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Operation Overlord : D-Day Puzzle Logo
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The spring of 1944 saw RAF Bomber Command and US 8th Air Force bomb and destroy roadways, railways and airfields in Northern France in preparation for the planned invasion. The build-up of the invasion forces was gathering pace and both men and machines were heading for the South of England.

Britain had become like a large aircraft carrier... a springboard for missions into mainland Europe. Diversionary tactics duped the Nazis into believing that the invasion would take place in Norway, or over the shortest stretch of water - the Straits of Dover (English Channel) - at the Pas de Calais. Extreme measures, such as building a fake Army, helped to strengthen the Nazis' suspicions. This subterfuge, together with the use of anti-Nazi German spies to supply misinformation, helped to keep the Nazis looking in the wrong direction.

The primary landing would actually take place on the beaches of Normandy, 100 miles across the English Channel in Northern France. The main landing points were designated as Utah and Omaha for the Americans; and Gold, Juno and Sword for the British and Canadians. The timing of the invasion was extraordinarily important not only because of tidal considerations, but because the weather threatened to postpone the invasion, set for early June. The next window of opportunity (dictated by many variables) would not be until several weeks later.

But the South of England was already at bursting point with men and materiel; delay would have been disastrous. The Chief Met.Officer, Dr.J.M.Stagg, informed General Ike Eisenhower that there would be a short window of calm weather between two incoming fronts. Eisenhower gambled rather than endure the delay, so Operation Overlord went ahead and the armada set sail.

At 5.30am on the morning of June 6th, a massive naval bombardment of Nazi positions began, but before the bombardment, paratroopers in the thousands had dropped behind the enemy lines. The Nazis were taken by surprise and caught totally off guard. The Allied Armies met varying degrees of responses when landing on the beaches: some soldiers met little resistance; others met fierce opposition - the Americans and Canadians, in particular, came face to face with strong, deadly Nazi defences. By midnight, over 130,000 Allied troops were ashore, having sustained over 9,000 casualties. But an Allied foothold in Europe had been achieved.

On D-Day +1, two massive artificial harbours ("Mulberry" being one, was the size of Dover harbour) were established to allow the Allied invasion force to be supplied until ports along the French coast could be captured. This supply operation proved to be crucial to the success of the operation. A pipeline under the sea carried millions of tons of fuel each day and was far less likely to fall prey to enemy attack than ships ferrying supplies across the channel's surface. On the 6th June, Winston Churchill made a speech in the House of Commons regarding Operation Overlord and the invasion of France by allied troops. (The complete speech).

By the 12th of June, all the beachheads were linked, creating an Allied front that was over 60 miles long and 20 miles deep. Hitler's Fortress Europe had been breached.....and the long-awaited second front in Europe had been established in the west.

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For those visitors that have entered to this site, directly to this page, we would like to inform you that this page is part of a series of pages, within a section that acts as a backdrop to 'The Puzzle' project. 'The Puzzle' is a musical project that looks at different events from the 20th-21st Century.

This section is part of the 'World War II' zone. 'A Promise Of Peace' tells the story, in chronological order, of World War II.

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