Why was D-day possible?
- The U-Boats had been eliminated from the Atlantic
- The Luftwaffe was effectively obsolete
- The campaign in the Eastern Front anf Italy had drawn troops from France
- The necessary number of landing crafts were available (7000)
- Churchill had been pushed into agreeing Roosevelt by Stalin.
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What was Hitler views prior to D-Day?
- Believed that a cross channel invasion could easily be repulsed.
- This was based on the Allied landings in Dieppe in 1942 where they had failed to get off the beach and had resulted in casualties.
- There was also the Atlantic Wall which was fit with shoreline obstacles, concrete bunkers and gun emplacements. It was the most heavily defended coastline and had 60 divisions to back the costal defence.
- As a result, if he was able to defeat the Allies on the beaches, it would leave him free to concentrate on the East and maybe settle a peace negioation.
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How did the Allies prepare for D-day?
- 5 divisions were to land which would be preceded by 3 airborn divisions.
- 2 millions men would eventually be landed.
- Picked Normandy as Pas de Calais was heavily defended and was the most obvious choice.
- Allies created Mulsberries and laid down oil pipelines under the ocean to keep the troops well supplied.
- Allies had both control over the sea and the air. French communication were constantly bombed particularly railways.
- Operation Fortitude- Germany was led to believe that the attacks was coming on Pas de Calais. There was a fictious army placed in the South-East England with fake tanks and a credible commander, Patoon. It was revealed to the Germans by phoney radio messages and false information from double agents.
- This resulted in the majority of the Germans forces being concentrated in the North and to please Rommel and Runstedt, he spread the army thinly.
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Why was D-day a success?
- Disunity within the German army: Runstedt, having never fought against the Allied air attacks so believed that the Allies wouldn't take the Germans adavantage that they had over the road and rail communication wanted to hold back the armour for an organised counter attack in the mass of the Allied bridgehead. Rommel wanted to defeat the Allies at the coast in the first day or hours and wanted Germans best units close to the sea. Hitler compromised and gave Rommel 3 divisions and the rest in reserves as he wasn't sure where they attack was coming from. Rommel divisions were made up of a high proportion of Costtruppen which were volunteers drawn from the Red Army prisoners as well as older Germans conscripts to first class parachute divisions. Only 19 divisions in the west were good quality infantry.
- Superiority of the allies: Despte tricking the Germans into believing that there were 80 divisions, the British had 37 available. Allies on D-day had 10,00 combat aircrafts, 2,00 transport planes while Germany could only out into action 200. The Allies had seven battleships, 33 cruisers, 77 destroyers while in the North Sea, the British Home fleet had 3 battleships, three aircraft carriers, 7 curisers and 10 destroyers to hold off German surface vessels. Allies also invented Mulsberries which were artifical harbours to keep troops supplied.
- Belgium and French resistance: interfered with railway traffic and located fuel supplies in which the British bombed.
- USSR: 22nd June 1944, the Red Army launched an offensive against the German from the East.
- German mistakes: Bad weather, were taken by surprised. Rommel had been in Germany for his wife birthday. Destruction of railways lines immobolised German forces. German forces caught at the wrong place at the wrong time. Continual beliefs that the Normandy landing were a ruse and the real attacks were coming from Calais
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What happened after D-day?
- Allies able to link up landing points, move inland and regroup.
- 11th June: 326,000 troops. 14th June;557,000 troops and by 7th July: 1,000,000 troops.
- Americans moved to the Contentin Peninsula and Bradley took the port of Cherbourg, but was not fully functional at the end of June.
- Montgomery held up at Caen, criticised for his cautious approach, however, the British were fighting the bulk of the German army to protect the Americans from the West who broke thorugh by Patton at the end of July (Operation Cobra) occupying Brittany and South of the Le Mans.
- 20th July, an attempt to assasinate Hitler by Colonel Von Staffenberg, however, hardly touched Hitler.
- Hitler insisited on a counter attack in August, but the German army found themselves caught between two pincers in the Falaise Pocket so withdrew on the 16th August 1944. Germany lost 60,000 men, but equal numbers were able to escape before the pocket closed.
- Falaise important as it showed that the Battle of Normandy and France was won as the Germans were now retreating back to the borders.
- In the south, landing on the French Riveria on the 15th August led to the capture of Marseille and Toulon.
- Liberated Paris on the 25th August 1944, not planned, but Einshower feared the destruction of Paris and feared a communist takeover in paris. Fortunately, Chonitz didn't follow Hitler order and De Gaulle and the French resistance were allowed to carry out the liberation.
- By the end of August, the Allies had 2,000,00 troops in France. GB: 830,000 and America: 1,200.000
- September: Montgomery liberated Antwerp and Brussels.
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How was the success of the Allies slow down by Ger
- Allied struggling to keep the amount of troops supplied. It would take four months for a tank to reach France from the US and the Allies only had the port of Cherbourg operational. Antwerp was taken, but could only be used until the mouth of the Scheldt was cleared at the end of November.
- Strategic disagreement between the US and Britian: Montgomery wanted a deep drive to Berlin while the Americans wanted a broad front. Einshower believed that a drive could not be weel supplied, but believed in Montgomery ambition plan of Operation Market Garden to take the bridges of Nijmegen, Eindhoven and Arnhem by airborn assault on the 17th September 1944. Operation went wrong at Arnhem and German resistance stiffen.
- Germans retreated to the West Wall or the Siegefried line, regrouped and recovered and nw prepared to defend the Reich. Hitler planne a winter offensive (Battle of the Bulge) which would attacks through the Ardennes forest. Generals believed that it was over-amibitous, but the only chance for Germans. 16th December, the Allies surprised by the attack which should be as Ultra decrypts had revealed inklings of an attack, but no one took the threat seriously. Hitler threw 28 divisions, 200,000 men, 6,000 tanks and poor weather which eliminated the Allies air superiority which enable the Panzer a quick advance.
- Weather cleared by the 23rd December enabling the Allied air forces to attack the advancing Panzer divsions. By Christmas, the offensive halted, the Germans having only advanced 60 miles and Germans short on fuel.
- Mid January, the Bulge was closed. Montgomery claims that he had saved the Americans didn;t help their relationship. Germans lost 10,000 men and new equipment which could have been used on the Eastern Front. Allies had lost, but could be easily replaced. Germans industry collapsed and marked the end of Germany's reistance and showed the Germans soldiers nothing, but defeat. By Germany commiting its last reserves to the West, meant quick advancement of Red Army. By 6th June, Germany had lost 500,000 men and now defending the Rhine.
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How did the Soviet helps on the Eastern Front?
- 2.2 millions Soviet soldiers vs 200,000 German soldiers.
- Red army smashed though Poland and captured it on the 17th January 1945, Auschwitz on the 27th had advanced 300 miles by February and standing on the Oder River, 45 miles from Berlin.
- Battle of Berlin was delayed because wanted the flanks cleared of Germany, logistical difficulties preparation had to be made for the considerable reisistance in the German capital and bad weather.
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How did the Allies progress?
- Western Allies had 4,000,00 troops, 2,000,000 of them being earmarked for the invasion of Germans and 2/3 were Americans.
- The Rhineland campaign resulted in the German losses of 350,00- 300,00 being prisoners, however, these are troops which could have been withdraw acrossed the Rhine.
- Enveloping of the Ruhr resulted in another 300,000 German solider surrendering.
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Battle of Berlin
- German strength: had 1,000,000 men where 45,000 of them were children or OAP. had 10,400 artillery, 1,500 tanks , 3,300 planes qand 150,000 people died.
- USSR strength: 2,500,000 soliders, 41,600 artillery, 6,250 tanks, 7,500 aircrafts and 80,000 Russians died with 275,000 wounded or missing.
- Began on the 16th April by aritllery, exploding targets throughout Berlin and the surrounding areas.
Why did Stalin want Berlin?
- Stalin wanted the kudos for fighting for Berlin before the Allies as the allies were too far.
- desperate for the secret police to get to the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin where the Germans nuclear research programme was. Believed it contained important information which would boost Russia's nuclear programme.
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Why did the Allies win the War?
- The combined output of the Grand Alliance exceed the Nazi domainted Europe. By 1943, the allies were outproducing three times that of the Axis including Japan. Despite Herculean effot diverted by Speer in 1944, the Third Reich was still outproudced by three folds for tanks and four folds for artillery pieces.
- Allies invented technology which was relevant whereas Germans didn't. Invented the German jet aircraft, but the Wermacht need tanks. In 1944, the Wermacht was still using 1.5 million horses whilst the Allies were mechanised.
- The Allies shared a hatred of Hitlerism and half a century of anti-German feeling which added to the morality of self defence. The British responded to Churchill's leadership and never gave up. Americans also believe they were fighting for freedom against evil.
- The allies had better leaders and better decision maers. Hitler made assumption based on racial and social ideology e,g, Americans were decadent and the Russia's inferior and was suspscious of advice from comradews. Allies were willing to listen to advice Allies better at planning, logistics and mobilisng the civilians population to assit the war effort.
- Britains could not have won without Americans aid, but West could not have won without the Russia's sacrifice.
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Why was strategic bombing successful?
- The P518-Mustang meant that in Feb 1944, 450 German planes were lost as well as in March. Germany didn't have enough pilots to replace the ones lost.
- From Autumn to Winter 1944-45, US attacked on the synthetic oil industry. Oil production fell from 316,000 in early 1944 to 17,000 in September. This also affects the by-products nitrates which threatened the production of fertilisers and synthetic rubber.
- RAF attacked the Ruhr and in the second half of 1944, production fell by 80%
- When Germans tried to use the V1 and the V2, there was production problems caused by the Allied bombings meaning insufficent numbers were produced. (9300 and 1115)
- In Italy the industrial production fell by 60%.
- According to the Americans in 1943, German production fell by 9% and in 1944, it increased to 17%, however Speers estimated it at 40%.
- Allied bombing diverted the Luftwaffe from Eastern Europe and by 1944, it had eliminated the Luftwaffe as a credible force.
- On the 2nd August, 740 bombers were sent with a radar jamming reflective strips which confused the German defence and Britain was able to make concentrated and quickly repeated attacks.
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Why was strategic bombing a failure?
- Night raids on the Ruhr between June-July 1941, only 6 out of 100 bombers got within 5 miles of the target.
- In 10 raids against Berlin from June to November 1941, 133 Germans were killed compared to 3 times the number of British losses.
- RAF hoped for 4000 bombers by 1943, but in practice, it never had more than 2000 operational.
- RAF bombers losses in 1940 and 1941 were 492 and 1034 so night bombing was adopted to avoid losses, but missed target.
- Disagreements in tactics: Americans would target industrial and communication by day and the RAF would bomb cities by night.
- In 1943, the losses became unacceptable as the bombers were operating beyond the ranges of the fighter escort and were too vulnerable to German fighter planes.
- Losses for the USAAF in Autumn was 20% so daylight raids were postponed.
- Civillians morale was not broken.
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Why did the Allies win the war? (Continuation)
- Technology: Soveit produced effective tanks in great quantities (The T34). The Panther and the Tiger were developed too late and in too few numbers as they were rushed into production and proved difficult to maintain. Soveit produced effective planes such as the Yak-9 which was more of a match for the ME-109, but the best was the Mustang created by America. German jet aircraft came too late to challenge the Allied air superiority. V1 and V2 couldn't be produced properly as Allied bombing delayed this. Allied first used radar in the Battle of Britain, however German developed WINDOWS- dropping aluminium strips from aircraft which fexed radar. Allied had greater scientific and material resources for research and development.
- Intelligence: All the German agents were discovered and many turned to double agents. Russia more effective at spying on the Allies particulary Britain. Thanks to pre-war Polish intelligence and mathematical minds, it was possible to decipher Germans codes and the intelligence became known as Ultra. The Luftwaffe codes were continually broken from 1940 onward, but the Navy codes were difficult and the Gestapo codes were impossible. British decided to ignore literal meaning of codes as it was too obvious. In some, they didn't have the ability to act upon them e.g Crete in 1941 as they had insufficent forces. Useful in the Battle of Britain and North Africa campaign as supply ships could be sunk and Montgomery knew of Rommel deposition in El Alamein.
- Anglo American co-operation: Roosevelt believed in 'Europe first' as believed that Hitler was a greater evil. However when war happened with Japan seemed greater in early 1942 and when the American made great success at the start, needed a greater emphasis on Japan. American favoured direct attacks on Germany and called for a second front whereas Britain wanted to concetrate on the Mediterranean as US forces were too weak.
- Distrust in the Allies as Germany revealed the Russian massacre of 14,000 Poles at Kaytn. US press began to compare Stalin to Hitler.
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