You are about to embark on the great crusade which we have striven these many mouths. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you. In-company with our brave allies and brothers-in-arms on other fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German War Machine, the elimination of Nazi Germany over the oppressed people of Europe and security for ourselves in a free world. Your task will not be an easy one, your enemy is well-trained, well-equipped and battle-hardened; he will fight savagely. I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will expect nothing less than full victory, good luck. Let’s us all besiege the blessings of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
June 6th 1944 (D-Day
June 6th 1944, 175,000 Allied soldiers breached the walls of fortress Europe through a tense German resistance, by late June, Cherbourg had fallen, giving the Allies the ports they so desperately needed. By early August, Eisenhower had massed an Allied army over one million strong. Treacherous field to field fighting unleashed a breakout across France. With the Germans in full retreat, the Allies marched into Paris. Field Marshal Montgomery moved north into Belgium, while General Patton and the 3rd Army pushed for the Maginot line, it was here where the Allies encountered their newest enemy: the lack of sufficient supplies. Patton’s plan was to run straight into the teeth of Maginot line directly to Berlin. Monty had devised a daring airborne operation that had the potential of ending the war by Christmas. Having only enough supplies to support one advance, the fate of thousands rested in the hands of the few. With Allied superiority on land, sea and air, what could go wrong?
August 16th, 1944
A New Plan
By 1940, Hitler’s promise of no bombs dropped on German cities was rendered hollow by Allied heavy bombers. This drove home the reality that the Luftwaffe lacked behind the Allies in a number of areas. Field Marshal Göring needed an aircraft capable of shooting down Allied bombers before they had the chance to drop their payload on Germany and this demand prompted the production of revolutionary jet fighter different from any other aircraft Germany had produced before. This endeavor was named a three time one thousand project; it called for a heavy fighter capable of flying 1000k distance, at 1000k/h and 1000kg payload. To achieve this, the Germans turned to a time of brothers with an astonishing new design.
Allied infantry always welcomed the sight of a Sherman tank. Its combination of speed, firepower and quick-repair made it an invaluable ground weapon. The sheer number of Shermans in the field usually allowed Allied generals to count on armored superiority, however not all the Sherman’s specks were ideal: it was thinly armored and caught fire easily. In addition its cannon was not large enough to pierce the heavier-armored enemy tanks, a weakness not shared by the German Tiger. Fortunately, all in team work with ground mortars, artillery and the army air force meant no Tiger was impenetrable, thus helping the Shermans rule the day.
Operation Market Garden
Devised as a joined airborne at ground campaign, Operation Market Garden was the largest airborne operation ever mounted. The Plan, Market: was to take and hold a series of roads and bridges across northern Holland creating a clear path for Garden: an armored push to the border directly east of Berlin. Unfortunately, the German forces engaged there were not the exhausted troops the Allies faced in France; packed Panzer divisions lay and wait, trained to reply the assault. The Allied invasion was alerted outside Nijmegen effectively cutting off more than 10,000 paratroopers dropped in Arnhem. Surrounded, the Allies battled on for 7 days refusing to yield the north side of Arnhem Bridge to a superior force. Finally, when it was decided that Market Garden could not succeed the Allies fell back. 8,000 would be left behind; the Dutch would not see liberation for another 7 mouths.
On a Rail to Nowhere
Supplies and production were vital areas of the war in which the Allies dominated. Relentless, bombing runs over Ruhr Valley factories resulted in an increasingly crippled German War Machine. The radical scraping of the railroads and rain yards left behind broken trains, stalled on destroyed tracks. Without fuel Germany’s heavy weapons were useless: forced Panzers to immobilize and its planes grounded; the German infantry was left to carry on the fight alone.
With Germany’s battle for Russia going poorly on the eastern front and our success on the western front; Germany’s getting less sure and more dangerous by the day; Hitler is turning to projects we hoped would never see the light of day.
With thanks to FRKv2 on YouTube