June 6, 1944 will be remembered for many reasons. Some may think of it as a
success and some as a failure. The pages following this could be used to prove either one.
The only sure thing that I can tell you about D-Day is this: D-Day, June 6, 1944 was the
focal point of the greatest and most planned out invasion of all time.
The allied invasion of France was long awaited and tactfully thought out. For
months the allied forces of millions trained in Britain waiting for the Supreme Commander
of the Allied Expeditionary Forces, General Eisenhower to set a date. June 6, 1944 was to
be the day with the H-hour at 06:30. Aircraft bombed German installations and helped
prepare the ground attack. The ground forces landed and made their push inland. Soon
Operation Overlord was in full affect as the allied forces pushed the Germans back towards
the Russian forces coming in from the east. D-Day was the beginning and the key to the
fight to take back Europe.
Preparations for D-Day
Operation Overlord was in no way a last minute operation thrown together. When
the plan was finalized in the spring of 1944 the world started work on preparing the
hundreds of thousands of men for the greatest battle in history.
By June of 1944 the landing forces were training hard, awaiting D-Day. 1,700,000
British, 1,500,000 Americans, 175,000 from Dominions (mostly Canada), and another
44,000 from other countries were going to take part.
Not only did men have to be recruited and trained but also equipment had to be
built to transport and fight with the soldiers. 1,300 warships, 1,600 merchant ships, 4,000
landing craft and 13,000 aircraft including bombers, fighters and gliders were built. Also
several new types of tanks and armoured vehicles were built. Two examples would be the
Sherman Crab flail tank and the Churchill Crocodile.
On the ground Britain assembled three armoured divisions, eight infantry divisions,
two airborne divisions and ten independent fighting brigades. The United States had six
armoured divisions, thirteen infantry and two airborne divisions. With one armoured
division and two infantry divisions Canada also contributed greatly with the war effort
especially when you look at the size of the country at the time. In the air Britain's one
hundred RAF squadrons (1,200 aircraft) paled in comparison to the one hundred and
sixty-five USAAF squadrons (2,000 aircraft).
The entire Operation Overlord was supposed to go according to Montgomery's
Master Plan which was created by General Sir Bernard L. Montgomery. His plan was
initiated by a command system which connected the U.S. and Britain and helped them
jointly run the operation. His plan was to have five divisions act as a first wave land on the
sixty-one mile long beach front. Four more divisions as well as some airborne landings
would support the first wave. The beaches of Normandy would be separated into...