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There were many D-Day invasions during the World War II. However, the most known D-day invasion is the D-day Invasion of Normandy that took place on June 6, 1944. The invasion was carried out by Allied forces made up of the United States of America, Britain, Canada and other countries. The invasion allowed the opening up of the second front in the Western Europe. This is hailed for marking the beginning of the end of the World War II. It is the popular opinion that the D-Day invasion main purpose was to liberate Western Europe from the Germany rule. Contrary to this believe, this paper argues that the success of D-day invasion curtailed the spread of Russian communism in Europe.

World War II

It is worthy understanding World War II in order to have a better perspective of the D-Day Invasion. World War II began when Poland was invaded by Germany with assistance from Russia on September 1, 1939. Prior to the invasion of Poland, on august 23, 1939, Russia and Germany had signed a non-aggression pact. The invasion of Poland outraged France and Britain. Consequently, Britain and France declared war on Germany. It took Germany about seventeen days to capture Poland. On May 8th, 1940, Germany invaded France and Low countries. The invasion was motivated by the need to get around the Maginot Line. The Maginot Line was a huge fortification that stretched the whole border between Germany and France. France was got by surprise and its army was forced to surrender on June 22, 1940. The Germans forced the British forces which were supporting France to retreat at the Dunkirk port. The British army was embraced by this retreat. To redeem their face, the British army started planning on how to take revenge through invasion of France and capturing it back from Germany. This was complicated by the presence of other aggressors. The U.S fleet at Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japan on December 7, 1941.  The next day the Congress declared war. Following this declaration, Italy and Germany declared war on the U.S three days later. With concerted effort of Britain, the US defeated Germany in North Africa and invaded Italy between 1942 and 1944. Two days prior to the D-Day invasion, the Allied forces captured Rome.

Meanwhile, in a code named Operation Barbarossa, an invasion of Russia was launched by Germany in June 1941. However, Russia managed to push the Germans back. Having been infuriated by the attempted invasion, Russia launched a counterattack on Germany in December 1941. The Russians requested help from British and the US to invade Western Europe. The U.S and Britain accepted the request. In a code named Operation Overload the Allied forces planned to invade Western Europe in order to liberate it from the Germans. Normandy was the initial step for the liberation efforts.

However, the invasion required a supreme commander. After deliberation for several months between the British and the Americans, General Dwight D. Eisenhower was chosen as the Supreme Commander. He was assisted by chiefs of staff who were British generals. The invasion point was contested between the the Americans and the British. Whereas British generals favored Normandy, the Americans favored Calais. Although Normandy was eventually chosen as the invasion point, Calais played a vital role in the success of the D-Day invasion. Dummy installations were erected on the Calais beaches by fictitious U.S. 1st Army which was led by General George S. Patton. This made the Germans to start speculating. 

Therefore, the Germans expected an invasion although they were unaware of the invasion point. Whereas some Germany commanders thought that the invasion would be on Norway, others led by Hitler felt that the invasion would take place at Calais. It is only Rommel (junior general) who thought the invasion would take place at Normandy. His opinion was rejected by von Rundstedt who was his senior. The errors in intelligence might have contributed to the successful defeat of the Germans during the D-Day invasion.

The Invasion

The Normandy invasion plan was complex. The invasion was to involve aerial and naval bombardment. Moreover, the plan was to drop paratroopers behind enemy lines. The Allied forces were to land at five beaches. The American forces were to land at the Utah and Omaha beaches while the British forces were to land at the Gold and Sword beaches. On the other hand, Canadian forces were to land at the Juno beach. The planned date for the invasion was June 5, 1944. However, bad whether delayed the invasion till June 6, 1944.

The initial invasion involved aerial and naval bombardment with 7,000 fleets. Three quarters of the naval was British while the remainder was made up of American and other Allied ships. The fleet was led by Admiral Ramsay. The aerial bombardment had 9,000 planes and half of them were American while the other half were British. There were many civilian casualties in the bombardment although the number was less than the initial estimate of 80,000 due to special leaflet which were air dropped to the French population. Although the bombardment was successful, the Germany forces were not completely decimated. Following the bombardment, paratroopers landed behind Normandy.

The paratroopers were able to flank the five beaches prior to the lands. They were also able to dismantle various artillery positions. Moreover, the paratroopers successful took the glider landing position that necessitated the arrival of supplies and reinforcements. A total of 18,000 paratroopers were successful placed behind the five beaches. This meant that the beach landings would succeed.

The beach landings on the western end took place at 6:30 A.M and at 7:30 on the eastern end. Some obstacles at the beaches had to be cleared before the landings. Sixteen paths for landing were initially anticipated for clearance although only five were successful cleared. One third of the supply team were shot prior to completing beach clearance. Various divisions landed on the D-day. Moreover, the artillery placement at Ponte du Hoc was attacked by three American Ranger companies. Despite the fact that many boats of the Allied forces encountered many obstacles including detonation by mines, the landing succeeded. The Americans at Omaha encountered a stiff fight from the German 352nd division. In spite this, the Americans prevailed. On the other hand, the Canadian and British forces had an easy time in fighting off the German 716th division. This division was comprised of Russian and Polish conscripts. The success of D-day marked the beginning of the Operation Overload.

In spite having over fifty divisions at Normandy, the Germany divisions lacked commanders on the D-Day since most of them were on weekend leave. Among this was Erwin Rommel. On hearing about the invasion, he came back although he was unable to convince Hitler to send in reinforcement. This is because Hitler did not think that this was the real anticipated invasion of the Allied forces.

The D-Day Invasion Success was a Blow to the Spread of Russian Communism

Although it is widely argued that the main reason for the D-Day invasion was to liberate Western Europe, there is much evidence to show that the invasion was motivated by the need to curtail the expansion of the Soviet in Western Europe. Thus, it can be argued that the main reason for the invasion was to prevent the expansion of Russian communism in Western Europe.

If Russia could have won the war against Germany it would have increased its territorial boundary in the Western Europe. In a meeting held in Teheran, Iran in November 1943, Joseph Stalin demanded that the Allies open a second front in Europe. This was supposed to help reduce the pressure on the Red Army by the Germans. Due to the large number of casualties that could accompany such a move, Churchill and Roosevelt were hesitant to support this opinion. Stalin did not however trust Churchill and Roosevelt. He felt that they might unite with Germany to destroy a communist system that existed in the Soviet Union at that time. This argument implies that Stalin new that the U.S. and Britain were opposed to the existence of a communist state, in that case the Soviet Union.  From this it can be inferred that Britain and the United States of America were not just compelled to carry out the D-Day invasion on the premise of liberating Western Europe from Adolf Hitler reign but rather for other reasons. As mentioned earlier, landing in Western Europe meant that many casualties would be encountered. Moreover, the call for the opening up of a second front started way back since Russia entered the war in 1941. It is surprising that it took the Allied forces three years to finally decide to invade the Germans in 1944. In fact the US and Britain had promised to carry the invasion in 1942 which was postponed to 1943. However, during the meeting in Teheran in 1943, there were no signs for an imminent invasion. This implies that the U.S and Britain were not interested in invading the Germans in France. Stalin felt that the failure to open up a second front was motivated by both political and military reason. It is likely that the decision to invade France was informed by the need to prevent the spread of communism ideologies in Western Europe since the U.S. and Britain were opposed to them. The opposition to communism was suspected in the foreign policies which were being adopted by America and Britain since the October Revolution. These policies convinced Stalin that the U.S and Britain were interested in destroying the Soviet Union which had communism system. Thus, the invasion cannot be argued to have been prompted by the need to liberate Western Europe from the reign of the Germans.

The decision to carry out by the D-Day invasion might have been necessitated by the realization that Russia was most likely to defeat the Germans. Thus, the Western Allies feared that communism would spread in Western Europe once the Germans were defeated by the Russians. Consequently, curtailed this imminent spread of communism by agreeing to carry out the D-Day invasion and open the second front. Even though Russia appreciated the fact that the Red Army would face immense pressure from the Germans if the US and Britain withdrew from the war, there were signs that showed that Russia might have won the war by defeating the Germans in the long run. It is widely argued that the Western Allies were initially opposed to the opening up of a second front in France because they were wanted the Russian and Germany forces to exhaust their military resources before they would come to establish domination in the Western Europe at a low cost. This notion can be illustrated by what William R. Keylor wrote saying,

Defenders of the Soviet Union have detected a cynical motive behind this Anglo-American hesitation, namely, the desire to see Russia bled white while her Western allies conserved their military and economic resources in order to step in at the last moment to replace defeated Germany and preempt exhausted Russia as a dominant power on the continent.

This might explain why the US and Britain only agreed to help Russia in 1941 when they realized that the Soviet Union was likely to survive the Germany attacks. Thus, the two countries felt that Russia would be playing an instrumental role in realizing victory against the Germans. One would pose and ask why the help only on realizing imminent victory.  The argument that Western Allies were interested in minimizing the influence of Russian communism system in the Western region can provide a reasonable answer to this. This can be reinforced by the fact that both Britain and the U.S were in agreement that their victory against Germany depended on the survival of the Soviet Union. This could explain their constant supply of material to the Soviet Union. However, it is ironical that the U.S and Britain contemplated victory over Germany yet they were not actively involved in fighting them. This illustrates Keylor’s argument that the two countries wanted Russia and Germany to exhaust their resources and then takeover the region from them. It can thus be inferred that the Western Allies were interested in defeating both Russia and Germany. First, they were interested in defeating German in order to curtail the Nazi regime and second, to defeat Russia in order to curtail the spread of communism. The plan to defeat Russia can be illustrated by the so called Operation Unthinkable which was drawn to conquer the Soviet Union even though it was abandoned on realizing its inability to be successful.

 In fact the help at this time, 1941, was only in form of material supply such as weapons and ammunitions to the Soviet Union. In spite being urged to open up a second front, the Western Allies did not take heed until when they realized in 1943 that the Russians were likely to defeat Germans in the long run. Although this assertion is not clearly stated, but given the comments made about Stalin’s ability to make military strategies, it seems Churchill and Roosevelt realized from the 1943 meeting that with such strategies Russia might emerge victorious against the Germans and hence dominate the Western Europe. Domination of Western Europe by Russia could have meant that the region might have been influenced by the communism ideologies. Based on this argument it can be inferred that Britain and the U.S finally agreed to open a second front only after realizing imminent victory for Russia and hence their motive was to reduce Russian influence after the war.

From the outset, Operation Overlord had two well known reasons although only the first is well known. The known reason was to defeat the Germans and liberate Western Europe and the occupy Germany. However, the other reason was to ensure that the Soviet Union did not occupy Germany whole and spread its communism regime westward. This reason might have been what motivated the Western Allied forces to ensure that the D-Day invasion succeeds.

It was inevitable that the Western Allies had to win the D-Day invasion or they risked Russia abandoning them. This is because fears were rife that defeat of the Allied forces could lead to cooperation between Germany and Russia which could have been disastrous for the region. This fear was based on mistrust for Stalin who considered his Western Allies as being treacherous. This could have influenced the famous historian Martin Malia note in which he said,

... Stalin had no moral or ideological preference for the democracies over the fascist powers. Both were 'imperialists' mortally hostile to the Soviet Union, and someday, therefore, conflict with both was inevitable. The only question was what imperialist camp was more dangerous at any given moment; consequently, alignment with one or the other was no more than a question of expediency.

This argument was based on the fact that it would have been much more difficult to organize for another invasion. This is because the invasion consumed a lot of resources. Having learned from experiences of the World War I, it was likely that Russia could have retreated to collaborate with Germany to the detriment of America whose agenda was to be the arsenal of democracy in the west.


The D-Day invasion of June 6, 1944 had everlasting impact in the European history and maybe the world allover. Although the invasion is said to have been motivated by the mere fact of bringing liberation to Western Europe, this paper has argued that the main aim of the invasion was to keep the proliferation of communism in Western Europe in check. From the events of the world war II, it seems that the U.S and Britain were reluctant to deploy their forces to fight Adolf Hitler’s forces in France. This happened in spite the Americans and the British anticipating to win the war against the Germans. It beats logic to argue that the Americans would win the war without actively participating in it. The only possible explanation for their reluctance was that they wanted the Germans and the Russians to fight until their resources were exhausted before intervening to takeover Western Europe. It should be noted that the Allied forces only agreed in 1941, to provide material assistance to Russia after it was imminent that Russia would survive the attack by Germans. It is a fact that Britain and the U.S detested the Nazi regime as much as they detested the communism system in the Soviet Union. This could explain why the U.S and Britain delayed military intervention to help Russia win the war. It seems like the 1943 meeting between Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill marked the turning point for the decision to invade France and end the Germany reign. Evidence emerging from the meeting indicates that Stalin had well articulated strategy to defeat the Germans. Based on this, it might be argued that the U.S and Britain might have realized that the Russians could have emerged victorious in the long run. This speculation might have influenced the decision by the allied forces to invade France. The Allied forces invaded France with a sole aim of winning because they knew that defeat would mean that Russia might turn around and collaborate with the Germany. This could have been disastrous. Therefore successful D-Day invasion meant that the Nazi regime was defeated and the Russian proliferation was kept in check. Thus, the D-Day invasion had far reaching implications which have shaped today’s history. First, the invasion brought liberation to the Western Europe region and an end to the Nazi reign that was oppressive. Second, the communism system was put in check and hence capitalism system dominated.

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