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The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan

Autor:   •  April 11, 2011  •  Essay  •  2,306 Words (10 Pages)  •  1,407 Views

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The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan

In 1942 Hitler ordered the construction of a massive wall along the atlantic coast line. This was in hope of impeding an Allied attack on the western seaboard, it was to go from the Kirkenes to the Pyrenees. After the end of the African campaigns, Field Marshall Erwin Rommel was ordered to move Army group b to Normandy with responsibility of defending the French coast against the anticipated Allied invasion. He was to inspect and oversee the Atlantic wall's completion. After seeing the horrible state of the wall Rommel pushed the Atlantic wall from concept to reality working vigorously to complete it as quickly as possible. He had the German and French coast of the English Channel and their beaches filled with various defenses; pre-sited artillery, minefields, barbed wire and mine-tipped beach obstacles. Rommel then placed reinforced concrete bunkers and other heavy fortifications with coastal guns and machine gun nests, behind the beaches and along the countryside to stop any attackers who made it past the beaches. The German's 15th Army Intelligence unit had expert men and expert equipment they had intercepted a crucial two part coded message from the allies days before the invasion. The first part of the message was transmitted on the 1st of June "representing the first half of a message announcing the Anglo-american invasion" it was the message they had been waiting for. The head of the intelligence unit Lt. Col. Hellmuth Meyer informed the Fifteenth Army's chief of staff Maj. Gen. Rudolf Hofman that the message had come in, Hofman alerted the Fifteenth Army. Meyer had gone and passed the message on to Hitler's, Rommel's and Field Marshall Gerd Von Runstedt's Headquaters but all had assumed that the other would issue an alert. The Seventh Army the unit assigned to the coast went unnotified of the plans. Five days later the second part of the message came through just like the first had, Meyer had gone running out of the radio bunker to alert Hofman "the invasion would take place within forty eight hours." Again all high command headquarters were immediately notified and again the Seventh Army was left in the dark. Leaving the allied invaders with the edge of a surprise attack.

For the Allies the hugeness of the invasion was a staggereing endeavour. There were problems co-ordinating that many people and vehicles, as well as the enourmous logistical problems involved in supporting them with ammunition, fuel, food, water, clothing and communications. The entire operation was laced with intricate secret activities directed by codes "The apparent confusion was deliberate." The French underground resistance had been organizing


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