Map 5: Mark the Allied Offensive on your map Gen Dwight D Eisenhower gives the order of the Day. "Full victory - nothing else" to paratroopers in England, just before they board their airplanes. Operation “Overlord”: a cross-Channel invasion of France; Allied leaders planned it for two years General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Field Marshal Sir Alan Brooke were responsible for its direction. It would be an amphibious assault, on water and on land. This was the first time this was attempted. French Normandy was the invasion point. The operation depended on three conditions: • Allies had to build up an enormous reserve of supplies for the invasion including ammunition, trucks, food, construction equipment, medical supplies, tanks, and men. • The second condition was secrecy. The Germans expected an attack but did not know when or where it might come. • The third condition was clear weather. A storm or fog would make paratroop landing behind German lines and amphibious landings on the beaches close to impossible. The Allies were also battling the Germans for air supremacy over Europe. Around-the-clock bombing raids were carried out by the Allies on targets such as oil refineries, munitions works, railroad centers, communication terminals, airfields, and submarine pens. Destroying these targets would cripple Germany’s military operations. The Allied Power achieved their goal of gaining air supremacy by the time the cross-Channel invasion was ready. This was crucial to victory. On D-Day, June 6, 1944, the operation started at 2 a.m. with the landing of parachute troops in strategic inland positions. This was followed by the arrival of 5,000 warships of all kinds, which began shelling the German coastal forts. The Normandy landing was the largest amphibious assault ever. The parachute assaults were under two commands, one British and the other American At 6:30 a.m. the first set of troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, the northwest province of France. Within 24 hours, 120,000 troops were landed at five different beachheads. Map of D-Day landing beaches The Germans were surprised by both the location and the time but Allied causalities were staggering. The Allied troops succeeded in their goal of establishing beachheads along the coast of Normandy. Within three weeks 800,000 more men joined the Allied troops in France. Aerial view of beachhead After desperate fighting the Allies broke through the Germans’ defense line at the base of the Normandy peninsula. German resistance and bad weather contributed to the slowness of the Allied powers in advancing into the interior of France. General Patton led an assault across France. With the help of the French “underground” and American-French forces, Paris was liberated in August 1944. VE Day, 1945: Crowds gather to celebrate in Piccadilly Circus The successful, cross-Channel landing called D-Day started the long march through Europe to Berlin, the capital of Germany. This march was difficult. It included a very bloody battle in Belgium called the Battle of the Bulge. • By early 1945 it was apparent that victory over Germany was near. • Soviet Army had taken control in the east. • Allies were making way through the industrial centers of western Germany to Berlin. • Allied bombers pounded Berlin, Hamburg, and other German cities. • One particularly severe fire bombing leveled the entire center of the city of Dresden. Shortly before the war ended, American and Russian troops met at the Elbe River, nearly 100 miles west of Berlin. While Berlin was under attack by the Allied powers, Hitler was unable to face defeat. He committed suicide and killed his new bride as well. He had ordered the bodies to be burned and buried. Devastation in Berlin Soviet troops at the Brandenburg Gate Admiral Karl Downitz became the new German leader. He quickly recongnized the fate of Germany. He sent a delegation to meet with the Allied powers to negotiate a surrender. The Germans signed an unconditional surrender on May 8, 1945. The surrender brought joy and victory celebrations of V-E day across Europe and the United States. The excitement was diminished by three factors: • The realities of the concentration camps were revealed to the world. • The war in the Pacific continued to rage. • President Roosevelt had died on April 12, 1945. The War in the Pacific Map of the Japanese Empire at its height in 1942 Map 6: fill in the areas that the Japanese controlled by 1942. By 1942, the situation in the Pacific seemed desperate. Japan controlled much of China, the nations of eastern and southern Asia, and a string of Pacific islands. While the war was being fought in North Africa and in Europe, the U.S. and its allies were also fighting the Japanese in the Pacific. As in Europe, the Allies had a long road to victory in the Pacific. The war against the Japanese differed than combat in Europe: • Most of the fighting was in dense jungles. • The main American offensive was amphibious landings of marines on small islands. • Naval rather than air supremacy proved to be the key to victory. General Douglas MacArthur was commander of the nation’s Army forces in the Pacific.