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History Term Paper: Operation Overlord, Motives Behind D Day

D-Day has always been a celebrated day throughout the entire world in which the Western Allied forces were finally able to break Hitler grasp on Europe. The landings that occurred on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944 was a great military victory at the cost of many lives. But the motives behind D-Day are unclear. Why did Britain want to go through Italy and did everything in its power to stop the invasion of Normandy? Why did the US promise Stalin that a second front would be open? The motives behind Operation Overlord are more because of political power play between the allied nations rather than opening a decisive military front.

The most remarkable aspect of World War II was how America committed itself to the battles occurring in Europe and had not concentrated on Japan, the United States’ main aggressor. It was the Americans who were impatient to confront the German army on the continent while the British were haunted by the deepest misgivings about doing so. ““Why are we doing this?” cried Winston Churchill in a bitter moment of depression about Operation OVERLORD in February 1944, which caused him a spasm of enthusiasm for an alternative Allied landing in Portugal. ‘I am very uneasy about the whole operation,” wrote the Chief of the Imperial general Staff, Sir Alan Brooke, as late as June 5, 1944. “At the best, it will come very short of the expectation the bulk of the people, namely all those who know nothing about its difficulties. At its worst, it may well be the most ghastly disaster of the whole war,”” (Ambrose, 56). It seems that the British favored opening a second front to relieve some of the pressure from Russia, but did not agree with the second front being opened in the beaches of Normandy, but rather that of Italy through the Mediterranean. Had the United Sates Army been wavering in its commitment to a landing in Normandy, it is unlikely that the landing would have taken place before 1945. Until the very last weeks before OVERLORD was launched, its future was the subject of bitter dissension and debate between the generals of Britain and America.

For a year following the fall of France in 1940, Britain fought on without any actual prospect of final victory. When Hitler invaded...

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Category:   American

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