D-Day/Battle of Normandy

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An Overview In the years since 1945, it has become increasingly evident that the Grand Alliance forged between the British Commonwealth and the United States was often beset with disagreement over the correct strategy to insure the final defeat of the Axis powers. Early on, both British and American staffs could agree that Germany represented a greater military threat than Japan, but they did not often see eye to eye on the strategy that would most efficiently defeat the Reich. The Americans were early and persistent advocates of a direct strategy - a cross-Channel attack that would first destroy German military power in the West, then drive deep into the heart of industrial Germany to end the war. The British, on the other hand, sobered…show more content…
On 3 January 1944, COSSAC staffer Brigadier Kenneth McLean briefed General Bernard Law Montgomery, recently appointed to command the Second British Army, and General Walter Bedell Smith, Eisenhower's chief of staff, on the various complicated elements of Overlord. Montgomery, as was his wont with plans not specifically his own, objected to various parts, specifically the weight of the initial assault landing. McLean later characterized Monty's position as simply "give me five divisions or get someone else to command." Backed by Eisenhower, he won his point-an additional American infantry division would now be landed at the base of the Cotentin Peninsula, covered by two airborne divisions dropped behind the landing beach. However, Monty's victory came at the expense of both Anvil, which had to be postponed until D Day plus 30, and the early May date for Neptune (as the assault landing phase of Overlord was now named) to allow for the production of a thousand additional landing craft. Throughout the winter and spring months of 1944, the details of Neptune were settled and fitted into place. Planners at SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force) picked an early June date for D Day, with the landings coming over five beaches code-named, from east to west, Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha, and Utah. Two American

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