped a few hours before the bombing to warn the inhabitants had little effect. In the following days also bombs devastated L’Aigle, Avranches, Valognes, Vimoutiers, Alençon, and Falaise. The air attacks decreased thereafter, although smaller towns and villages such as Aunay-sur-Odon and Evrecy were still heavily bombed.
Many more people died as a result of the Allied artillery shelling and bombardment from the sea (→ naval warfare during Operation Overlord). So many of the towns and villages were destroyed in the landing beaches and killed many people. Alexander McKee said to the bombardment of the city of Caen (→) on 7 July the following:
When the city of Caen on 9 Had been conquered by the British and Canadians in July, many residents of Caen were dead or homeless. The pioneer Arthur Wilkes described the state of the city as follows: “Mountains of rubble [about] 20 or 30 foot [≈ 6 or 9 m] high [...] the dead lay everywhere.”
Several residents were killed by the Germans, either for acts of resistance or because they had refused orders (there were 650 alone for the Lower Normandy) to follow. So many of the prisoners in the prison of Caen people were executed on D-Day. On 10 June 1944 it came to the so-called massacre of Oradour, where the place of Oradour-sur-Glane destroyed in reprisal against partisan activity and the inhabitants were murdered (see massacre of Oradour). In the massacre 642 people, of which only 52 were identified to have died. Among the dead were 207 children and 254 women. Only six people survived the massacre.
Even months after the fighting was still a large number of inhabitants of Normandy – farmers, sailors, and often children – mines and bombs misfired victim.
A total of approximately 20,000 inhabitants of Normandy lost their lives – considerably more than the number of British and Canadian soldiers who were killed in action (approx. 16,000) and about the same as the American Fallen (approx. 21,000). An increased number of civilian casualties can be found at Caen, which was hit particularly hard by the heavy fighting during thearea. Found in 1989 in Caen alone civilians to death while they were in the suburbs and surrounding villages only 72nd.
Response of the French population to the Allies
The official spread after the war point of view is that celebrated the arrival of the Allies in the cities of Normandy with flags, parts of the population would even be dressed in the colors of the Union Jack’s. The Allies would have been welcomed with open wine bottles and wine cellars, during this turn, gave the inhabitants of the cities chocolate, tobacco, and chewing gum. Thus, for example, is in the war diary of the 1st Battalion King’s Own Borderers Scotish an entry to 9 July:
After 25 August 1944, the city of Paris was (→ Battle for Paris) under Allied control, Charles de Gaulle held on 26 August from a triumphal and then spoke from the balcony of the town hall of the Paris population. On the same day followed a French victory parade down the Champs-Élysées. A bookseller from Paris, Jean Galtier-Boissiére, described the scenes in Paris on 25 August 1944 as follows:
In fact, the inclusion of the Allied soldiers in Normandy was frosty because the French population was reminded by bombing, looting and sexual assault by Allied soldiers to the horrors of war.
During Operation Overlord perpetrated both the German and the Allied side of war crimes, with those revealed by Americans, Canadians and Brits only recently by the based primarily on eyewitness reports, research by the British historian Antony Beevor.
On both sides there was the killing of prisoners of war, either for a time following the earlier arrest, or when soldiers wanted to clearly be straight. That this was not just to spontaneous actions or reactions to bitter, lossy fights (which were fought on the German side in part with funds from the asymmetric warfare), shows the detectable presence of corresponding orders to take no prisoners. The shooting of German prisoners by Allied soldiers was practiced, for example, if the own rapid advance had been delayed by the need to evacuate the prisoners. Furthermore, as Beevor, German soldiers wounded and medical personnel killed while Allied pilots had fired at German ambulances from the air. Focus on the following units were involved in such crimes: On the German side, the 12th SS armored division “” and vice versa, the fighting against them Canadians, in just the first few days killed 187 Canadian prisoners, including 18 in the night of 7 on the 8th June at the Massacre at the Abbaye d’Ardenne in Caen. For the American side, several incidents from the 101st are and 82 Airborne Division reported the paratroopers had particularly heavy fighting to survive the first day, so 30 captured Wehrmacht soldiers were shot at Audouville-la-Hubert on D-Day.
Moreover, it was during Operation Overlord to several, under the guise of “fighting terrorism” carried out massacres of civilians by members of the Frenchdivisions following: 1 SS Panzer Division “Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler”, 2nd SS Panzer Division “Das Reich”, 12 SS Panzer Division “Hitlerjugend” (including SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment 26), 17 SS Panzer Grenadier Division “Götz von Berlichingen.” After Beevor lost in the 26 worst massacres in France in 1944, a total of 1904 people their lives, including 642 alone (including 207 children, 254 women) in Oradour-sur-Glane on 10 June 1944, the town was almost completely destroyed. Even in August killed SS men on the retreat of hundreds of civilians in Buchères at Troyes, Maille and Tavaux and Plomion. The murdered in view of the impending German defeat already arrested 600 members of the Resistance.
The former SS-Standartenführerreported as follows on the treatment of German prisoners by Canadian troops:
Meyer allegedly ordered then: “What should we do with these prisoners?The only eat our rations. In the future, no more prisoners are taken.”
The Canadian company commander and Major D. Jacques Dextraze confirmed after the war Meyer’s allegations:
Losses during Operation Overlord
The exact number of losses of soldiers during Operation Overlord can not be reconstructed. Even before the D-Day – April-May 1944 – The Allies lost nearly 12,000 men and more than 2000 aircraft. The Allies had been made since the D-Day about 53,700 deaths (37,000 dead in the land forces and 16,714 deaths in the Air Force), 18,000 missing and 155,000 wounded, the Germans 200,000 dead, missing and wounded and another 200,000 prisoners of war. Of the total of 32,807 Allied casualties are buried in the cemeteries, while the Germans are 77 866. The casualties among the French civilian population amounts to about 20,000 people (cf. victims among the civilian population)
Aftermath of Operation Overlord
Operation Overlord was relatively successful for the Allies, so they expand their beachhead in Normandy and were able to create a solid basis for further advance to the east, toward Germany. In addition, the Allies helped their second landing in southern France, Operation Dragoon to conquer France and powerful advance.
Due to the enormous material wealth and absolute air superiority could be shattered at any time German troop concentrations, which is why the Allies were progressing quite rapidly after the end of Operation Overlord. Although they overextended with their rapid advance to the German Westwall their supply lines, but by building new, faster supply routes (→ Red Ball Express), they managed to provide the required large quantities of fuel, especially. On 3 September 1944 fell Brussels, Antwerp and the next day could be busy.
When Airbornewas the Second SS Panzer Corps, the British and Americans once again teach a heavy defeat in Arnhem. The operation took place between the 17th and 27 September 1944 in the Dutch provinces of Noord-Brabant and Gelderland place and had the objective to bypass the German and to allow British and American troops a rapid foray into the German Reich. She was, as Eisenhower later analyzed, “50% success”. Although the Allies moved the front line north from Belgium to Nijmegen, but the goal of the German defense lines by crossing the Rhine at Arnhem s to bypass was not achieved. The unexpectedly strong German resistance in Arnhem prevented the capture of the important bridge over the Rhine. The Allies finally had to retreat with heavy losses in men and material.
To use the port of Antwerp, the Canadian troops off in October on the German positions from lying in the Scheldt estuary Islands South Beveland and Walcheren. The importantestuary lasted about a month, then the way for the Allied resupply was free.
On 21 October conquered by the Allies after fierce fighting with the first German city of Aachen. On 22 November 1944 reached further south American forces Metz and Strasbourg. In December, the Germans tried to win thethe upper hand in the West. The aim of the operation to split the Allied lines, and push forward on a broad front to Belgium, but failed the same extent as a result forced the reclassification of the Allied forces to exploit within the company implemented in January 1945 north wind.
The Western Allied troops advanced further on to Germany and met on 25 April Soviet troops in Torgau on the Elbe () together, the last of the German sphere of influence now disintegrated into two parts. On 26 Bremen April fell to the British, who moved on to the northeast. In quick succession they took Lubeck (2 May) and Hamburg (May 3) and finally a Wismar, probably to prevent the Red Army because of Schleswig-Holstein to push forward. After Eisenhower had rejected in operating the SHAEF headquarters in Rheims the suggestion of a separate armistice with the Allies, signed the German General in the morning hours of the 6th May 1945 total unconditional surrender of all German troops on 8 May at 23:01 Central European Time Clock should come into force.
After the war, many cemeteries, memorials and museums were opened on the former area of operations in northern France, which are reminiscent of the fallen, the survivors and also to the events.
The most famous funeral and memorial is the American cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer. In addition, located in Normandy many other cemeteries and memorials of the British, Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders who are partially buried in common places. At the military cemetery at La Cambe and the military cemetery of Saint-Désir de Lisieux German officers and soldiers are buried.
The beaches of the operation are indicated with their code names in maps and on street signs, and many of the bunkers are still standing. Many of the roads are after the units that fought in their area or designated by commanders, while in places such as the Pegasus bridge busts, memorials and museums were built partially.
One of the most famous monuments is the pinnacle at Pointe du Hoc, about ten kilometers west of the American Memorial at Omaha Beach. You should remember the fallen rangers and remember there as a reminder for future generations of the events of D-Day.
The Musée de la Paix (Peace Museum) in Caen was built on the initiative of the local city council and opened in 1988. However, there are numerous other museums that are scattered throughout the Normandy and in some cases are even in very small towns.
In addition, one of the original two Mulberry harbors is still in front of Arromanches, whereas in Sainte-Mère-Église, a dummy paratrooper hangs on the church tower. On Juno Beach, the Canadian, the Juno Beach Information Centre, on the other hand, the Americans erected established their “National D-Day Museum” in the United States.
On 6 June each year also commemorated the American cartoonist and veteran of WorldII, Charles M. Schulz (1922-2000), with his cartoon “Peanuts” of his comrades who fell in Normandy.
Some of the books are available in German and in English and in other languages. Books that have been published in German, are listed exclusively with “In German”. Specific literature on the landings on the beaches or on individual operations, etc. can be found in the articles.
In German language
•Antony Beevor: D-Day – The, C. Bertelsmann, Gütersloh, 2010, ISBN 978-3-570-10007-3 (English Original, 2009: ISBN 0-X 670-88703).
•Federal – Military archive of the Federal Republic of Germany, Freiburg, role BA-MA RL 10/358
•Flyer sheet, the official community of the German armed forces pilots organ eV / output Nr.5/2006, Report of Lieutenant Fischer 3./JG 2 of his attack on the landing craft on 6 June 1944
•Will Fowler: D-Day. The First 24 Hours, Amber Books Ltd., London, 2003, ISBN 3-85492-855-6 (Fowler’s book only describes the Operation Neptune, though with a good many illustrations and maps)
•Tony Hall (ed.): “Operation Overlord”, Engine Publishing, 2004, ISBN 3-613-02407-1 (English Original, 2003: ISBN 0-7603-1607-4. Comprehensive work of international authors. The book is organized thematically.)
•Helmut K. von Keusgen: D-Day, 1944, the Allied landings in Normandy. IMK-Creative-Verl., Garbsen 2000, ISBN 3-932922-10-7
•Yves Lecouturier: The beaches of the Allied landings, Morstadt, 2003, ISBN 3-88571-287-3
•Janusz Piekalkiewicz: Invasion.France, 1944, Munich 1979
•Friedrich Ruge, Rommel and the invasion.Memories, Koehler, Stuttgart 1959
•Cornelius Ryan: The Longest Day, P. Mohn, 1960, ISBN 978-3-7042-2026-4
•Dan Parry: D-Day, Vgs publishing company: Cologne, 2004, ISBN 3-8025-1618-4
•Brian B. Schofield: The leap across the channel, Engine Publishing, 1978, ISBN 3-87943-536-7
•Percy E. Schramm (ed.): War Diary of the High Command of the Wehrmacht from 1944 to 1945, part of Volume 1, ISBN 3-7637-5933-6 (Annotated Edition of the war diary, altogether eight volumes, of which at one location including the thein 1944 employed)
•Dan van der Vat: D-Day.The Allied landing in Normandy, Collection Rolf Heyne, 2004, ISBN 3-89910-199-5
•Winfried Mönch: Decisive Battle “invasion” in 1944?Forecasts and diagnoses, Franz Steiner Verlag, 2001, ISBN 3-515-07884-3
•Wolf, Manuel. “Air War over Europe 1939-1945, the fear in the neck.” Stuttgart: motor-Verlag, 2009. ISBN 978-3-613-03084-8.
•, Clay Blair: A General’s Life, Autobiography, 1983
•Anthony Hall: Operation Overlord.D-Day, Day by Day, New Line Books, 2005, ISBN 1-84013-592-1 – Diary of planning, preparation and execution of Operation Overlord, but only until fifteen days after D-Day.
•Stephen E. Ambrose, D-Day, Simon & Schuster Inc., 1994, ISBN 0-7434-4974-6 – This book is based on several interviews with witnesses and acts exclusively on D-Day, the day before and after (D- 1 and D +1). Ambrose wrote this book in addition to several other books, such as the book Band of Brothers, the template for the television series of the same name was.
•Robin Niellands: The– 1944, Weidenfeld & Nicholson military, 2002, ISBN 0-304-35837-1 – Niellands book on Battle of Normandy treated various aspects of Operation Overlord with many quotes as background.
•Fritz Kramer, Fritz brick man, Freiherr Von Luttwitz,: Fighting in Normandy: The from D-Day to Villers-Bocage, Stackpole Books, 2001, ISBN 1-85367-460-5
•Ronald J. Drez: Voices of D-Day: The Story of the Allied Invasion Told by Those Who Were There (Eisenhower Center Studies on War and Peace), Louisiana State University Press, 1998, ISBN 0-8071-2081-2
•John Keegan: Six Armies in Normandy: From D-Day to the, June 6 – Aug. 5, 1944, Penguin Books, 1994, ISBN 0-14-023542-6
•Max Hastings: Overlord, Touchstone, Reprint edition, 1985, ISBN 0-671-55435-2
•Humphrey and Young, Susan Wynn: Prelude to Overlord: An Account of the Air Operations Which Preceded and Supported Operation Overlore, the Allied Landings in Normandy on D-Day, 6th, Presidio Press, 1984, ISBN 0-89141-201-8
•CP Stacey: Canada’s Battle in Normandy, Queen’s Printer, 1948
•Carlo D’Este: Decision in Normandy, London, 1983
•Brown: Operation Neptune. Frank Cass Publishers, London 2004, ISBN 0-415-35068-9
•Russell A. Hart: Clash of Arms: How the Allies Won in Normandy, Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2001, ISBN 1-55587-947-0
•Eddy Florentin: Stalingrad en Normandie, Paris, Presses de la Cité, 1964
•Anthony Kemp: 6 juin 1944 Discovery Edition Gallimard Série Histoire, 1994, ISBN 2-07-058353-8
•Georges Bernage: Gold Juno Sword, Editions Heimdal, ISBN 2-84048-168-5
•Georges Bernage: Diables Rouges en Normandie, Editions Heimdal, ISBN 2-84048-158-8
•Dominique Kieffer, Stephane Simonnet: N ° 4, Editions Heimdal, March 2004, ISBN 2-84048-180-4
•Philippe Bauduin: Quand l’or noir à flots coulait, Editions Heimdal, March 2004, ISBN 2-84048-187-1
•: Archives drum, Mr. Lingen Blaustein
•Dominique Lormier: Rommel: La fin d’un mythe, Le Cherche-Midi Éditeur, Paris 2003
•Corta, Henry (1921-1998), Lieutenant SAS Bérets les rouges, amicale parachutistes SAS francais des anciens, Paris, 1952, French SAS in Brittany
•Henry Corta: Qui ose gagne (Who dares wins), the Service Historique de l’Armée de Terre (SHAT), Vincennes, 1997, French SAS in Brittany, ISBN 978-2-86323-103-6
•Stephen E. Ambrose: D-Day: June 6, 1944 – The Climactic Battle of WWII, Audio Works, Abridged edition, 2001, ISBN 0-7435-0814-9, Audio CD (English)
•Romedio of Thun-Hohenstein: The Invasion of Normandy , in Austrian Military Journal, Issue 1/2006
•Detailed description of Operation Overlord on www.ibiblio.org (English)
•Side of the American Battle Monuments Commission for Operation Overlord
•Side to the Canadian armed forces during Operation Overlord (English)
•bbc.co.uk for operation (English)
•Website of the encyclopedia Britannica D-Day (English)
•(leaflets) (English) (PDF, 151 kB)
•detailed information (English) (PDF, 5 KB)
•Original photos in color (10 min.): www.winstonchurchill.org (and other links)
•detailed information (in French)
•”La Bataille de Normandie” (French)
•Operation Overlord (French)
•6juin1944.com (English / French)
•Website for the 60th Anniversary of D-Day (English / Italian)
in World War II