Winston Churchill's War

The fatal design flaw in Hitler's D-Day defences

In June 1944, the time for Operation Overlord had finally arrived. After years of debate and Winston Churchill's numerous objections and peripheral campaigns, the Allies were about to launch the second front in France. An attack operation that Stalin had long called for. On the outcome of Operation Overlord, depended the fate of the entire war. Churchill said "the hour of our greatest effort and action is approaching. We march with valiant allies who count on us as we count on them the flashing eyes of all our soldiers, sailors and airmen must be fixed upon the enemy on their front and when the signal is given the whole circle of avenging nations will hurl themselves upon the foe and better out the life of the cruellest tyranny which I had ever sought to bar the progress of mankind'.

If successful overlord and the campaign that followed would mean the liberation of France and the chance to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany. Operation Overlord offered Adolf Hitler his last just credible opportunity of the war to turn the tide against the allies he had a scenario not a very convincing one but just possible whereby if he could throw the allies back into the sea when they invaded then he could shift all his important voices above all the panzer divisions back to the eastern front smash the Russians and then come and deal with the Americans the British at leisure haunted by failed amphibious operations of the past.

Winston Churchill retired the evening before d-day burdened by fears he told clementine that by the time she woke 20,000 men may have been killed the german defensive strategy against the seaborne attack lay in the Atlantic wall fortified with mines and barbed wire the wall had taken years to construct. Hitler was so invested in the details of the wall he even designed the bunker systems but as a defence, it proved to be fatally flawed. (S1E4)