Battle Analysis: Operation Overlord
Operation Overlord is the codename given to the Allied invasion of Normandy in 1944. Though the Operation did not start until June 6, 1944, otherwise known as D-Day, the production and planning began two years ahead of time, and the buildup of supplies in England a year ahead of time. Three million Allied personnel were ready to support the operation by the day of the invasion. It included over 5,000 ships and crafts, over 170,000 soldiers, 20,000 vehicles, 1,500 tanks, and 12,000 planes. This Allied success is one of the largest and most memorable operations in World War II history that required intense planning and utilization of principles of war. Such principles included objective, simplicity, surprise, offensive, mass, maneuver, and economy of force.
The first principles of war used in this operation were objective and simplicity. On a big picture scale, the U.S. strategic objective was to defeat Germany first, which involved a full-scale invasion of Europe. The operational objective was to establish a firm foothold in France from which to carry out further operations in Europe and, ultimately, defeat the Germans. The focus of this operational objective was to force the Germans across the natural barrier of the Seine River and, from there, regroup and resupply for advancement towards Germany. The operational objectives also included strategic bombing of France months before the invasion as well as airborne assault the night before the amphibious invasion. The simplicity and clarity of the commander’s intent was conveyed to subordinates and inspired confidence in the troops. Everyone understood the objective and the commander’s intent, which was the key to the success of Operation Overlord.
Surprise was a huge part of the success of Operation Overlord. Many deception plans were used to confuse the Germans as to the date and location of an Allied invasion. A key factor that enabled the Allies to surprise and deceive...