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Operation Overlord Essay

1639 words - 7 pages

Introduction

Amidst the ongoing global efforts in World War II by the United States and its allies, the time had come to open up what would become the vital front towards ending the War. In 1942 planning began for what would be the greatest amphibious assault operation ever undertaken in the history of warfare, Operation Overlord. The plan included landing five divisions on a roughly 60 mile stretch of beach. This would be the decisive entry of the U.S. led allied forces in to Europe to reclaim France, as a stepping stone to drive the German Nazi Army back from its recently conquered European allied nations. The Overlord force, commanded by General Eisenhower, would be comprised of troops from over nine nations, with the U.S. forces greatest in number. By the time the beach was taken, by the allied force death toll would top an estimated 4400[1]. Despite this catastrophic death doll, the United States would continue to victory through unwavering commitment. While the U.S. led Allied force would suffer many more high casualty battles in the days to come, in less than a year they would retake Paris in less than a year and accept Germany unconditional surrender.

History
In 1942 as Nazi Germany started to lose momentum, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin began to pressure his U.S. and British allies into opening up a second western front, to seize the initiative needed to end the war. While the U.S. was still in the early preparation stages of entering its Army into the conflict, the concept was well supported by American Commanders. Although the U.S. Marines had been active in the war since the Guadalcanal landing in 1942, the Army had slowly begun to mobilize from its stateside position. In preparation, the Army began stationing its forces throughout the UK, with the first American troops landing in Belfast Harbor in January of 1942 [2]. Over the course of the next two years, the number of American troops amassing in the western region of the UK exceeds 1,500,000.[3]
While the American Army had been busy executing the logistical feat of re-stationing to Europe, the allied command had continued to finalize plans on Operation Overlord. The British troop reserves were at a breaking point due to their contingents in Italy, and the U.S. Army was expected to provide the majority of the forces for the future operations in France.[4] As such, General Eisenhower was appointed as Commander of Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force to lead the overall allied attack. Appointed as the ground force commander was British General Sir Bernard Montgomery. Gen. Montgomery’s plan initially called for 3 divisions to make the beach landing. This plan was modified to 5 divisions making the beach landing.

Execution/Action Phase
The morning of June 5th 1944, the order to launch was issued to the allied force. With bad weather conditions setting in and threatening the safety of the assault however, Gen. Eisenhower made the decision to postpone...

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