Download Learning Resource D

yes no Was this document useful for you?
   Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the workof artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Document related concepts

Naval history of World War II wikipedia , lookup

German military administration in occupied France during World War II wikipedia , lookup

Battle of the Mediterranean wikipedia , lookup

End of World War II in Europe wikipedia , lookup

Operation Green (Ireland) wikipedia , lookup

Swedish iron-ore mining during World War II wikipedia , lookup

Operation Torch wikipedia , lookup

Operation Biting wikipedia , lookup

Omaha Beach wikipedia , lookup

European theatre of World War II wikipedia , lookup

Technology during World War II wikipedia , lookup

Operation Bodyguard wikipedia , lookup

What was D-Day?
Learning Resource
IWM Learning Resources: Terms of Use
This resource (including images, letters, video, sound and information) is provided for noncommercial educational purposes only
You can:
• You are free to copy and repurpose this resource for use within your classroom and share with
other teachers.
• You can print the images out up to A4 size if you wish to use hard copies with your class.
You must:
• Include attribution statement wherever the image is used. For example, © IWM (Art.IWM ART
• By downloading this resource you agree to these terms of use under IWM’s Non Commercial
On 6 June 1944 Allied forces launched an invasion of Northern
France by air, sea and land. This was the start of the process of
liberating Western Europe from Nazi occupation. D-Day, codenamed ‘Operation Overlord’, is said to be the beginning of the
end of the Second World War.
1. What were the circumstances
that prompted D-Day?
Liberation of
Western Europe
Adolf Hitler in Paris
By 1944 Germany occupied large parts of Europe.
Planning for D-Day began when Stalin called for Great
Britain and the USA to open a second front in Western
The Russians had been doing the majority of the
fighting against Germany, in the East, and wanted the
USA and Great Britain to launch an invasion in the
West to ease the pressure on them.
Opening a second front would mean that Germany
would have to divide their army, making for fewer
troops in each place.
© IWM (HU 3266)
2. How did the Allied forces
prepare for D-Day?
D-Day Leaders
The Supreme Command of the Allied Expeditionary Force
These men, from the Army, Navy and Air Force, were in charge of the
invasion of German-occupied France. The man seated in the middle is
General Dwight D Eisenhower who was in overall charge. Later on he
would become President of the United States of America between 1953
and 1961.
© IWM (TR 1629)
Deciding where to Invade
Choosing the landing beaches
The first key decision was to choose the location of the invasion beaches.
Planners collected postcards and photographs from people who had
been to Normandy (in northern France) on holiday for evidence as to
what the coast looked like, but this photograph was taken from an aircraft.
It was used to orientate the troops landing on this section of the coast,
codenamed Sword Beach.
© IWM (MH 1997)
Investigating the
Diving Suit
To make sure the beaches could handle the weight of
the tanks, trucks and other vehicles that would take
part in the invasion, men were sent ashore from
submarines to collect samples of sand. Tanks could not
easily travel over pebble beaches.
This diving suit was used by Lieutenant Rollo Mangnall
to investigate the potential landing beaches.
© IWM (UNI 3914)
Getting Ready on the South Coast of England
Preparations for D-Day by Richard Eurich
The invasion involved thousands of men, vehicles and tonnes of
equipment. The majority would have to go by sea and so the ports and
harbours of south and south western Britain became inundated with ships
of all shapes and sizes from the Allied navies. Find out more about this
painting on the IWM website here
© IWM (Art.IWM Art LD 4587)
3. How did Germany defend the
French coast against Allied
German Sea Defences
The Atlantic Wall
The Germans had built a large network of fortifications and beach
defences along the coast of France to defend them from a possible Allied
invasion. Dealing with these obstacles was one of the biggest problems
for the planners of D-Day. The defences shown in this photograph were
designed to tear the bottom out of landing craft when concealed at high
© IWM (A 23992)
4. How did the Allies set out to
confuse the German army, hiding
plans for D-Day?
Confusing the Enemy
Code-named ‘Window’
The Allies used various tactics to trick the Germans
that the landings would happen at Pas de Calais, the
shortest crossing point from England to France. This
photo shows a factory worker producing foil, codenamed “window”. “Window” was strips of aluminium
which were dropped by aircraft in order to confuse
German radar. Radar uses sound waves to detect the
presence of moving objects, however it cannot tell how
large an object is, whether it is an aircraft, ship or in
fact a strip of foil.
© IWM (E(MOS) 1451)
A Fake Invasion
Flight Lieutenant Les Munro
Flight Lieutenant Les Munro, from New Zealand, dropped “Window” from
his aircraft on D-Day to make it appear that there was an invasion fleet off
Calais. In 1943 he had taken part in the Dambusters raid. This
photograph shows him talking to King George VI.
© IWM (TR 999)
5. How was the invasion carried
Destroying the
German Defences
Naval bombardment of the German defences
This photograph shows the ship, HMS Belfast, firing
her 4 inch guns at night. Using her guns, HMS
Belfast’s role on D-Day was to destroy enemy
defences and to stop German reinforcements making
for the beaches.
© IWM (A 24325)
Amphibious Landing Craft
British troops going ashore at Sword Beach
Amphibious landing craft were used to transport troops and vehicles from
ships to the beaches. Specially designed tanks had been made that could
travel over land and sea. Tidal conditions and heavy defences on Sword
Beach meant there was not much room to land. This caused the
congestion of armoured vehicles that can be seen on the beach in this
© IWM (B 5102)
Landing with Bicycles
Canadians landing at Juno Beach
Canadian troops landing in the Juno Beach area shortly before midday, 6
June 1944. The men are carrying bicycles to help them move inland
quickly, without having to wait for heavier transport.
© IWM (A 23938)
Invading by Air
A Crashed Horsa Glider by Albert Richards
Troops were also landed by air, as well as sea. Those transported by air
would either land by parachute or by glider. The gliders were designed to
be used once and, as they were made of wood and canvas, were easily
damaged on landing. Gliders carried men and equipment, including
lightweight tanks. Gliders had the advantage of being very quiet aircraft.
© IWM (Art.IWM ART LD 6288)
6. How did the Allies bring
supplies to Northern France?
Bringing over Supplies
Mulberry Harbour at Arromanches by Stephen Bone
Some equipment could be brought in across the beaches, but this would
not be enough to sustain the huge numbers of men landing in France
after D-Day. Until such a time as a port could be captured, the Allies
needed a method with which to land large quantities of supplies and
equipment. Two prefabricated harbours were designed and built in Britain
and then towed across to Normandy where they provided shelter and
moorings for supply ships.
© IWM (Art.IWM ART LD 4607)
Bringing over Fuel
PLUTO (Pipe Line Under the Ocean)
To provide enough fuel for the thousands of vehicles in France a plan
was devised to lay a pipe under the sea and pump the petrol across from
Britain. This was less risky than transporting fuel in ships which were
vulnerable to German attack. This photo shows petrol pipes wound
around the large drum of pipe called a ‘Conundrum’ ready to be laid on
the sea floor. Pluto was a success, guaranteeing a fuel supply for Allied
© IWM (T 54)
7. Was D-day a success?
The Liberation of Paris
Cheering crowds in Paris 25th August 1944
It could not be assured that D-Day would be a success
and if the landings had failed, General Eisenhower had
written a statement accepting full responsibility. This
message was never sent as the landings succeeded
and the subsequent breakout was the beginning of the
campaign in the west to defeat Germany. The fighting
in Normandy continued until August 1944 and on the
25th August Paris was liberated. Despite the success of
D-Day there were over 10,000 casualties; killed,
wounded and missing that day. The Second World War
ended on the 8th May 1945 which is known as VE Day
(Victory in Europe Day).
© IWM (BU 21)