Operationoverload D-Day is the code name of the Battle for Normandy, which wasconducted by the Western allied forces that led to the successfulinvasion of the German conquered areas in the Western Europe duringworld war two. During that time, Germans had successfully establishedthemselves as Europe’s juggernaut through its relentless aggressionon its neighbors and major countries in the Western Europe. Hitler’sGermany was somewhat still reeling from the First World War defeat,and they were also keen in exercising and proving their dominance inEurope. To execute this onerous and evil task, they projected that itwould require war to achieve this expansion. It all started in 1939when they raided Poland. Their invasion of Poland was quicklyfollowed by similar invasions in Norway and Denmark. Encouraged bythe success of these invasions, they preceded to the Western EuropeLow Countries like Netherland, Belgium, Luxembourg et al. includingeven the one that had taken neural positions like France (TheNational Archives).
Theidea of operation overload D-Day was conceived in May 1943 at theTrident conference in Washington. Initially, the conferenceexperienced some schisms as it was dogged by both strategic andpolitical arguments. Stalin, the then leader of the Soviet Unionwhose forces were fighting the Germans in the east, pilled pressureon the allied forces to establish urgently a second front in Europe.The Allied forces thought that it was necessary to employ a detailedstrategy and adequate preparations to establish such a front. TheBritish and the United States also had their differences too.
Duringthe conference, United States General Dwight D Eisenhower wasappointed to be the general commander of the Supreme HeadquartersAllied Expedition Forces(SHAEF) during his Canadian counterpart,General Bernard Montgomery was assigned to lead the 21stArmy group.The latter involved all land forces that were to take part in theinvasion. Other top senior officers who were conscripted in theoperation were Air Marshal Leign-Melloy, Air Marshal Tedder andAdmiral Bertram Ramsey. The operation started on 6th June 1944 withthe securing and landings in Normandy. With that commonunderstanding, the American forces were assigned to land at Utah andOmaha beaches. The British were allotted Sword and Gold beaches whileJuro beach was left to Canadians. Other countries that took part inthis operation were Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greek, Dutch,Luxembourg, New Zealand and Norway (Bradley 36).
Theplanning process was affected by certain inadequacies ranging fromthe numerical strength of their forces to types of equipment thatwere required for the invasion, notably aircraft. They were alsochallenged by the need to divert resources to campaigns in certainregions like the Mediterranean. Nonetheless, it was in 1943 that theymanaged a breakthrough when they secured a much more favorablestrategic position in Europe. It came as a result of the defeat ofthe German U-boats in the Atlantic. After that, they saw it fit tocommence their invasion plan.
Toexecute this, the Allied forces had to identify a landing base inFrance, which was critically projected to be a place that was nearerto Britain. Going by its proximity, Pays de Calais was a strong pointof consideration as it was the nearest place in France to Britain.The area was known to be well defended by the enemies, and thisnecessitated the need for swift movements by allied forces. Their topcommand settled on landing in Normandy despite the high risks thatthis location harbored. The reason for this choice was major becausethe beaches were suitable for mass landings. The decision to land inNormandy was created out of its size and strategic location. It hadan open beach that was not strongly defended as the Pas de Calais.Geographically, it was in the range of fighter aircraft base inEngland and had a large port called Cherbourg which was opposite theports in England (Clark).
Fullyaware of its occupation by the enemies, the allies conducted asubstantial military deception operations involving both visual andelectronic misinformation. This strategy confused the Germans as tothe exact date and locations of their landings. They were faced withthe need to defend the coastlines stretching from the southern Franceto Norway. Their focus was also hugely placed on Pas de Calais.Special technology was employed extensively to meet the conditionsexpected in Normandy. It involved the development of two artificiallybuilt harbors called the Mulberry and an arsenal of specialized tanksknown as the Hobart’s Funnies.
Thesuccess of the overload operation required the involvement of manysoldiers majorly in Britain and France. It critically needed to amassa vast amount of both men and equipment before they could launch anassault of German controlled territories. Until today, there is noother operation that has ever employed the type of logistics thatwere used in the planning of this joint operation. Security foroperation overload had to thorough in order to conceal theirintentions from the German spies until the appropriate them (Thomas47). The success of this strategy is evidenced by the fact thatsurprise took the Germans.
Oneof the major plans that the allied forces had hatched to launch anattack on the Germans was to use two airborne task force to guard theflanks of the three landings in Normandy. The plan is famouslyregarded as the Combined Anglo-American plan. At the helm of thesecritical plans was General Montgomery. In fact, he proposed anassault on the five beaches located in Normandy with a backupprovided for the amphibious landings by another two airborne areas.The two were supposed to land on the peripheries of the beach assaultin proximity to Caen as well as the southern corner of the CotentinPeninsula. The allied forces had to make sure that the plan wasproperly concealed from the enemies. It was also highly necessary totrick the Germans that Pays de Calais was the main target of landingand not Normandy (Korda 27).
Eventhe triviality of weapons acquisition was an issue per se. Forinstance, it was important to identify a convenient storage point forthese weapons without raising the curiosity of the Germans. Anotherissue that was related to it was the transportation method that wasappropriate for them to reach selected locations without theknowledge of the local people or without them talking about it.Lastly, the task of acquiring and reading a thousand boats needed forthe operation was also quite a challenge. About six thousand shipswere needed for the D-Day transportation of both troops and equipment(U.S. Army).
Montgomeryproposed that a beach be assigned to a specific army from eitherAmerica or Britain. He never anticipated the occurrence of any jointlanding on the beach by allied forces. His proposal was seconded byGeneral Eisenhower creating insignificant variations shaping up thefinal plan to be more of what Montgomery had drawn.
Withina couple of days of the attack, the overload command top honchosplanned to move over one hundred thousand men and about thirteenthousand vehicles. Also envisaged in this plan was the relocation ofthe artificial harbor to enable the forces and materials land withrelative ease though the landings beaches had been secured. Throughproper coordination and necessary expertise, the overload managed tobuild an enormous movement containing a total of three million men inforty-seven divisions. They were moving in about six thousand shipsunder the aerial protection of about five thousand fighter planes.These activities led to the synergy’s overwhelming success againstthe German forces which is a surely clear pointer towards theeffectiveness with which the whole operation was conducted.
Thebattle culminated to numerous causalities that include the death ofbetween 25000 to 39000 civilians, destruction of properties, citiesand military establishments. Close to six thousand military planesand tanks were destroyed. However, it is the Germans who sufferedmost of the losses (Bradley 46).
Thethen Brain premier Winston Churchill stated that the operationmerited as the one that was difficult and complicated. However, hewas delighted with the professional and technical manner in which itwas undertaken. To him, it was an incredible feat of the organizationmore so in the first steps towards the liberation of Western Europefrom the dominant Nazi Germans. It was indeed a complex operationthat needed an extensive planning and preparations as it involved theLand, Sea, and Air Forces.
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