The Free World Must Never Forget D-Day

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“On the evening of June 6, 1944, over five thousand ships carrying 150,000 soldiers, the greatest armada ever assembled, left southern England for the invasion f Normandy. In the morning, across the English Channel, a great battle would begin for the liberation of Europe.”
--New York Times [Document I]

In the spring of 1943 the American ships began to arrive in great numbers in England. Some troops had seen combat in North Africa and Sicily, but most were untested, fresh from the training camps of North America. They were here to join an Allied army to become part of the largest invasion force in history. Seeing them, the British were encouraged by their numbers. The island had been at war for four long years and now the Americans had arrived. The war had been going on since 1939 and they were tired. Their soldiers had been fighting a very long and difficult war. On January 16, 1944, General Dwight D. Eisenhower arrived in England to assume supreme command of the Allied expeditionary forces. He had not led troops to combat, but he possessed an extraordinary talent for planning and military diplomacy. According to Document C, Eisenhower faced a task of magnitude and hazard never previously attempted. He motivates his people with a few words of encouragement and truthfully let them know what is at stake and what lies upon their shoulders. He knew that weapon for weapon, tank for tank, save transport and artillery, the Germans outclassed his army, an army he would have to move up to 100 miles across the English Channel and storm a heavily fortified coastline as seen in Document H, a map of northern France and its coast bordering the English Channel. Added to this, he would also have to endure a difficult British commander and keep a balanced mind toward his real adversary.
The man the Allied forces would have to face on the beaches of Normandy was Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, one of the most brilliant generals of the war. In Document G he is drawn as a cartoon with a noble and simply honest face. His arms are crossed with one fist over his heart. His pose conveys honorable and respectful essence. However, in December of 1943, he was appointed by Hitler to command German army units in northern France, to hurl back the Allies if they landed there. Inspecting the huge fortifications at Calais less than 30 miles across the English Channel from Britain, he found the defenses formidable.

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