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Western Europe 1939-1945: D-Day

Why was D-Day successful?

D-Day was one of the most remarkable military campaigns in history. The Allies had to do in 1944 what Hitler had been unable to do in 1940, cross the Channel in the face of determined opposition.

Your task

Your task is to explain the factors that made D-Day a successful campaign. You have to complete your task in the form of a storyboard with captions. You can have a maximum of six scenes.

Or if you wish, you can use your own preferred video or graphics software.

Here are a few points and ideas that might come in handy..

  • Air superiority
  • Allied naval power
  • British Empire and US troops
  • Co-operation between Allied commanders
  • Intelligence Military resources of Allies
  • Poor decisions by Hitler
  • Technical ingenuity
  • Weaknesses of German forces

This photograph shows landing craft each with their balloon ready to move off for Normandy, June 1944. Balloons with radar reflectors were used to give a response on enemy radar equal to a 5000 ton ship

Catalogue ref: DEF 2/502

Landing craft with balloon sets off for Normandy; DEF 2/502

This photograph shows British commandos going ashore with bicycles in Normandy June 1944

Catalogue ref: DEF 2/502

British commandos land in Normandy; DEF 2/502

How does this source help us to understand why D-Day was successful?

  1. What do these photographs tell us about the preparations for D-Day?
  2. How do you think the troops in these photographs might have felt on landing in Normandy?
  3. How would you sum up the main value of this source to the historian?
  • Will you include this source in your storyboard?
  • If you do use it, what are the main points you will make in your caption?

Use this framework to plan your storyboard.

Now open the source box