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JUNE 5TH 1944 CALAIS, FRANCE
Field Marshal Von Rundstedt of the Wehrmacht stood at his operations table and surveyed the large map of England. Around him his operations staff silently stood and waited for Von Rundstedt to give his praise or corrections to the intricate plan that they had developed for the Wehrmacht. On the map the German 16th Army would launch their attack across the channel and hit the English towns of Ramsgate, Dover, Folkestone, and Bexhill. In the central area of France the German the German 9th Army would launch off their attacks against Brighton, Portsmouth and Ventnor. While in the southern part of France Army group C commanded by General Von Leeb would launch their attack from Cherbourg and hit Lyme Regis along the English coast. At the top of the map was the lable Unternehmen Seelowe, or Operation Sea Lion.
Back In the beginning of 1943 with the German Invasion of Russia going full bore, Stalin had suffered a serious heart attack brought on by the stress of the war, and by the numerous defeats that the Germans had inflicted on the Red Army. Stalin had died in his sleep a few days later from the complications caused by the stroke. This had forced the Red Army leadership to back several other individuals who had made a play for Stalin’s position of leadership of Russia. The Red Army had immediately signed a peace agreement and ceasefire with the Third Reich. The Reich had taken possession of all of Russia on a direct north/south line with Moscow in the center. Everything east of that was what was left of Russia.
This peace had freed up hundred of divisions of troops, thousands of aircraft, and thousands of Panzers, and other armored vehicles. All enabling the Führer to bring Operation Sealion off the Drawing Board. The months following this victory for German arms the necessary forces were hurried back west to the English Channel. Reichsmarshal Herman Göring, chief of the German air force, or Luftwaffe hurried the transfer of all of the aircraft he could back to the channel as well. All during the latter part of 1943 and into the winter of 1944 the reinforced Luftwaffe began to decimate the English Royal Air Force. They weren’t necessarily beat by a better quality pilot but by a higher quantity of aircraft. The RAF was, simply put, flooded by a tidal wave of German planes. By March of 1944 the Luftwaffe had declared air supremacy over the channel and eastern and southern England. The English Royal Navy had been, therefore, forced to move their remaining fleet units to the western coast of England to avoid their destruction as well. This left the English Channel wide open for a possible German invasion.
The English knew this and had secretly removed the entire British treasury and the crown jewels to Canada. The British Army, on the other hand, were caught trying to identify possible landing sites along the shores and to reinforce them with tank traps, barbed wire, mines, and machine gun bunkers and artillery guns. The British Army wasn’t under any delusions, though. They knew that if that they lost the battle at the shoreline to the Wehrmacht, then they would lose England.
Slowly the German armada was assembled throughout the month of May 1944. The early morning of June 6th 1944, the Luftwaffe dropped thousands of Paratroopers around Dover and Brighton, to block any rapid English reinforcement of the beachheads. Then just as daylight was approaching, the German armada came into view by the English troops on the shores along eastern England. Slowly the large ships of the German navy began to swing around for the pre-invasion bombardment. The battleships Bismark, Tirpitz, Scharnhorst, and Gneisenau. The heavy cruisers Admiral Hipper, and Admiral Scheer, Prinz Eugen. These ships began their bombardment at 4 AM June 6th. After two hours of furious firing by the capital ships big guns, Von Rundstedt gave the order to begin the invasion.
Hundreds of invasion barges began leaving the circular patterns that they had assumed prior to the ending of the bombardment. Many barges carried one or two Panzer V tanks to support the infantry assaults. Overhead, the roar of Luftwaffe planes could be heard as they strafed and bombed anything they found moving on the ground on and around the invasion beaches. The barges reached the shore disgorging their loads of grey-clad infantry, and the squeaking panzers.
The remaining British soldiers on the beaches were simply overwhelmed by superior numbers and superior firepower. Within four hours of the first barge landing the Wehrmacht had established a beachhead from Rochester to Southampton. The Invasion of England was off to a resounding success.
Meanwhile, unknown to the Third Reich, all along the east coast of the United States, a massive armada dwarfing the Germans in the channel was forming up. Over five thousand ships, all meant to reinforce England before she was lost. Silently the ships left ports and harbors along the coastlines, heading to sea to meet up at pre-appointed spots to form up into convoys. On board one of the ships, a liberty ship, sat General Dwight D. Eisenhower, commander of the relief fleet heading to England. He leaned against the railing looking out over the fleet with him and off towards England. “We are on our way cousins…hold out just a little longer.” He thought to himself.