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fm Page 584 Thursday, July 12, 2007 11:26 AM Page 584 Tuesday, June 20, 2006 4:03 PM

Events That Changed

the World
D-Day In the earliest hours of June 6, 1944, the Allies launched a
surprise invasion of Normandy in France—the largest
Objectives amphibious, or land and water, invasion in history. More
■ Identify the obstacles that Allied forces than 156,000 Allied troops crossed the English Channel.
encountered in reaching and gaining Thousands of these troops landed on the beaches, fighting
control of the beaches of Normandy. and clawing their way up the steep cliffs under heavy
German fire. Paratroopers dropped from the sky. By the end
■ Evaluate the resources the Allies
of the day, about 2,500 men had given their lives. But by
brought to the landing and how those
August, the Allies had made their way to Paris and freed it
resources contributed to its success. from German control.
 Allied troops landed at five Normandy beaches,
Overcoming Hitler’s Defenses at Normandy code-named Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword.
Build Background Knowledge L3
Ask students to name major turning 11,590 Allied aircraft fly
points in the war. (Battles of Coral Sea 14,674 sorties (missions)
and Midway, El Alamein, the invasion of to protect the invading troops.
Italy, Battle of Stalingrad) Then explain
Nearly 7,000 Allied ships 10,000 Allied vehicles land.
that D-Day belongs on this list as well head for Normandy.
since it launched a new front in the More than 132,000 troops
west—forcing the Germans to commit land on the beaches.
resources and troops to yet another
area—and proved that German troops
could not keep the Allies out of France.

Instruct L3
■ Direct students’ attention to the map at
the top of the left-hand page. Ask What
is the purpose of this map? (to show
where Allied troops left Britain and
where they landed in France) In what Underwater obstacles
German naval mines to impale landing craft
part of France did they land? (Nor-
mandy) What were the code names
of the beaches on which they  British special forces storm the beach.
landed, and which Allied troops Allied troops faced daunting obstacles on
had responsibility for which D-Day. Naval mines threatened ships trying to
beach? (Americans—Utah and land. Steel obstacles on the beaches could rip
the bottoms out of landing craft at high tide.
Omaha; British—Gold and Sword; The Germans waited atop the steep cliffs.
■ Ask volunteers to read aloud the cap-
tions that describe the obstacles the
Allies faced on D-Day. Ask Which facts
are the most impressive or star-
tling? (Answers will vary but should
show an appreciation for the vast num-
ber of ships, planes, troops, and equip-
ment the Allies amassed as well as the
serious dangers they encountered before
and on the beaches.)
Solutions for All Learners

L1 Special Needs L2 Less Proficient Readers L2 English Language Learners

For visual learners and students who need help with that the diagram moves from left to right and can be
basic skills, direct their attention to the diagram titled divided roughly into quarters. Ask four volunteers to
Overcoming Hitler’s Defenses at Normandy. Remind explain what the Allies are doing and what obstacles
students that the diagram shows the many obstacles they have to overcome in each quarter. (For example,
that Allied troops faced on D-Day as they worked to on the far left, the Allies are approaching Normandy on
overcome Hitler’s Defenses at Normandy. Tell students ships but must avoid German naval mines.)

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Allied Troop Strengths Independent Practice

and Casualties on D-Day
To enrich and extend
Country Troops Estimated
the lesson, have students access this
unit’s History Interactive map, audio, and
United States 73,000 6,603
slide show at Web Code nbp-2932. Ask
Britain 61,715 2,700
volunteers to describe the photos and
Canada 21,400 946
summarize the first-person accounts.
Allied Total 156,115 10,249
Have them write a response to the follow-
*includes those killed, wounded, missing, and captured
SOURCE: The D-Day Museum Online
ing question: What actions have you
seen and heard about that required
an impressive amount of bravery and
sacrifice from the Allied attackers?
 Wounded Allied soldiers after the battle

Monitor Progress
To check students’ understanding of
D-Day, have them create a chart with the
23,500 Allied airborne following headings: Allied Goals, Allied
Fortified German bunkers troops parachute in to Resources, German Defenses, Outcome.
for machine guns protect the beachhead
from German attacks. Then have them fill in the chart with the
appropriate information.

Obstacles placed in
flat fields to deter
landing planes

Rocks, seawall, and

steep 150-foot cliffs Minefields and Entrenched enemy troops
topped with barbed wire anti-tank ditches and tank divisions

Thinking Critically
 Omaha Beach at the end of D-Day
1. Chart Skills Which of the Allies suffered
the greatest losses on D-Day?
2. Draw Conclusions Why do you think the
D-Day landings were made on beaches
instead of at established harbors?
3. Diagram Skills What do you think was the
greatest obstacle the Allies had to overcome
on D-Day? Explain.

For: interactive map, audio, and more

Web Code: nbp-2932

History Background Thinking Critically

1. the United States
Fooling the Nazis The Normandy invasion suc- expected Allied invasion of France would be aimed at 2. There were so many ships and troops that
ceeded in part because of an elaborate trick. In the Calais. All this information, though, was an elaborate established harbors would have become con-
spring of 1944, German intelligence units photo- hoax. The oil refinery, jeeps, tanks, and military bases gested, slowing down the operation and lead-
graphed “secret” Allied operations in southern were all fakes. The radio messages, which were meant ing to confusion.
England that included jeeps and tanks, busy army to be intercepted, contained false information. When 3. Answers will vary. Students may point to any
bases, and a new oil refinery at Dover, across the the real invasion took place at Normandy, many Ger- one of the obstacles shown, including German
English Channel from the French city of Calais. Based man units were stationed at Calais, waiting for the naval mines, cliffs topped with barbed wire, or
on this information—and on intercepted Allied radio attack that never came. minefields. They may also cite the logistics of
messages—the Germans concluded that the long- such an enormous mission.