Breakout From the Hedgerows: A Lesson in Ingenuity
by Walter S. Zapotoczny
The defeat of Germany was still a long way off for the United States, British
and Canadian troops on July 1, 1944. The invading armies of the Western Allies
had crossed the English Channel and landed on the beaches of Normandy in
Northern France to strike at the heart of Germany and to end the war in Europe.
The cross-Channel attack, launched on D-Day, June 6, 1944, had accomplished the
first phase of the invasion by July 1, 1944. Ground troops had broken through
the German coastal defenses and had established a continental abutment for an
eventual bridge that was to carry men and supplies from the United Kingdom to
France. At the beginning of July, the Allies looked forward to executing the
second stage of the invasion, expanding their continental foothold to a size
that could support an assault on Germany. Before the Allies could launch their
definitive attack, they had to assemble enough men and material on the
Continent to assure success.
Memories of D-Day
by Nitin K. Shankar
My Normandy visit was more than just a holiday trip to the beaches where the
D-Day amphibious troop landings took place on June 6, 1944. I had read several
books on the D-day invasion as well as seen the 1961 movie "The Longest Day".
On one level, I visited the actual landing sites and walked the bloody beaches
where more than 10,000 men lost their lives on that fateful day. Yet, I also
spent time in local museums, picking up fascinating facts about how this
Anglo-American operation was managed.
Raid on Dieppe - Prelude
by Pete Bublitz
In the early morning hours of August 19, 1942, a fleet of up to 250 ships
supported by 68 R.A.F squadrons was carrying a force of 6,000-plus men across
the English Channel towards the areas that surrounded the city of Dieppe, a
port town located in the Pays de Caux region of northeastern France. They would
be transported to their target beaches with anticipation from their superiors
of accomplishing a series of damaging blows to the German fortifications in
Dieppe as well as in the towns, villages, and open areas surrounding Dieppe.
But as the minutes approached 0400 hours (4 a.m.), a German convoy approaching
from the north would be the first blow to unravel the entire operation. Nine
hours later, the convoy would return to its homeports in defeat with high
casualty counts. In the years after D-Day up to the present, historians and
military officials agreed that Jubilee, as the operation was codenamed, was one
of the Allies' greatest military blunders of World War II. The truth is,
Jubilee was turning into a blundering operation long before it was executed,
due to a series of planning mistakes, miscalculations, and changes made in the
weeks and months leading up to August 19.
Sea Lion vs. Overlord
by Larry Parker
One of the favorite
topics of alternative history (and one of the scenarios endlessly replayed in
war games such as Axis & Allies and 3rd Reich) is what if
Germany had attempted Operation Sea Lion. Assuming a Luftwaffe victory over the
Royal Air Force in the Battle of Britain was Sea Lion feasible in other
respects? Could Hitler have knocked the United Kingdom out of the war in the
summer of 1940 or would the attempt have led to his first major defeat? This
paper will compare and contrast Operation Sea Lion and Operation Overlord
utilizing ten criteria essential to success in amphibious assaults - planning,
materiel support, deception, intelligence, combined arms support, command
structure, technology, innovation, sustainability and enemy defenses.
The U.S. Army vs. The Maginot Line
by Bryan J. Dickerson
After having been invaded twice by the Germans in less than fifty years, the
French constructed a system of formidable underground defensive positions to
deter future German invasions and failing that, defend their country from them.
Named for Defense Minister Andre Maginot, the Maginot Line was an astounding
feat of military engineering and fortification that stretched for much of
France's eastern border. Yet the Maginot Line was defeated twice in just four
years. The first defeat occurred in May and June of 1940 as a result of the
inevitable German invasion.
Two General Apart: Patton and
by Andrew S. Harding
June 6, 1944 General Omar Bradley (1893-1981) led the First Army of the United
States in the famous D-Day landing on the beaches of Normandy. Interestingly,
Bradley was the understudy of another man, General George S. Patton Jr.
(1885-1945). How did Bradley overtake his mentor? What caused the Supreme
Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1979) to give the job to Bradley
when Patton had helped lead the Allies to victory in Sicily only a short time
before? During the 1943 invasion, Bradley served under Patton, now Bradley was
Patton’s commanding officer.
ARMADA: The D-Day Landing Fleet Marks the
Largest Invasion in History
by Chris Alper
As dawn broke over the English Channel on the morning of June 6, 1944, German
coast artillery troops along a 30-mile stretch of the Normandy Coast saw an
apparition that could have been custom-designed as their worst nightmare. The
grey light gradually revealed a horizon filled with ships, rolling towards them
in black waves: minesweepers, warships, transports and merchantmen. One German
officer purportedly said, in disbelief, "It's impossible ... there can't be
that many ships in the world."