Success of DDay

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  • Why was there an allied success of DDay.
    • Date
      • 6th June 1944
      • The weather was appalling , however the allies had weather stations in the western/northen atlantic - predicted a gap in the weather that the Germans couldnt see.
      • Most commanders were at Rennes doing command exercises - including Rommel.
      • The German Navy were not patrolling that night due to the weather.
      • If they had waited 2 weeks after, it would have been conducted in the worst storm seen for 40 years.
    • Well planned.
      • Practised on Slapton Sands, Devon. Exercise Tiger. - marshalling, embarking, boats, tanks and army.
      • Historian Beevor claims it was the most well planned of any operation.
      • Wooden guns on coast of england, wooden planes, tans, dummies, mirrors on ships to confuse direction, ghost army, inflatable tanks and Pas de Calais.
      • False landings at Vendetta and Ferdinand.
      • Good leaders - Dempsey and Spaatz (bombed oil rigs.)
    • Superiority ashore.
      • Clear force superiority.
      • Landed 2 million - Germans were preoccupied with a battle of attrition.
      • Massive ground and naval artillery.
      • Overwhelming air supply. It destroyed german food, fuel and ammunition supplies.
    • Germans did not see it coming.
      • Plan fortitude was a deception operation, persuaded the Germans that Normandy was the 1st phase and the real attack was going to be at Pas de Calais.
        • Worked well, Germans held the bulk of their army back at Pas de Calais.
          • If the majority had been in Normandy, the allies would have struggled to have brought in rapid reinforcements.
        • fake field armies (based in Edinburgh and the south of England) which threatened Norway (Fortitude North) and Pas de Calais.
      • The Germans were caught by surprise. The Luftwaffe /kriegsmarinewere less effective than planned and so the RAF and US airforce did a good job of keeping them grounded.-few E boats attacked.
      • Not a single mine sweeper sunk, casualties relatively low.
    • German weakness.
      • Attention on Pas de Calais.
      • Extensive confusion - phone lines cut by spies.
      • Hitler mistrusted Generals and misjudged the severity of the operation. He wasn't even alerted, his Generals were too scared to wake him.
      • Lower quality of forces defending, better ones in land.
      • They were spread out and confused - deception operations worked.
      • Bombing placed a ceiling on the effectivity of the German War Economy - Blitzkrieg was ineffective.


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