If the Allies retained it necessary to make the offensive more powerful, why did they choose to conduct an amphibious operation through the English Channel?
Were there no other options available?
And why were those particular shores chosen? What were the strategic and tactical motivations?
Theater of Operations
vast region, geographically distinct, in the environment of which military operations interact, even if they are not necessarily connected to each other….It would also be called “area of the operations”
The decision regarding the invasion ripened during the conferences at Quebec between Churchill and Eisenhower and at Teheran between Churchill, Eisenhower and Stalin.
The choice of the theater of operations was made with the fundamental objective constructing a bridgehead that would satisfy several important conditions:
1. Proximity to more secure and easy bases of departure
2. Proximity to the final objectives, the Ruhr (the industrial heart of Germany) and Berlin
3. Possibility of locating a plausible the line of attack toward the objectives before the landing
4. Cover or total air superiority of the zone of landing and operation.
With these conditions satisfied, once the success of the operation itself had been reached, the opening of a new war front was foreseen, immediately averting the possibility of being pushed back to the bases of departure.
An offensive in Italy could have been potentiated, but after the promising beginning in Sicily in July of 1943 the advance revealed itself as difficult and costly. The battle of Montecassino caused an upsetting number of victims for the Allies, certainly more than what they were prepared to endure. Reaching the heart of the Reich through the Alps or taking advantage of the way east toward Vienna, to enter then in Germany, was unthinkable and impassable. In mountainous territory defensive forces have an enormous advantage and with little effort they can contain a far larger force.
An invasion in the Balkans would have opened a new front threatening the south of Germany or the eastern front where the main part of the Axis forces were concentrated to unite themselves with the Soviet forces or to block them. This option, however, did not meet the wishes of Stalin, who had interpreted it as an attempt to block the “liberation” of eastern Europe by the Red Army.
An invasion in the south of France or along the Atlantic coast of France would have opened a second front in Europe, but too distant from the objectives. A crossing of the English Channel would have brought the Allied forces closer to Berlin than how far away the eastern front was from the capital of the Reich. And along the road to Berlin was situated the industrial heart of Germany.