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The Bedford Boys and D-Day Invasion - Research Paper Example

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The Bedford Boys and D-Day Invasion The D-Day Invasion, was one of the greatest and riskiest military invasions of all time. The invasion was nicknamed Operation Overlord by those in charge (Churchill, 642). By 1944, it was time for the Allied powers to begin to put an end to Hitler's evil empire…
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The Bedford Boys and D-Day Invasion
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Download file to see previous pages The men who were assigned to the D-Day invasion were some of the most valiant. Some died on the beaches, some fought on throughout Europe to secure peace. They made a lasting contribution to the world which we enjoy today. But few soldiers in the operation were as valiant as the Bedford Boys. They came to represent the very best of American sacrifice for peace in this world. They were ordinary, small-town men who made an extraordinary contribution. By 1944, World War II was grinding to a halt. Allied forced had a toe-hold in Italy; in the Pacific, the United States had turned the tide against the Japanese. The Germans and the Japanese were reeling from a series of defeats. On the Eastern Front, Hitler had lost his Sixth Army at Stalingrad, and the Russians were pushing back and taking the land that Germans had captured only a few years earlier. Still, there was no talk of surrender from Berlin. Hitler was in a delusional mood and intended to fight to the last man. Fortunately, the Allied forced had earlier agreed that there was to be an unconditional surrender of Axis powers. It is not possible to say if this policy was definitively responsible for ending the war on the excellent terms that it was ended, but it seems probable (Armstrong, 86). The Allies were not going to make the mistake of permitting a rump Nazi regime to hang on with the promise of peace. They knew that they could not trust the Nazis about anything. As a result, the Allies steeled themselves for a full-on invasion and plans were soon underway for an invasion of France through the beaches of Normandy. This would also make Stalin happy. For years now, he had been fighting tooth and nail with the Germans on the Eastern front, and badly needed relief from their viciousness. He wanted the United Kingdom and the U.S. to open up a second front in the west (Gilbert, 544). The operation was to be a secret from the Germans and was to involve overwhelming force. On the morning of June 6, 1944, thousands of Allied planes bombarded German defences on the beaches of Normandy; soon after, thousands of soldiers arrived by boat to begin the invasion. In preparation, Supreme Allied Commander, the American Dwight D. Eisenhower, wrote to his generals and soldiers: You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world (Garamone). It is clear that inspiration was needed, as the fight to come was to be a brutal one. Eisenhower did his best to put things in perspective and encourage his men. It was important for them to understand just why they were fighting. D-Day was an incredibly bloody invasion for U.S. servicemen. More than 2500 lost their lives on the beach that day (Fry). The air cover that the generals intended to use as cover and to soften up the German artillery positions did not meet with much success. The result is that when the men landed on the beaches of Normandy, many had German weapons immediately trained on them. It was only through sheer fortitude and courage that they kept coming, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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