World War I D-Day!

World War I D-Day

By June 6, 1944, the Allies had landed 150,000 men in Normandy. The five beaches were secure and the troops were pushing inland. The Allies have gained air and sea superiority. However, the landing forces were not as strong as they could have been due to limited landing craft and paratroop aircraft. To combat this, months of intensive air attacks were carried out against railway lines, roads, and bridges across France with the aim of making it difficult for the Germans to move reinforcements easily into Normandy. At the same time, a deception was in motion that convinced the Germans that the Allies were planning to land further east in the Pas-De-Calais region. These strategies were both a success. Allied supreme commander, General Dwight D Eisenhower, led 3,000,000 men, 13,000 aircraft, 2,500 landing craft, and 1,200 warships. New equipment included two-tank variants. The obstacle crossing tank and the bunker-busting tank used on the angled Canadian beaches. In addition to this, amphibious tanks are used by all attack formations. Follow up formations would use the mulberry harbors with the fuel supplied by Pluto standing for the pipeline under the ocean. The Germans were aware of an allied invasion but lacked any intel of where it would be coming from or its strength. Field Marshal Erwin Rommel commanded the German forces in Northern France and believed that his only chance was to defeat the invading force before it got ashore. He wanted to spread his reserves along the coast so that they could attack the landing forces straight away as the Allied air forces would make it difficult to redeploy more distant units. Rommel superior, Commander-in-Chief West field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt, meanwhile wanted a strong central reserve that would be sent in, once it was obvious where the main Allied landings were taking place. In the end, there was a compromise. Some reserves were near the Normandy coast but were not allowed to be deployed without permission from Hitler. There were five landing areas. Utah and Omaha which involved us troops and gold, Juno and sword which involved British and Canadian Troops. Two U.S. airborne division’s landed by parachute and glider inland from Utah and one British Airborne division on the East Flank. They took most of their objectives and disrupted possible German counter-attacks. On Omaha Beach, German resistance was the most fierce with heavy allied casualties. But, by the end of the day, the beach was clear. Utah beach was the easiest to clear while the other three beaches were somewhere in between. It was important for the allied troops to gain as much territory as possible to make room for the follow-up forces.