World War II is an infamous event in the history of the world. For almost 6 years, humankind was divided into two wherein one group was in favor for global domination and the other one was for democracy. The West and the East were completely enveloped with devastation and terror during this dark phase of the past. However, if World War II brought out the worse in people, it also proved that humans possessed an innate nature to be good and compassionate.
It was just a matter of choice of whether doing the right and morally correct action or standing up for something that truly one believes in. Since WWII became a large-scale military conflict, much of the success of the defeat of the German, Japanese and Italian forces can be attributed to those who have selflessly dedicated their time, efforts and even lives for the restoration of freedom and peace. These people are the thousands of soldiers of the Allied forces. Without them, the liberation efforts in Europe and in Asia would not be successful.
The most significant but very high-risk operation that was drafted by the Allied forces in advancing their goal of invading Germany and bringing to an end to the evil ways of Hitler and his supporters was the bold move of penetrating the German stronghold area in the southern coastline of France. This military operation has become known as “D-Day” which means based on military jargons as the commencement of any military operations. Since this momentous event, the Allied forces were given the opportunity to weaken the formidable military might of Hitler.
As a result, the combined forces of the French, Canadians, English, Russian and Americans were able to conquer and defeat many strategic bulwarks of the enemies. Eventually, they were able to reach, seize and free the center of the Axis power in Europe which was Germany. After a year since the amphibious assault at Normandy, the whole of Europe celebrated to the new found democracy and independence. Prior to this relatively happy ending, there were a lot of political and military planning and failed missions that occurred.
On the first half of WWII, the US did not take part in any direct efforts to combat communism and autocracy. But when the bombing at Pearl Harbor transpired, the US openly announced their wage in war with the Axis forces. One of the most prominent personalities during this era was an American General named General Dwight Eisenhower. His background in effective organization and implementation of military operations prompted him to be designated as the “Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces. As the leader of all soldiers from various nationalities, he was burdened with the responsibility of devising a strategic plan that will advance the troops in liberating Europe from German occupation. The idea of orchestrating a large-scale attack on German territories that will have a high probability of victory was very challenging for Eisenhower. Though it was difficult, he was able to formulate a feasible plan together with an equally knowledgeable military man, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery. Then, Operation Overlord was born.
According to history books, this plan was supposed to be more aggressive than their 1943 plan wherein only 3 divisions were supposed to be deployed in Europe. Because of the diversity in the leadership and manpower, Overlord acquired a multi-level approach in planning, organizing and implementing the invasion. Also, it was emphasized in historical writings that the masterminds of Overlord were confident that the alliance can pull off the plan despite the eminent threat of military resistance among the Germans in Normandy.
The high command in the military needed to exude faith and confidence on their plans so that the soldiers who will fight in the battlefield will be motivated to do their respective tasks with peace of mind that everything will go according to plan. However, the second thoughts and doubts about Overlord from political and military officials were left unreported leaving the public at that time clueless about the possible worse scenarios that can happen. Then British Prime Minister Winston Churchill expressed his worries about the invasion in a German fortified beachhead in France.
He was concerned about the catastrophic events that could manifest if the plan fails. It could cost thousands of lives of soldiers and tons of resources wasted which could produce a major setback for the Allied forces. Like Churchill, Eisenhower also felt that Overlord was a very ambitious endeavor that could lead to a complete disaster if anything goes wrong. In his “in case of failure” message dated July 5, Eisenhower expressed his concern over the potential outcomes of Overlord. Actually, it was believed to be written on June 5, a day before D-Day.
He mentioned that the “landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area” were unsuccessful so another amphibious attack could also experience the same plight. But the interesting part about the message was the content and the tone. Eisenhower wanted the reader to feel that Operation Overlord was a plan derived from the only available sources that they could find combined with a situation wherein there was an increase of military troops being killed in German territories and because of that the military can only do so much.
He was insinuating that the achievement of victory was not definite. However, he emphasized in his message that he was sole responsible and the one to blame if everything fails. In the last statement, “If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone,” demonstrated Eisenhower’s courage in accepting responsibility for conceptualizing, executing and remedying Overlord. On the other hand, this message was only read by Eisenhower’s “naval aide, Capt.
Harry Butcher” but he never disclosed it to anyone until modern historians have found about it. Though Eisenhower was not 100% sure that Overlord was going to succeed, he and numeours soldiers proved that anything can be done even the impossible as long as dedication and bravery are present. The end of WWII in 1945 was the fruit of the many sacrifices of thousands of brave and courageous soldiers.
Courtney from Study Moose
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