Belfast Telegraph

Home Opinion Letters

The myths and facts regarding D-Day invasion

COLIN Crilly offers to fill "readers in on a few facts about D-Day" before producing a few myths instead.

Winston Churchill was not against the invasion and liberation of western Europe. In fact, he ordered planning for a return to the mainland to begin as early as October 1940, only months after the fall of France.

While Stalin wanted a western invasion of Europe as early as 1942, such an operation was not possible before 1944. Among other reasons was the German U-boat threat in the Atlantic. This campaign did not turn in the Allies' favour until May 1943.

Churchill was not "outvoted" by Stalin and Roosevelt, as Colin claims. Although he had worries about the success of Overlord – who wouldn't have had? – and had even suggested invading through Norway or Spain. He actually wanted to be on board one of the Royal Navy ships on June 5/6 and was dissuaded only when King George V told him that he would go, too.

Most of the planning for Operations Neptune and Overlord was British and the majority of personnel and ships involved were also British – some 80% of personnel and 87% of ships on June 6, 1944.

In effect, Churchill bankrupted Britain to win the war, once he realised, in 1940, that Britain could only win a long war, but could only afford a short one.

Far from the Red Army winning the Second World War "by sacrificing millions of troops", the war was won by a major alliance of the UK, USA and USSR. Like a three-legged stool, take any one out of the equation and the alliance could not have succeeded.

Colin might also note that mainland Europe has had the longest period of peace in its history since 1945. It hasn't been a perfect peace, but it's been much better than another European war developing into world war.


(Author, Normandy 1944: The Road to Victory)

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph