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D-Day

“Churchill and Roosevelt: The Struggle over D-Day Alternatives”

By Edward E. Gordon and David Ramsey

The special relationship between Great Britain and the United States was key to the development and execution of the Normandy campaign. It began with the close collaboration of Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin D. Roosevelt even before America’s entrance into the war. During 1940 and 1941 the two countries developed very close ties as German victories threatened all of Europe. Their joint military and logistical planning foreshadowed their ultimate alliance.1

The Debate Begins

D-Day’s seeds were first planted on Dunkirk’s beaches. Almost from the day in 1940 when the British and French forces were evacuated from France, the British began to consider where, when, and how they would return to free northwestern Europe from Nazi occupation. Much of this speculation was premature. Only when the United States dropped its neutrality would the combined manpower and firepower of Britain and America be available to guarantee the success of such a massive amphibious invasion of northwestern Europe. However it still remained very difficult for the Allies to decide on when and where to launch this invasion.

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