Importance

Before the break of day on June 6 th, 1944 the largest naval invasion in history was ready to commence on the beaches of Normandy, France. For years the Allies had planned an invasion of Western Europe through France. Stalin of the Soviet Union encouraged the development of this plan because at the time prior to the invasion the Germans were really only fighting the Russians. Although there was the second front with Great Britain, there weren’t any battles fought since they were preparing for an invasion. Winston Churchill and the British were reluctant to proceed with the invasion because of the possibilities of enormous casualties and the consequences of failure. Roosevelt also supported the plan for an invasion and once they had convinced Churchill, they began to make preparations for the attack, codenaming it Operation Overlord and appointing General Dwight D. Eisenhower as the Anglo American commander. The entire outcome of World War II depended on the success or failure of the invasion. If Germany had won the war it would have changed the history of America and the world.

Since the United States had entered the war they had been planning, along with the Soviet Union and Great Britain, an invasion of France. On the eastern side of Europe, Hitler had devoted most of his forces to fighting the Soviet Union. This put a great deal of stress on the Russian lines. For this reason it is obvious why Stalin supported reopening the second front on Germany. The rest of the Allies had to comply with the Soviet request. In an earlier meeting between Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin, Stalin had implied that he would be forced to sign a treaty with Germany if the invasion failed or never took place. His reason was to prevent the further destruction that come if the Soviets had to continue fighting Germany alone. Also Stalin didn’t want the Allies to think that they could sit back while the Soviets did all the fighting and he wanted them to show that they were truly together in this alliance.

If the invasion failed then the Allies would not have a foothold in Western Europe making it very difficult to attack Germany. The invasion would cost an ample amount of money and time. It would be many years before the Allies would have the resources to mount another invasion. In that time the Soviets could have been totally out of the war, allowing Hitler to focus all of his forces on a renewed bombing of Britain and maybe even an invasion of the United States if the war carried on for that long. Towards the end of the war the Germans began to use new experimental technology like jet fighters, new submarines, and rockets. At this point they didn’t have enough resources and were too weak to effectively use these weapons. How could this have been different if the Allies never successfully invaded France? With enough jet fighters and rockets the Germans could have regained air superiority and unleashed a new attack in Britain. With more advanced weaponry the Germans could have easily defeated the British and therefore claiming all of Western Europe for the Nazi Party. With their new submarines they could have ruled the seas as well. This would put even more pressure on the British if they were blockaded. This would have made it very difficult for the United States to send their help from all away across the Atlantic Ocean. A blockade around Britain would have increased the possibility of its defeat greatly. The last technology that the Germans were experimenting with was the atomic bomb. If the Germans had developed an atomic weapon while they were still in the war there’s no telling what would’ve happened. At that point they could have deployed it against either Great Britain or even the United States if they got an air base close enough to make an air strike.

All of these points lead to the fact that Germany would’ve still been a powerful enemy in later years if the war if the Allies could not break into Europe. This could have eventually lead to victory for Germany drastically changing the United States. Although it is impossible to say what the United States would have done if they had to surrender but it would have been terrible to see the country fall. We would have had to pay huge fees to Germany and lost certain capabilities. For instance since Japan had to surrender they are never allowed to have a navy again as part of their surrendering terms. Based on this information the Germans may have applied similar terms to the United States. No matter what the Germans could have done it’s easy to say that the United States would not be the superpower nation it is today if they had to surrender during World War II.

There is very little opposition to those that say that D-day was one of the most important events of World War II. But an argument that could be brought up is that if the invasion failed and the Allies needed to get into Europe they could have gone through Italy. They already had a foothold in this country. The only problem with this tactic was that the Germans had sealed off the boot from they rest of the continent by occupying the Pyrenees Mountains. Attempting to attack a fortified position located in the mountains would have been very difficult but it would have been a better option then waiting for the Germans to develop atomic weapons if the Normandy landing failed. So the D-day invasion may not have been the deciding factor in the war if the Allies had been able to gain another access point into Europe but it was clearly the most effective.

D-day may not have been 9/11 or some other event that most people quickly associate with a turning point in American history but it was no doubt just as important. That single day allowed the Allies to gain a landing in Europe and eventually win the war. It was critical that the Allies succeed for the sake of the entire war effort. Hitler himself even realized the problems that Germany would have if the Allies were able to gain a foothold. “In the East, the vastness of space will... permit a loss of territory... without suffering a mortal blow to Germany’s chance for survival. Not so in the West! If the enemy here succeeds… consequences of staggering proportions will follow within a short time.” He knew that the invasion would be a turning point of the war and in the end he was right because the Allies ended up victorious and emerged a superpower of the world proving that D-day changed the history of the United States.

 

Casualties

Reflection

Works Cited

Home