Beach Landings Played a Significant Role in This War: Discuss Each of the Allied Maritime Beach Landings and How/Why They Were Important
They had won critical battles in Africa and driven out the Nazi occupiers. And Mussolini, the fascist dictator of the Axis power of Italy had been overthrown and killed. The Allies had fought the Germans victoriously in Italy, taking Rome, and the US was pushing Japan’s advance back towards their own nation. However, it became clear that an invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe would be necessary to break Hitler’s hold and put an end to the war. Pressure was also increased by the Soviet Union’s movements eastward into Europe. Allies feared a “Europe ruled from Moscow instead of Berlin”. Allied leaders agreed that an invasion could decide the outcome of the war- it could set up a quick victory or a long struggle depending on the results.
It was a battle of attrition, which the Allies with their vast superiority in men and materiel were bound to win. The Allied plan for a broad, phased advance was overtaken by events, and the final breakout was dramatic. Hitler's refusal to allow his commanders freedom to give up ground, and insistence on reinforcing failure, gave the Allies a more complete victory than they could have hoped for, as enemy units were sucked in to the maelstrom and destroyed. Most of the divisions committed to the defence of France were either wiped out or reduced to remnants. Some 400,000 German troops were lost. Allied numbers and material support clearly had an impact, but it was significant that the fighting forces had defeated even the most fanatical German formations in the field. The battle for Normandy was an impressive feat of arms as well as an exposition of Allied logistical and industrial muscle. The Allied advance in north-west Europe would slow dramatically that autumn as German resistance stiffened on the borders of the Reich. The war would not be over by Christmas. But D-Day had opened another major front, where the bulk of America's rapidly expanding army could at last be brought to bear. It led to the liberation of France, denying Germany any further exploitation of that country’s economic and manpower resources. The U-boat ports, V-weapon sites and a large section of Germany’s air defence network were captured or rendered useless. And it convinced the German High Command - other than a few ardent Nazi generals - that total defeat was now inevitable.
The following spring, on May 8, 1945, the Allies formally accepted the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany. Hitler had committed suicide a week earlier, on April 30.
“Normandy Marks D-Day Anniversary,” The New York Times, 6 June 1949, 1.
“Recovery in France is Hailed,” The New York Times, 6 June 1950, 2.
“Reds Warned by Ridgway to Avoid War,” Washington Post, 7 1952, 3.
“Eisenhower Day Serene,” The New York Times, 6 June 1954, 30.
“Eisenhower Cites D-Day Solidarity,” New York Times, 6 June 1954, 30.
Val Adams, “Eisenhower going to Normandy to film D-Day program,” The New York Times, 15July . 1963, 43.