Why Normandy?




 
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January 14th, 2005  
PasLon
 

Topic: Why Normandy?


Something I have been wondering about. The Allied invasion of Normandy had many key objectives, one of which was to take the town of Cherbourg right? Cherbourg held obvious value being that it was a deep water poer from which the Allies could begin landing supplies without the hassle of mulberry docks. My question is,

Why didnt the allies just land a single massive assault directly on cherbourg? Why land on the normandy beaches and have to fight your way up the penninsula to them?

Seems like a concentrated effort of cherbourg would have been enough to take and hold it, but then again im asking the question because i dont know.
January 14th, 2005  
USAFAUX2004
 
 
because the ports were protacted and nobody expected the allies from Normandy
January 14th, 2005  
r031Button
 
 
There's also the issue of fighting a symetricle war. You need to have your flanks secured, by taking hte peninsula, the Allies wer able to secure a beachead and not have to worry about counter attacks fromt he flanks.
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January 14th, 2005  
USAFAUX2004
 
 
well that all comes in the pakage
May 29th, 2005  
Dean
 
 
There were a number of reasons that Normandy was chosen. The main reason that Cherbourg was not directly attacked was the due to the lessons learned at Dieppe. The Germans had well planned defences in Dieppe, a minor port, so it was understood that major ports could not be attacked and taken without harrowing casualties. This left beaches. Now, as someone else stated, one of Normandy's strengths is the fact that the Allies did not have to worry about their flanks, but there is one other place like this on the French coast that are closer to England. The Allies had mounted a huge disinformation campaign to make the Germans believe that the invasion was coming ashore at the most obvious place, Calais. This campaign was so successful that the Germans believed that the Normandy attacks were feints and that the main attack was still coming to Calais. This is why the armoured division that was available in the Calais area was not allowed to counter-attack the Allied beach-head until something like 36 hours after the initial invasion. In fact, the Normandy beaches were not the ideal invasion site as there were cliffs and hills that gave the defenders a commanding view and strongpoint of the invasion fleet and Utah beaches. It was there that the Rangers suffered their first major casualties when they took that strongpoint at Pointe-du Hoc.

So, to summarize:
1. Ports were out, so
2. Cherbourg was out.
3. Calais was out.
4. In order not to broadcast the location, the fleet could not be seen at sea during the day, so it had to be within 8-10 hours of sailing from ALL of the English invasion ports.
5. A beach was needed so the invaders could go inland without sticking to roads.

Normandy then became a good choice.

Dean.
August 2nd, 2005  
LeEnfield
 
 
It must also be remembered that we took our own ports with us in the shape of the Mulberry Harbours, so it was not critical that we captured a major port to start with
August 2nd, 2005  
FO Seaman
 
 
Also you don't land and drop all you forces onto one area. The allies needed to capture the causeways to move troops inland and to stop any reenforcements moving foward. Also it was one of the least defended areas, Hitler had Rommel defending Normady. Why have an armor commander defending a beachhead, you'd be setting up the perfect area for an enemy to speirhead into.
August 12th, 2005  
mmarsh
 
 
i'll add one extra point...

Also the weather in Normandy in june-July is much rougher than in Calais. Lots of Storms, Clouds, Rough Ocean. Very similar Climate to Britain

This and given that Normandy was much further from England coinvinced German High Command that the attack woundnt be there...
August 12th, 2005  
LeEnfield
 
 
Hitler was lead to believe that the invasion would come across the channel at the narrowest point. There had been fake armies set up all along that section of coast. Lancaster's bombers had been flying in circles over the channel moving the circles very slowly forward so that it looked like a fleet of ships crossing the channel on the radar at this point. Then there had been that fatal trial run at Dieppe which convinced Hitler that Normandy was only a faint and that the real attack would be some where in the narrows.