D-Day: The Allied Invasion of Normandy

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10 Questions

What was the code name of the massive amphibious assault on five beaches in Normandy, France?

Operation Overlord

Who was appointed as the Supreme Allied Commander to lead the invasion in January 1944?

Dwight Eisenhower

What was the approximate number of aircraft deployed during the invasion?

11,000

What was the primary goal of Operation Bodyguard?

To mislead the Germans about the date and location of the landings

Approximately how many tons of ammunition were shipped from America to the staging area?

450,000 tons

What was the main purpose of the Atlantic Wall?

To defend against an Allied invasion of France

Why was the original date of Operation Overlord delayed?

Because of bad weather

How many troops landed on Utah beach on D-Day?

Over 21,000

What was the estimated number of German casualties on D-Day?

At least 4,000

What was the outcome of Operation Dragoon in August 1944?

The liberation of most of southern France

Study Notes

• On June 6, 1944, Allied forces launched Operation Overlord, a massive amphibious assault on five beaches in Normandy, France, to liberate Western Europe from Nazi Germany's control. • By June 1940, France had fallen to the Nazis, and Winston Churchill vowed to liberate France from Nazi Germany in a famous speech. • The invasion was delayed due to the Allied invasion of French North Africa in November 1942, the invasion of Sicily in 1943, and Italy in 1943. • In December 1943, at the Tehran Conference, Roosevelt and Stalin insisted on launching the invasion across the English Channel within the next year. • In January 1944, U.S. General Dwight Eisenhower was appointed Supreme Allied Commander to lead the invasion. • The Allies conducted Operation Bodyguard, a strategy to mislead the Germans about the date and location of the landings, and Exercise Tiger, a rehearsal for the D-Day invasion. • Over 11,000 aircraft were deployed, 200,000 sorties were launched, and 195,000 tons of bombs were dropped on French rail centers and road networks to isolate the invasion area. • By early June 1944, over 2 million American troops, along with 250,000 Canadians, were present in Britain, preparing for the Normandy invasion. • Millions of tons of supplies were shipped from America to the staging area, including 450,000 tons of ammunition. • Adolf Hitler appointed Irwin Rommel to spearhead defense operations in the region and finish the Atlantic Wall, a 2,400-mile fortification of bunkers, land mines, and beach and water obstacles. • The German heavily defended the port facilities of Cherbourg and Saint-Malo in the Normandy area. • On June 5, 1944, Rommel had laid an additional four million mines on the beaches. • The original date of Operation Overlord was June 5, but it was delayed due to bad weather, and Eisenhower gave the go-ahead for the invasion on June 6. • On June 6, U.S., British, and Canadian forces simultaneously landed on five separate beachheads in Normandy, France. • The American Army captured Omaha and Utah beaches, with over 21,000 troops landing on Utah at the cost of 197 casualties. • The British Army landed on Sword and Gold beaches, with over 25,000 troops landing on Gold at the cost of 400 casualties. • The Canadian 3rd Infantry Division landed on Juno beach, with over 20,000 troops landing at the cost of 1,200 casualties. • In the first 24 hours of the invasion, approximately 156,000 Allied troops successfully stormed Normandy beaches, with at least 10,000 casualties and over 4,000 confirmed dead. • German casualties numbered at least 4,000, with some estimates claiming over 9,000. • After D-Day, the Allies gradually expanded their foothold over the ensuing months, capturing key towns and cities, including Cherbourg, Caen, and Paris. • On August 15, 1944, the Allies launched Operation Dragoon, liberating most of southern France in just four weeks. • On April 30, 1945, Adolf Hitler committed suicide, and on May 7, 1945, Germany signed its unconditional surrender, marking the official end of World War II.

Test your knowledge of the Allied forces' massive amphibious assault on Normandy, France, during World War II. Learn about the events leading up to the invasion, the key players involved, and the outcome of the battle. From the planning stages to the aftermath, this quiz will take you through the historic D-Day invasion.

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