The Battle of Normandy 1944: 1944 the Final Verdict (Cassell Military Paperbacks)

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At the time it was the largest amphibious invasion to ever take place. In the weeks following the invasion, Polish forces also participated, as well as contingents from Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, and the Netherlands.

The Normandy invasion began with overnight parachute and glider landings, massive air attacks and naval bombardments. In the early morning, amphibious landings on five beaches codenamed Juno , Gold , Omaha , Utah , and Sword began and during the evening the remaining elements of the parachute divisions landed. Land forces used on D-Day deployed from bases along the south coast of England, the most important of these being Portsmouth. Allied forces rehearsed their roles for D-Day months before the invasion. On 28 April , in south Devon on the English coast, U. In the months leading up to the invasion, the allied forces conducted a deception operation, Operation Fortitude , aimed at misleading the Germans with respect to the date and place of the invasion.

There were several leaks prior to or on D-Day. One such leak was the crossword that came out in The Herald and Review six days before the beach landings were to take place. Some of the answers consisted of Overlord, Neptune, Gold and other key terms to the invasions; the US government later declared that this was just a coincidence. Through the Cicero affair , the Germans obtained documents containing references to Overlord, but these documents lacked all detail.

Major General Henry Miller , chief supply officer of the US 9th Air Force, during a party at Claridge's Hotel in London complained to guests of the supply problems he was having but that after the invasion, which he told them would be before 15 June supply would be easier. After being told, Eisenhower reduced Miller to lieutenant colonel [Associated Press, June 10, ] and sent him back to the U. He, unlike all the other leaders, stated that this invasion was the real invasion. For example, Gen. Eisenhower referred to the landings as the initial invasion.

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Only 10 days each month were suitable for launching the operation: a day near the full Moon was needed both for illumination during the hours of darkness and for the spring tide , the former to illuminate navigational landmarks for the crews of aircraft, gliders and landing craft, and the latter to expose defensive obstacles placed by the German forces in the surf on the seaward approaches to the beaches. A full moon occurred on 6 June.

Eisenhower had tentatively selected 5 June as the date for the assault. The weather was fine during most of May, but deteriorated in early June. On 4 June, conditions were clearly unsuitable for a landing; wind and high seas would make it impossible to launch landing craft from larger ships at sea, low clouds would prevent aircraft finding their targets. The Allied troop convoys already at sea were forced to take shelter in bays and inlets on the south coast of Britain for the night. It seemed possible that everything would have to be cancelled and the troops returned to their embarkation camps which would be almost impossible, as the enormous movement of follow-up formations into them was already proceeding.

Stagg forecast a brief improvement for 6 June. On the strength of Stagg's forecast, Eisenhower ordered the invasion to proceed.

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As a result, prevailing overcast skies limited Allied air support, and no serious damage could be done to the beach defences on Omaha and Juno. The Germans meanwhile took comfort from the existing poor conditions, which were worse over Northern France than over the English Channel itself, and believed no invasion would be possible for several days.

Some troops stood down, many senior officers were away for the weekend. Field Marshal Erwin Rommel took a few days' leave to celebrate his wife's birthday, [10] while dozens of division, regimental and battalion commanders were away from their posts conducting war games just prior to the invasion.

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Except airborne and commandos see lists below. Also see Battle of Normandy section, and sections on specific units. See British airborne section for British airborne operations on D-Day. Books about the Battle of Normandy rather than D-Day. Those listed here are generally only widely published works.