The Invasion of Normandy
The Invasion of Normandy
The U.S Army was not as well trained or well prepared as the German army. However, the United States knew that it was crucial to win the war against the Germans in occupied France; to go in and lose on the Western Front would probably mean losing the entire war. Therefore, U.S. commanders worked out an agreement with Great Britain to launch a surprise offensive in northern France as soon as they felt the army was ready. Operation Overlord—the plan to invade France along the beaches at Normandy, on the southern shore of the English Channel—was placed under the command of General Eisenhower. Working with Allied military staff, Eisenhower established a trail of false and misleading clues that led the Germans to expect that the invasion would take place in a different location.
The Germans had fortified the Normandy beaches with mines and traps, but Hitler was convinced that the invasion would take place at Calais and did not send troops to Normandy. About 150,000 Allied troops crossed the Channel from Britain, either in planes or aboard transports. Many drowned or were killed in parachute drops, but the survivors were able to overrun the beaches and begin marching south and east. Meanwhile, another Allied force was marching north from the Mediterranean, and the Soviet army was fighting the Germans on the eastern front. On August 25, 1944, the Allies marched into Paris and liberated that city from German occupation.
In December 1944, the Germans launched a fierce assault on the Allied troops in the Ardennes region of Belgium and northern France. They pushed Allied troops back so far in one place that they bulged into the line of defense, nearly breaking through and giving the Battle of the Bulge its name. The Allies were outnumbered by more than two to one, but they flatly refused to give in to the Germans’ demand that they surrender. When reinforcements came, the Allies pushed the Germans back. By January, the Germans knew that they had lost the Battle of the Bulge. It was clear to everyone but Hitler that Germany would soon have to surrender.
In February 1945, Winston Churchill, FDR, and Joseph Stalin met at Yalta to plan for peace. Stalin promised that the Soviet Union would join the fight against Japan within three months of Germany’s surrender. The three leaders then agreed that they, along with France, would occupy Germany after the war. They also discussed plans for a new League of Nations.
Practice questions for these concepts can be found at:
Today on Education.com
- Coats and Car Seats: A Lethal Combination?
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- Child Development Theories
- Signs Your Child Might Have Asperger's Syndrome
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- The Homework Debate
- Social Cognitive Theory
- First Grade Sight Words List
- GED Math Practice Test 1