Q:

Why did D-Day happen?

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Quick Answer

D-Day was the first step of a massive military campaign to free Europe from Nazi control, creating a second front in Europe and trapping Germany between the Soviet Union, the United States and the United Kingdom. By forcing Hitler's armies back, the Allies reduced the pressure Germany was putting on the Soviet Union. D-Day ultimately allowed the Allies to recapture large parts of France and Germany.

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Why did D-Day happen?
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Full Answer

D-Day had been planned before the United States joined the war. The United States encouraged the Allies to implement a "Germany first" plan of attack. On June 6, 1944, the Allies delivered hundreds of thousands of men on the beach at Normandy, catching German troops by surprise. Although Germany was aware that an attack was imminent, they did not know the exact time and location. The Allies chose Normandy as the point of entrance in part because the Germans believed that the long sea crossing made it an unlikely choice for invaders.

Codenamed Operation Overlord, D-Day owed its success to the ENIGMA machine that Germany used to send encrypted messages. The Allies had managed to break the code and were able to monitor the flow of information.

D-Day was originally planned for June 5 but a sudden storm made the invasion risky and Eisenhower postponed the invasion for a day.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What militaries were involved in the D-Day invasions during World War II?

    A:

    The Normandy landings, also known as D-Day, took place on June 6, 1944; military units from the United States, United Kingdom and Canada (Allied Forces) were the primary belligerent forces involves with this military engagement against German Nazi forces. Air, land and sea forces collaborated for this operation, which involved a formal landing on the shore in Normandy, France, from which ground forces, including tanks and other armored vehicles, were deployed. The Allied Forces presented a much larger fighting force than the Germans had stationed in the area, and combatants from the French Resistance, which fought back against German occupation of their country, joined in the fight.

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  • Q:

    Where can you find a list of the casualties on D-Day?

    A:

    An alphabetical list of all of the Allied casualties from D-Day is available from the U.S. National D-Day Memorial. The names of all of the Allied D-Day casualties are also engraved on 116 bronze plaques at The National D-Day Memorial, located in Bedford, Virginia.

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  • Q:

    How many Allied casualties were there on D-Day?

    A:

    No accurate records of causalities for the Allied troops exist for D-Day. Too much chaos and other circumstances made keeping records impossible on that date. Causalities refer to the number of troops lost to death, injury, and capture, as well as those men who were declared missing.

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  • Q:

    In what year did World War II start?

    A:

    World War II officially started in Europe in 1939, following the Polish invasion by Adolf Hitler and prompting Britain and France to formally declare war against Germany. The United States joined the Allied forces in 1941.

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