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D-day to the Battle of the Bulge

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Devin Stringfellow

on 12 February 2013

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Transcript of D-day to the Battle of the Bulge

Devin Stringfellow
Andrew Jenkins
Jackson Simonsgaard D-day to the Battle of the Bulge Preparing for D day After World War II began, Germany invaded and occupied northwestern France beginning in May 1940. The British had been evacuated from the beaches of Dunkirk in May 1940 after being cut off by the Germans in the Battle of France. The Americans entered the war in December 1941, and by 1942 they and the British were considering the possibility of a major Allied invasion across the English Channel. Eisenhower selected June 5, 1944, as the date for the invasion; however, bad weather on the days leading up to the operation caused it to be delayed for 24 hours Weather Delay By dawn on June 6, thousands of paratroopers and glider troops were already on the ground behind enemy lines, securing bridges and exit roads. The amphibious invasions began at 6:30 a.m. The British and Canadians overcame light opposition to capture beaches codenamed Gold, Juno and Sword, as did the Americans at Utah Beach. U.S. forces faced heavy resistance at Omaha Beach, where there were over 2,000 American casualties. D-Day Landings Less than a week later, on June 11, the beaches were fully secured and over 326,000 troops, more than 50,000 vehicles and some 100,000 tons of equipment had landed at Normandy. The Normandy invasion began to turn the tide against the Nazis. A significant psychological blow, it also prevented Hitler from sending troops from France to build up his Eastern Front against the advancing Soviets. The following spring, on May 8, 1945, the Allies formally accepted the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany. Hitler had committed suicide a week earlier, on April 30. Vicory in Normandy On December 16, three German armies (more than a quarter-million troops) launched the deadliest and most desperate battle of the war in the west in the poorly roaded, rugged, heavily forested Ardennes. The inexperienced U.S. 106th Division was nearly annihilated, but even in defeat helped buy time for Brigadier General Bruce C. Clarke's brilliant defense of St.-Vith. As the German armies drove deeper into the Ardennes to secure vital bridgeheads west of the River Meuse quickly, the line defining the Allied front took on the appearance of a large bulge. A crucial German shortage of fuel and the gallantry of American troops fighting in the frozen forests of the Ardennes proved fatal to Hitler's ambition to snatch, if not victory, at least a draw with the Allies in the west. Lieutenant General George S. Patton's remarkable feat of turning the Third Army ninety degrees from Lorraine to relieve the besieged town of Bastogne was the key to thwarting the German counteroffensive. The Battle of the Bulge was the costliest action ever fought by the U.S. Army, which suffered over 100,000 casualties.
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