Posted: November 27th, 2013
Analysis of General Eisenhower and his Actions during WWII
The Second World War is considered the bloodiest and most military intensive war that man has ever experienced. The war involved England and nations allied to it fighting the nation of Germany. Germany had taken on a major mission, attempting to conquer the entire world starting with Europe. The Germans faulted the world for the major economic hardship that they were undergoing. The treaty of Versailles, which imposed numerous sanctions against the country, also compounded their conflict with the world.
Germany’s campaign was finally crushed through a carefully planned invasion and attack by the allies that were led by army General Dwight D. Eisenhower (Ambrose, 2001). The general was the allies’ supreme commander in the Second World War and the subsequent D-Day attack. The general went on to serve as the chief of general staff for the United States of America armed forces and later on became the president of the United States of America, a position he served for two terms (Ambrose, 2001).
The allied forces triumphed against Germany because of a series of carefully thought out and efficiently executed decisions. During the war, the Soviet Republic under Joseph Stalin joined hands with the United States of America under president Franklin D. Roosevelt and the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in an attempt to stop Hitler, the leader of the nation of Germany and the Nazis in general. One of the greatest strengths of the allies was their ability to coherently work as a unit and reach decisions amicably. The allies had agreed to make the war on Germany a priority, if the war in the pacific was to be won. They also concurred that it was necessary to open a second front.
This was necessary because German forces had already invaded parts of Russia and mounted an invasion on the Soviet State. The German invasion of the Soviet State and their pursuit of Moscow had dealt a major blow on Russia’s armed forces. Russia had suffered a heavy toll in terms of human casualties and recourses in order to defend their land. One advantage that Russia had that prevented the German army from attaining complete victory was the harsh weather conditions that characterized the lands of Russia at the time. During this time, Russia was experiencing one of the coldest winters characterized by snowstorms and blizzards. This proved to be a major hurdle to the German forces because most of their soldiers suffered cold related ailments. The harsh terrain on the southwestern frontier made it hard for the Germans to move their armies with ease.
One weakness that the allied forces had was that they hard a shortage of army personnel. Since America is not physically located in Europe and the expanse distance between the two, it proved to be a hurdle to have sufficient military recourses on standby ready for an invasion (Ambrose, 2001). The United States of America did not have the necessary military recourses stationed in Europe at the time for them to mount a successful invasion overseas. This was overcome by delaying the invasion dates so that the United States of America could have sufficient time to ship entire fleets across the pacific sea to Europe.
When the above hurdle was overcome by having America sheep entire fleets across the pacific, the allies had the advantage of having enough military recourse for mounting an invasion in Europe at several points. At that time, Germany had already strained much of its armada. This would make it difficult for it to spread the army in different areas and mount a sufficient defense attempt. The allies proceeded to mount an attack on Germany from several fronts. This involved planning and executing attacks in both Europe and northern Africa. In the year nineteen forty two on the month of November, the allies staged an attack in northern Africa in three fronts in the areas of Casablanca, Oran, and Algiers. This attack proved successful, as the enemy forces did not offer much resistance. The allied forces then proceeded to mount an offensive and the subsequent success at El Alamein. The landing on the northern African coast was necessary for a successful invasion on the southern coast of Europe.
Another advantage that the allied forces had over the German’s was that they had a substantial source of financial recourses to fund their military offensive. The United States of America did not engage itself in the First World War as opposed to many industrialized nations at the time. This led to having a chance to improve its economy and military power. Nations like Germany on the other hand did not have enough time to recover from the effects of the First World War. During the Second World War, Germany had directed all its resources for military use. Industries were being converted to manufacture artillery and tanks. All the labor force was either being used to serve as army personnel or military related service. This ended up in causing a strain in the nation’s economy as the nation’s production was halted in order to fuel the war.
The delay for the invasion that took up to a year ended up being an advantage for the allies. The allies were able to gather necessary information for battle. The armies had conducted sufficient research on the weather patterns, the topography of the land and the positions of the German forces that had invaded France. The allies had sufficient time to gather sufficient equipment and army personnel from all the allied forces. Military equipment and personnel had been gathered from as far as the United States of America, Canada, Great Britain, France and other allied nations. These troops were strategically positioned in the southern coast of Europe where the operation dubbed “Operation Overlord” was to be executed. The troops had utilized the delay to perform the necessary practice and exercise in readiness for the most anticipated action against Normandy.
The allied forces had the advantage of having two strategic locations on where to launch their attacks. The two locations were Normandy and Pas de Calais, in France. Pas de Calais, France was an area situated near southern England. The proximity of this place to the enemy territory was advantageous in that the allied forces could carry out aerial attacks through bombers. The bombers would bombard the enemy forts weakening them in the process. Normandy was a region that was a bit further from England but was settled on because it was less defended.
Another obstacle that the allied troops faced was that the German troops had gathered up a formidable force against the invasion. The German forces had dug up bunkers along the shoreline in anticipation of an attack from the southern coast. Thousands of army personnel had been placed in these bunkers in strategic positions to fight off any enemy forces. The shoreline was littered with barbed wire and land mines to prevent the allied forces from landing ashore.
This was however counteracted by the military strength of the allied forces. The execution of “Operation Overlord” on the D-Day involved the use of an armada of close to four thousand ships; the air force consisted of eleven thousand airplanes. This was inclusive of fighter jets and bombers. The ground crew consisted of close to three million soldiers. This was necessary because General Dwight D. Eisenhower had earlier stated that the operation had to be efficiently executed and the invasion had to be completely successful on the D-Day. Failure to this, would lead the allied forces into a full retreat.
The invasion proved to be great success for the allied forces although it came at a great cost. After the war, the United States of America reported a death toll of four thousand nine hundred troops with the overall death toll of the allied troops being one hundred and fifty five thousand troops on the first day of fighting. This success opened the interior regions to the allied troops where they continued to fight the German forces. This led to the surrendering of the German forces in less than a year later.
Ambrose, S. (2001). The Victors, Eisenhower and His Boys: the Men of world war two. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.
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