Operation Overlord presentation, plus Coral Sea/Midway

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Vassili Zaitzev, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys, sorry for sounding needy, but I was wondering if I could get some advice.

    I have a presenation on Operation Overlord in April, possibly on the 14th. My professor would like me to include the entire Normandy campaign, and possibly beyond besides Market Garden/Ardennes offensive. What major points should I address for this. I already have plenty of material on Overlord, so I should be all set in that department.

    Another request I ask is information on Coral Sea, preferrably books. I have a good amount on Midway, but unfortunately I have no books on Coral Sea. If someone could point me in the right direction, that'd be fantastic. Thanks!
     
  2. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    "The First team" might have some good info on the Coral Sea
     
  3. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Blimey, you have a lot to cover in a limited period.

    Apart from the obvious landing I would mention the logistics and unique developments that made the landings possible e.g. PLUTO, Mulberry Harbours, Funnies such as the swimming tanks, AVRE and Beach landing tanks. Also the decoy events designed to mislead the Germans such as the phantom armies in Essex and the use of Patton to help with this deception and Naval convoys which were in fact bombers dropping window.

    These are things the audience may not be aware of and give you an edge.
     
  4. senji

    senji New Member

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    Id have at least some mention of the Red Ball Express in with the logistics. I find that of all the things involved with Overlord, the least known by the general public is the logistics. All those famous battles/fronts couldnt have happened without the logistics.
     
  5. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    A book was just written by Anthony Beevor. Excellent book covering exactly what you are looking at. Here's the link:

    Amazon.com: D-Day: The Battle for Normandy (9780670021192): Antony Beevor: Books

    The thing about Normandy that you should mention are the following:

    1. Hedgerows, they dictated the battle and were not in the planning as the planners figured they were just like the ones in England. Ended up being a major factor in the battle.
    2. British manpower strains dictate their method of battle. They were not going to increase in numbers of troops, D-Day marked the high water mark for them. Casualties were a major concern and pushed them towards tank heavy formations as the casualties were generally lower for amror formations (tanks themselves getting chewed up instead of troops).
    3. Germans hold major formations up at Calais expecting a second invasion up to the middle of July.
    4. Carpet bombing used with varying levels of success. Sometimes excellent (Operation Cobra), sometimes poor (Operation Goodwood). Also, several cases of "Blue on Blue" due to bombers dropping short and hitting allied troops. General McNair, highest ranking US Officer killed in WW2 died due to bombing short.
    5. Attempt on Hitler's life makes German commanders nervous about who is looking over their shoulders after July 22nd. Not an obvious or major factor, but something that was in their minds.
    6. Expansion of American military power to the point that they become the larger partner in the Allied force in NW Europe and become the dominant planner.
    7. Attempts to create harbors (Mulberries) on the Normandy coast were successful but ultimately, less than crucial. The US Mulberry was destroyed in the storm of June 19th (thereafter the Americans just offloaded straight onto the beach with few problems) while the British Mulberry was damaged but repaired.

    Normandy came down to resupply. Who could do it faster and more effectively. Could the Allies send troops, equipment and material from England faster than the Germans could bring it in from Europe. In the end, the Allies won this hands down. The Allies just kept replacing lost or damaged allied product while the Germans had no chance of doing so. After a while, especially with Hitler's "not one step back" order, the Germans were facing a situation where things just fell apart as the Allied power could attack everywhere on an expanding front while the Germans couldn't cover everywhere.

    The end result was the collapse and Failaise Gap event.
     
  6. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    As mentioned by Sys, Lohn Lundstrom's "The First Team" will do it for you on Coral Sea as well as Midway. You will have a hard time putting it down. A very good reference on Overlord is John Keegan's "Six Armies in Normandy." This is from D-Day to the liberation of Paris. It will give you insight on all the armies of all the nations involved, Americans, Canadians, English, Germans, Poles and French. Keegan is possibly the foremost military historian in the world today.
     
  7. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Excellent points on the logistics, I'll be sure to included those when I start on it.
     
  8. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Great book. Good call Ren. A very good addition to anyone's library.
     
  9. DBII

    DBII Active Member

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    Sounds like he wants you to cover to many subjects. I would try and narrow the subject down to either the bulid up to the landing or the landing through the brake out. You may want to include something about the USN's role, the army gets all of the press. The battelships and destroyers came in close to shore to help the soldiers stranded on the beaches. BB-35 sent launches out to resupply the Rangers and recover their wounded. Some of the landing craft made multiple trips to the beachs. The planing was amazing, stockpiling equipment, troop build up, training missions for everyone. I have a copy of the Action Report for BB-35 somewhere. I will give you the link if I can find it.

    DBII
     
  10. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    As for Normandy, dont forget to mention operation Dragoon in S France, and how it seled the fate of the Germans in France.

    Also, as part of the logistics, you must more then mention the importance of the allies intended seizure of the French ports. Thye had to have them to ease the logistics burden of supplying the armies once they started to get out of the immediate Normandy area.
     
  11. DBII

    DBII Active Member

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    I could not open the Action Report link. You may want to try later. Let us know how the project goes.

    New Page 1

    DBII
     
  12. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Well, I have a week break coming up, so that's a good time to work on it. Thanks for the advice.
     
  13. diddyriddick

    diddyriddick Active Member

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    Timshatz beat me to the punch, though I've not read Beevor's book yet. Carlo d'Este's Decision in Normandy: The Unwritten Story of Montgomery and the Allied Campaign is excellent, though and covers many of the same themes. D'Este also discusses Montgomery's successes and failures there in depth. His conclusions were a little bit surprising, at least to me.
     
  14. MFH

    MFH New Member

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    Another good book by John Lundstrom covering Coral Sea (and Midway) is Black Shoe Carrier Admiral. It does a good job of conveying just how bad Allied logistics and communications were at that time.

    Supposedly the 1990 printing of The First Team has a reworked Coral Sea chapter, if you can find it.

    I highly recommend both books.

    Another good book with stuff on Coral Sea Midway (from the Yorktown's perspective anyway) is That Gallant Ship by Robert J. Cressman.
     
  15. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    In addition to logistics, I'd make sure to mention the contributions of the other countries, like Canada and Australia. England and the US get all of the press, it seems (I may be a bit biased, since most books printed/sold in the US will be about the US). Second the recommendation on Keegan's book, its excellent! The deceptions that kept Hitler convinced that the landings would be north would also make for a very good topic, as well as Rommel's defenses and his massive buildup of the Atlantic wall that, given several more months' time, could have stopped the Allies flat. As mentioned before, the Normandy campaign was a very vast, very broad topic, which should give you a LOT of leeway to write a paper! Comprehensive coverage of all aspects would require a publisher, I think! :lol:
     
  16. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    The Poles also deserve a huge mention for the Falaise Gap
     
  17. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Don't worry guys, I'm going to include as many nationalities that fought as I can. There's no way I'm gonna be an Amero-centric with this.
     
  18. senji

    senji New Member

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    Im kinda curious how the paper turned out for you. Let us know when you find out wont ya?
     
  19. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Sure thing, but the paper's not due for another week.
     
  20. schwarzpanzer

    schwarzpanzer Member

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    If you want tech info on the equipment used, then I can try to help - from brief overviews comparisons, to more detailed stuff. Infantry Small Arms, Tanks etc. Aircraft I can do too possibly, but you'll probably find better elsewhere on here. I know too well the value of 'padding' in essays.:lol:

    Are you going as far as the Ardennes Offensive? (Battle of the Bulge)


    Hi timshatz,

    Le Bocage? - a knightmare! Though it did help the Allies in parts...

    I heard some hated being near tanks: "We soon found out they fired at those things with bigger guns than they normally fired at us with!" - or something like that.

    Infantry-tank co-operation finally came into play in the Bocage though, with tank-riders - similar to the Soviet style.

    The Panzers had to keep their heads down because of the dreaded 'Jabos' (fighter-bombers).

    Do you think the 'darent wake Hitler thing' was a myth?


    Please dont forget the DD swimming Sherman tanks?:D
     
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