D Day: A Turning Point In World History

1742 words - 7 pages

On June 6, 1944, in the midst of the Second World War, the Allied forces brought in "the
largest amphibious assault in the history of war."(World History Chronology) from various
countries including Great Britain, the United States, and Canada stormed the beaches of
Normandy hoping to overthrow the German forces occupying France. Years of meticulous
planning and seemingly endless training had finally come together to form the operation known as
D-Day, the invasion of Normandy. Many different operations and brilliant leaders helped to
contribute to the victory at Normandy. D-Day was not only a turning point in the War, but it
forever changed the course of history.
      For years, the entire world passively watched Adolf Hitler's rise to power. After the
annexing of France other countries woke up to the reality that global domination by Germany
was inevitable. The development of Germany's secret V1 and V2 rockets pressured the Allies to
react quickly and reclaim a foothold in continental Europe. The fate of Western Europe lied in
the hands of three men: Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin. Winston
Churchill (1874 - 1965) was Great Britain's greatest 20th Century statesman. Franklin
Roosevelt (1882 -1945), the thirty-second President of the United States, served longer than
any other U.S. president and during his presidency faced the two greatest crises of American
history: the Great Depression and World War II. Joseph Stalin (1879 - 1953), the secretary of
the communist party in Russia, had a very strong influence in the reconstruction of Europe after
World War II. (Microsoft Encarta)
     President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill's first choice to lead the invasion of
Normandy was U.S. Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall who played an

important role in designing the overall American Military effort in Europe. After much
consideration, Roosevelt decided that Marshall's presence in Washington was indispensable.
The Allies soon agreed that General Dwight D. Eisenhower, another well-experienced officer,
would be the Supreme Overall Commander of the Allied troops in Europe. Eisenhower
accepted the job assignment and became the supreme commander of the invasion and
commanding general of all United States forces in all European Operations.(AJP Taylor)
     When Eisenhower returned to London, England he told the combined chief of staff:
"Every obstacle must be overcome, every inconvenience suffered, and every risk run to ensure
that our blow is decisive. We cannot afford to fail." (Microsoft Encarta) With this enthusiasm he
drove not only himself but his troops with no mercy: "He worked 20 hours a day; the men
trained with live ammunition." (Microsoft Encarta) Eisenhower wanted this plan to work. His
biggest fear was how to bring in enough landing crafts to open the attack to the Allies 8
divisions, as...

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