In England across the English Channel from France, there waited the greatest invasion fleet of all time. Transports, battleships, mine sweepers, destroyers, landing craft and many others were waiting to be launched. Many troops were there too, as they were training for their experience. Planes were being set up along with the paratroopers, tanks, and boats. Something fishy was going on for the Allies.
The invasion was Operation Overlord, and was lead by General Dwight D. Eisenhower. He lead over 150,000 men, 1,500 tanks, 5,300 ships and 12,000 planes. This wasn't any other invasion. This was the invasion that would decide the outcome of the war. But this invasion wouldn't have been successful if the enemy knew where it would be. The invasion had to be a secret, and the place of the troops and the landing area where the troops would be deployed should be secret also.
The Allies set up a phantom army that set busy 19 German divisions. The radios helped out by pointing out where these men would land. Leaks had to be prevented, and traveling wasn't allowed. Mail was halted, and ten miles of southwest England was closed off to the public.
Germany knew there would be an attack, but they didn't know where. Hitler had 60 German divisions in France. Eight of them were guarding the beaches. These beaches included Normandy, Cotentin and Brittany. Hitler believed the attack could be at Normandy, so he set up extreme defenses on the beach along with great manpower. Field Marshal Rommel was in charge of setting up the coastal defenses of the Atlantic Wall(a heavy line of fortifications along the beaches of France). During the spring of 1944, Rommel ordered troops, labrorers, and prisoners to build the beach obstacles, lay mines, build concrete fortifications, build Rommelspargel(heavy thornlike obstacles that prevented planes from landing), and many others. The Germans were ready for an attack, but didn't know when it would come.
The weather was the Allies biggest enemy during the preperations of D-Day. The Allies were going to launch their attack on June 5, 1944 at 4 a.m., but the weather was extremely bad. The waves were great, and the landing crafts might sink. There would also be no air support, and naval fire wouldn't be that great. Eisenhower sat stunned, and had to decide. His decision was a 24 hour delay. Eisenhower's decision was wise, because on June 5, at the time of the expected invasion, the waves almost reached hurricane proportions. Eisenhower once again studied the weather on June 6. It was supposed to be better; not far better, but better.
Eisenhower sat there for a moment. He thought of what would happen, what could happen, and how it would happen. Eisenhower even wrote two versions of a speech for D-Day just in case it wasn't a success. It would be a hard decision for Eisenhower. But, after a few moments, Eisenhower stated,