D Day Resource Packet

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Cantigny First Division Foundation,First Division Museum at Cantigny. Colonel Robert R McCormick Research Center,Dear Educator. This resource packet is designed to provide primary resources for your classroom related. to the invasion of Normandy France beginning D Day 6 June 1944 It includes oral histories. letters photographs maps newspaper articles and other documents related to the soldiers of. the 1st Infantry Division who landed on Omaha Beach. The oral histories diaries and memoirs have been edited for both length and clarity Other. documents in the packet are either scans or replicas of the originals In these cases the text has. not been edited, The packet has been designed to allow each document to stand alone or be used in conjunction. with other documents Included are lesson plans that incorporate multiple sources as well as. discussion questions that go with each individual document. Please remember all sources are for classroom use only Any other use requires permission. from the Colonel Robert R McCormick Research Center or the Chicago Tribune for. newspaper articles In addition these documents are related to war and can be graphic Please. review all the documents before you have your students use them. If you have any questions about the resource packet please contact the Education Department. at 260 8183 or 260 8274 If you need any further research assistance please contact the. Colonel Robert R McCormick Research Center at 260 8223. First Division Museum at Cantigny Education Department. 1 South 151 Winfield Road Wheaton IL 60187 6097 Ph 630 668 5185 Fax 630 260 9298. Web Site http www rrmtf org firstdivision, First Division Museum D Day Resource Packet Contents. 1 John Thompson Tribune Writer Tells of Scene on Invasion Eve Chicago Daily. Tribune 7 June 1944, Provides a description of the preparations for the invasion.
2 John Thompson Doughboys Get the Glory For Allies Success Chicago Daily. Tribune 9 June 1944, A journalist s account of the landing on Omaha Beach. 3 John Thompson Tribune Writer Watches Yanks Win A Village Chicago Daily Tribune. 10 June 1944,A report of fighting as the troops pushed inland. 4 Eisenhower s Letter 5 June 1944, A letter given to all service members prior to the invasion. 5 Oral History Lieutenant John Spaulding E Company 16th Infantry 1st Infantry Division. A very detailed account of the initial landings and movement off the beaches. 6 Oral History Captain Joseph Dawson G Company 16th Infantry 1st Infantry Division. A very detailed account of the initial landings and movement off the beaches. 7 Memoirs Sergeant Ed Ireland B Company 745th Tank Battalion attached 1st Infantry. A tanker s view of the landings and early hedgerow fighting. 8 Oral History Staff Sergeant Walter D Ehlers K Company 18th Infantry 1st Infantry. An infantry soldier s account of the landings as well as early hedgerow fighting. 9 Platoon Diary Intelligence and Reconnaissance Platoon 16th Infantry 1st Infantry. A platoon s description of their landing an early fighting. 10 Captain Joseph Dawson Letter 16 June 1944,A letter home after being wounded on D Day. 11 Letter Colonel S B Mason 1st Infantry Division Chief of Staff to Rear Admiral John L. Hall Eleventh Amphibious Force, An analysis of the effects of naval supporting fire on D Day.
12 Photograph Packet Contains 10 U S Army and Navy photographs. 13 Abbreviations and Vocabulary provides definitions for words acronyms and. abbreviations in the packet, 15 Lesson Plans lesson ideas and discussion questions. 16 Sources, First Division Museum D Day Resource Packet Background Information. D Day Background Information,Europe in 1944, In 1944 most of Western Europe was under Axis control including France Belgium the Netherlands. Denmark Czechoslovakia Austria Hungary Poland and Yugoslavia Germany conquered France in. 1940 forcing an unconditional surrender In 1942 they began preparations against any future invasions. of the French Coast The coast became known as the Atlantic Wall which included many coastal. barriers to help the Germans push an invading army back into the English Channel. German Defenses, The German Army fortified the French Coast for the Allied invasion by creating a line of defenses that. was intended to stop the Allied invasion on the beaches By 1944 the German Army was engaged. with the Russians on the Eastern front and the Americans and British in Italy Field Marshall Rommell. felt that if the Germans were going to stop an Allied invasion of France it would have to be on the. beaches To do this the German Army placed a mass of obstacles in the channel to disrupt an enemy. landing The most common types of obstacles were hedgehogs tetrahedra stakes and Belgian gates. many of them mined Further inland large stakes with mines were placed in fields to interfere with. airborne landings,Allied Planning, The Allied invasion of Normandy was a massive operation having taken two years to plan It required.
the coordination of Allied countries and multiple branches of their armed forces The Allies had certain. criteria in mind for the landing site They were looking for specific strategic points that would enable. the operation to succeed The beach had to be, near undamaged ports in South and Southwestern England. in the range of Allied fighter planes making runs from bases in England. near ports and airstrips that could be taken shortly after the invasion to assist in getting supplies. situated so that air attacks on railways and bridges could isolate the invasion area not allowing. the Germans to supply and reinforce their troops, Based on the above criteria the Allied planners chose a 50 mile stretch of beach along the Normandy. coastline on and east of the Contentin peninsula U S British and Canadian Forces made the invasion. on 5 beaches along the coast See map The U S invaded the western beaches code named Omaha. and Utah while the British attacked two eastern beaches Gold and Sword with the Canadians. in between at Juno Hours before the invasion both the U S and British armies dropped airborne. divisions behind the invasion beaches to disrupt communication and supply lines and secure strategic. First Division Museum D Day Resource Packet Background Information. The Invasion, The invasion was scheduled for 5 June 1944 but was delayed until 6 June because of poor weather At. midnight on the 6 June American and British paratroopers were dropped into France The weather. and poor visibility caused many of the paratroopers to be scattered however they were still able to. reach many of their objectives H Hour for the amphibious troops was 0630 Preceding this was a. half hour air and naval bombardment of the coastal defenses Unfortunately the effectiveness of the. bombardment was reduced due to poor visibility, After the naval and air bombardment the amphibious troops assaulted the five beaches Navy and. Coast Guard boatmen piloted the landing craft toward the beaches The infantry landed in various. landing craft up and down the Normandy coast and found varying levels of resistance As the troops. landed they began the long and difficult process of establishing beachheads in France. The 1st Division, The 1st Division landed on Omaha beach as part of Force O consisting of 34 000 men and 3 000.
vehicles Omaha beach was the most heavily fortified of the five beaches with the Germans well. entrenched in the cliffs overlooking the beach The combat engineers landed first to create gaps in. the obstacles Unfortunately many were cut down by German fire before they could detonate their. charges or disarm the many explosives placed in the channel The engineers suffered 41 casualties. during this first day, The infantry and vehicles followed the engineers but because so few gaps were made in the defenses. the infantry soldiers and tanks had a very difficult time getting ashore The landing craft often had to. let the men off in deep water forcing them to wade through great distances of water to reach the. beach Unable to reach shore many tanks and vehicles were lost in the channel All of this was in the. face of intense machine gun and artillery fire The 1st Division took Omaha Beach at the cost of 3 000. casualties, Overall the Allies invaded and secured five beachheads that day at the cost of approximately 10 000. casualties However this provided the Allies with the foothold they needed to begin the campaign. against Nazi held Europe, The term casualty is generally misunderstood as killed in action however the number includes those. killed wounded and missing in action, First Division Museum D Day Resource Packet Item 1 Chicago Daily Tribune 7 June 1944. TRIBUNE WRITER scope of this operation is beyond,superlatives In months of cover.
in their camouflaged helmets and,their bodies bulky with equipment. TELLS OF SCENE, ing the allied armies prepara against a background of rusting. tions for their task on this island anti invasion defenses which Brit. we have gained some knowledge of ain hastily erected in 1940 when. ON INVASION EVE the forces used,But the last few days in our load. she feared the Germans would,cross the channel, ing areas and ports have demon One by one each soldier walked. strated how hard the allies will thru the checking tent where his. Giant Array of Arms hit when they throw their full name was balanced against each. Backs up Attack weight against Hitler s fortified,ship s manifest Then they went on.
to the floating docks where Brit, This time no boys are being sent ish and American sailors loaded. to do a man s job There appears them aboard,The following dispatch was. written by a Tribune correspon to be no underestimation of the Among the troops on one inva. dent only a few hours before the enemy s potential With the expe sion ship was Sgt John Connors. allied invasion of Europe began rience of the Mediterranean cam of 7714 Morgana st Chicago Ac. Altho not released by censorship paigns behind them the allies are cording to an Associated Press. until H hour had passed it gives going against the Germans with dispatch he said I wish this tub. an intimate picture of the vast our heaviest power best weapons would get going Let s get it over. preparations for attack as wit and smartest tactics with and knock their teeth out. nessed by a war correspondent who Ships Loaded with Vehicles That s the way we feel and you can. saw the invasions of North Africa tell the folks back home that our. Sicily and Italy For miles back into the hinter morale was never better. lands the roads have been lined, with trucks and other mechanized At a near by port long lines of. BY JOHN THOMPSON, equipment But now those vehicles trucks jeeps ambulances guns. Chicago Tribune Press Service, are safely stowed aboard ship But and armor moved slowly but ahead.
AT AN INVASION PORT some, if the roads are relatively empty of schedule despite a shift in the. where in England June 6 Thou,now their abutting areas bulge tides. sands of soldiers of the American, army are pouring down the quay with supplies and ammunition Soldiers Wear New Jackets. sides onto landing craft or waiting carefully camouflaged and dis Their officers were pleased too. their turn as we sit here watching persed Other areas contain assem with the new combat jackets the. the beginning of the greatest inva bly camps soldiers wear instead of the old. sion ever attempted Previously we often heard com web equipment and cumbersome. Spread before us lie hundreds of bat troops speak bitterly of their pack These jackets which slip. warships loaded transports and fellows in service of supply But over the regulation field jackets. landing craft of all kinds await now the fighting men have noth are buckled across the front and. ing orders Other ships attached ing but praise for the way the contain pockets which distribute. to this force already have moved to static troops set up and ran these the soldier s heavy load and make. the assembly area marshalling areas for the men it much easier to carry. who will lead the assault Warplanes roar overhead in con. What we still can see is stag, gering Yet it is only a part of Those men are standing in long stant thunder on the way to and. one force and our force is only one lines waiting to board the trans from Europe Hundreds of small. phase of the entire operation In ports Sometimes they laugh and craft dart about the harbor while. almost every port in the United joke in typical American fashion along shore is the clatter of en. Kingdom scores of similar scenes More often their faces are stern in gines and winches. are involving American British full knowledge of their hard task And still long lines of battle. and other allied troops But this time as Maj Paul Gale clad American soldiers come down. of Lynn Mass who had been thru the quaysides loaded with explo. It s Beyond Superlatives, the Mediterranean campaigns sives to blast thru any defenses.
To those of us who have taken said they are better trained and which may escape our terrific air. part in or observed as correspon equipped than any of our troops and sea bombardment. dents the invasion of North Africa,British Defenses Rusting. the campaign in Tunisia or the Copyrighted 7 June 1944 Chicago Tribune Company. All Rights Reserved Used with Permission, invasions of Sicily and Italy the They make an incongruous sight. to the invasion of Normandy France beginning D Day 6 June 1944 It includes oral histories letters photographs maps newspaper articles and other documents related to the soldiers of the 1st Infantry Division who landed on Omaha Beach The oral histories diaries and memoirs have been edited for both length and clarity Other

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