America At D-Day A Day Of Rememberance Essay, Research Paper
AMERICA AT D-DAY: A DAY OF REMEMBRANCE
I am very interested in World War II. So I choose a book that was
written about the Normandy Invasion. More commonly know as D-Day or
Deliverance day. The title of the book is America at D-Day. It was written
by Richard Goldstein. The book has 287 pages and also has 90 different
pictures from the invasion of Normandy. The reason the author wrote this
book was to show exactly what happened at D-Day.
The author starts off by describing the preparation for D-Day in great
detail. The code name given to the Normandy Invasion was Operation
Overlord. It was planned mainly by General Dwight David Eisenhower.
Prior to World War II Eisenhower never had any actual combat experience.
Eisenhower was a training officer during World War I. Then in 1942
Eisenhower was given command of the Allied invasion of North Africa.
Eisenhower is not the type of man who has a huge ego and he does not give
blood-and-guts speeches, but he does know how to manager people who have
super egos. General Eisenhower had the ability to work generals–along
with airmen, Navy men, and lesser soldiers by the millions–in effective
harmony in carrying out large-scale operations (Goldstein 8). That is one of
the reasons why Eisenhower was chosen to lead Operation Overlord.
Operation Overlord was a well kept secret. The Allies went through a
lot to make sure that the Germans only heard what the Allies wanted him to
hear and see. The Allies built mock armies on the south eastern corner of
England. That was the location that was the shortest distance between
England and France. The Germans were sure that if there was an amphibious
invasion that it would come from the south eastern corner of England. The
allies put up cardboard airplanes and tanks that fooled the pictures taken by
the German spy planes. The Allied intelligence reports showed that Hitler
and his leaders were falling for the plan. The Germans built up there troops
in the area of France where the English Channel was the narrowest.
The plan was to catch the Germans off guard and hit them hard and
fast. The Allies split the beach of Normandy into five different parts. The
British forces were to attack 3 of the beaches. The beaches were code named
Gold beach, Juno beach, and Sword beach. The American forces had to
cover the other two beaches, they were code named Utah beach and Omaha
beach. The Americans were also going to drop their paratroopers behind the
German front lines on the Cherbourg Peninsula.
The American paratroopers were from the 82nd Airborne Division and
from the 101st Airborne Division. The paratroopers were to cut off any
supply line to the front lines and prevent any reinforcements from reaching
the beaches of Normandy. The order was given on the night of June 5, 1944
to launch the paratroopers. The paratroopers were sent in first so that they
could drop under the cover of the night. The paratroopers were plagued with
cloudy skies and some anti-aircraft fire. Some of the paratroopers were shot
down while they dropped from the skies. Most of the paratroopers that did
survive the jump missed their intended drop zones. During the first hours of
the assault their was confusion among the soldiers, but then the troops started
to form up into small bands together and started to complete their missions.
The paratroopers mission was for the most part a success. They gained
considerable ground and destroyed vital supply lines for the Germans.
However, the assault on the beaches were plagued by a lot more
problems. The major problem was the choppy seas and the strong current. It
made many of the allied forces land off of target. Even though they landed
off course they were still able come together. The Germans also put many
obstacles in the way of the landing crafts. The Germans laid mines on top of
logs that stuck out of the beach. When the ships struck those logs it would
set off the mines, causing the ships to explode. The heaviest casualties did
not come from the mines or the sinking of the ships, the casualties came from
the heavy machine gun fire that was raining down on the troops from the
cliffs above. The American troops were exposed to that machine gun fire
until they got to the sea wall that could cover them from the blazing bullets.
The assault on Omaha beach suffered the heaviest loses. The reason why is
because the Germans had an extra division of troops there that were not
picked up by the American surveillance photos.
In the end the perseverance of the American troops held true. Even
through the toughest circumstance they still fought onward and in the end
won the battle. The American troops eventually took all the beaches of
Normandy. The individual courage of certain men were one reason why this
invasion was a success. During all of the chaos in the first hours of D-Day
the troops looked for leaders to follow, and they found them in such men as
Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. and Brigadier General Norman
Cota. If it were not for the individual courage of so many men then the
invasion might have failed. However, the mission was a success.
Richard Goldstein, the author of the book, does a very good job of
describing the invasion in great detail. Goldstein makes it seem like you are
right there on the beaches. He interviewed many of the troops that survived
the invasion and got first hand account of the events that took place on the
beaches that day. During the invasion some reports accompanied the troops
as they made the assault on the beaches. Goldstein researched all of these
newspaper articles and magazine articles. He also does a good job of
documenting where he got his information from.
Goldstein covers every aspect of the invasion in explicit detail. He
covered the preparation for the invasion, the actual invasion, and the
aftermath of the invasion. He leaves nothing to the imagination. This book
shows all of hardships of the invasion and all of the gains from the invasion.
The pictures that are in this book help put pictures in the head of the reader
and gives the reader something that they can actually visualize. After reading
this book I know a lot more about D-Day then I did before.
Goldstein, Richard. America at D-Day:A Book of Remembrance. Dell
Publishing, New York, 1994.