Operation Overlord (Great Events from History: North American Series)
Article abstract: An amphibious invasion of northern France begins the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi control.
Summary of Event
The Allied invasion of German-occupied France in June, 1944, remains one of the most famous events in World War II history. Crossing the English Channel from England to the French coast of Normandy, the forces waging the attack constituted the largest amphibious operation undertaken in military history.
To command this challenging effort, Western Allied leaders appointed General Dwight David Eisenhower as commander in chief of Allied Forces in Western Europe. Arriving in England in January, 1944, to oversee the complicated project, he spent many months directing the planning for the cross-channel invasion. Excellent cooperation between the Western Allies was essential for successfully planning and implementing the attack. The second highest military appointment was, therefore, assigned to a prominent British general, Bernard Montgomery.
Defining the attack’s size, scope, and location required careful consideration. Normandy was selected because of its proximity to Great Britain. German defenses in Normandy were weaker than elsewhere on France’s northern coast, although Field Marshal Erwin Rommel had strengthened his fortified positions in early 1944. Beach and tide characteristics also made Normandy a likely choice. The original plan for “Overlord,” the...
(The entire section is 1374 words.)
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