Dwight Eisenhower memberi briefing kepada pasukan sekutu pada D-Day di Normandia

D-Day (bahasa Indonesia: Hari-H) adalah istilah militer dalam bahasa Inggris yang digunakan sebagai hari dimana penyerangan atau operasi militer dimulai. Istilah D-Day digunakan karena hari yang dimaksud belum diketahui atau masih dirahasiakan. Saat ini D-Day yang paling terkenal dalam sejarah adalah tanggal 6 Juni 1944—tanggal dimulainya Pertempuran Normandia, dimana tentara Sekutu berencana untuk membebaskan Eropa dari kekuasaan Nazi Jerman selama Perang Dunia II. Invasi Normandia, yang nama kodenya adalah Operasi Overlord, adalah sebuah operasi pendaratan yang dilakukan oleh pasukan Sekutu saat Perang Dunia II, pada tanggal 6 Juni 1944. Dan sampai sekarang merupakan invasi laut paling besar dalam sejarah, dengan hampir tiga juta tentara menyeberangi Selat Inggris dari Inggris ke Perancis yang diduduki oleh tentara Nazi Jerman.

Mayoritas satuan tempur pada serangan ini adalah pasukan Amerika Serikat, Britania Raya, dan Kanada. Pasukan Kemerdekaan Perancis dan pasukan Polandia ikut bertempur setelah fase pendaratan, selain itu, pasukan dari Belgia, Cekoslovakia, Yunani, Belanda, dan Norwegia juga turut serta. Invasi Normandia dibuka dengan pendaratan parasut dan glider pada dini hari, serangan udara dan artileri laut, dan pendaratan amfibi di pagi hari pada 6 Juni. Pertempuran untuk menguasai Normandia berlanjut selama lebih dari dua bulan, dengan kampanye untuk menembus garis pertahanan Jerman dan menyebar dari pantai yang sudah dikuasai Sekutu. Invasi ini berakhir dengan dibebaskannya Paris, dan jatuhnya kantong Falaise pada akhir Agustus 1944.

Persiapan Sekutu

Setelah invasi Jerman terhadap Uni Soviet (Operasi Barbarossa), pihak Soviet lah yang melakukan mayoritas pertempuran menghadapi Jerman di Eropa. Presiden AS, Franklin D. Roosevelt dan Perdana Menteri Inggris, Winston Churchill pada tahun 1942 menyatakan bahwa Amerika Serikat dan Britania Raya siap membuka “front kedua” di Eropa untuk membantu Uni Soviet menghadapi Jerman, pernyataan ini dinyatakan lagi pada musim semi tahun 1943.
Britania Raya, dibawah Winston Churchill, ingin menghindari serangan langsung seperti pada Perang Dunia I yang pasti akan menyebabkan banyak korban. Mereka juga lebih menyukai menggunakan taktik terselubung dengan membantu para pemberontak yang diduduki Jerman, lalu melakukan serangan dari Mediterania, ke Wina, lalu memasuki Jerman dari selatan. Cara seperti ini juga dianggap dapat membatasi masuknya Soviet ke Eropa.

Amerika Serikat menganggap bahwa cara paling optimal adalah serangan langsung dari markas Sekutu yang paling dekat dan besar. Mereka sangat menginginkan metode ini, dan menyatakan bahwa hanya cara inilah yang akan mereka dukung dalam jangka panjang. Dua proposal awal direncanakan: Operasi Sledgehammer, merupakan invasi untuk tahun 1942 dan Operasi Roundup, yaitu invasi lebih besar pada tahun 1943. Proposal yang ke-2 diterima, lalu diganti namanya menjadi Operasi Overlord dan ditunda sampai 1944.

Sekitar 6.900 kendaraan laut, termasuk 4.100 kendaraan pendarat, digunakan untuk invasi yang dipimpin oleh Admiral Bertram Ramsay. 12.000 pesawat terbang, termasuk 1.000 pesawat pembawa penerjun payung berada dibawah Marsekal Udara Trafford Leigh-Mallory. 10.000 ton bom akan dijatuhkan ke pertahanan Jerman, dan pesawat-pesawat ini akan melakukan 14.000 misi serangan.

Peralatan Khusus

Untuk melancarkan jalannya invasi ini, Sekutu mengembangkan banyak peralatan khusus. Mayor-Jenderal Percy Hobart ditugaskan untuk memimpin pengembangan kendaraan lapis baja khusus. Kendaraan-kendaraan ini dijuluki Hobarts Funnies, antara lain tank yang bisa berenang Sherman Duplex Drive, tank pembersih ranjau, tank pembuat jembatan, tank pembuat jalanan, dan tank khusus untuk menghancurkan gedung beton. Pengetesan kendaraan-kendaraan ini dilakukan di Kirkham Priory di Yorkshire, Inggris.

Selain kendaraan lapis baja, dibuat juga dua pelabuhan buatan Mulberry Harbour agar bisa mendatangkan persediaan secara cepat, ditambah dengan tidak adanya pelabuhan laut dalam di lokasi pendaratan. Untuk mengirimkan bahan bakar dari Inggris, Sekutu menjalankan Operasi PLUTO (Pipe Line Under The Ocean), yaitu jalur pipa bawah laut.
Persiapan Jerman

Pada tahun 1942 dan 1943, Jerman menganggap bahwa kemungkinan serangan Sekutu dari barat sangat kecil. Persiapan menghadapi invasi hanya berupa pembangunan fortifikasi yang melindungi pelabuhan-pelabuhan utama oleh Organisasi Todt. Pada akhir 1943, berkumpulnya kekuatan Sekutu di Inggris menyebabkan Komandan Bagian Barat Jerman, Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt, untuk meminta tambahan pasukan. Pasukan yang dimiliki sebelumnya hanya merupakan formasi statik saja, tanpa alat-alat transportasi dan peralatan dukungan. Selain itu pasukan itu terdiri dari tentara yang tidak sempurna secara fisik (misalnya orang-orang yang kehilangan jarinya oleh dinginnya Front Timur), atau merupakan wajib militer Polandia dan negara non-Jerman lainnya.

Selain tambahan pasukan, von Rundstedt mendapatkan anak buah baru, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. Rommel awalnya hanya ditugaskan untuk memeriksa Tembok Atlantik, namun kemudian meminta untuk diberi tugas memimpin pasukan pertahanan Perancis utara, Belgia, dan Belanda. Permintaan ini dipenuhi dan pasukan yang dipimpinnya digabungkan dalam Grup B Angkatan Darat pada Februari 1944.

World War II Timeline

1939 — 15-March – German troops invade Czechoslovakia. 30 – March – France and England pledge to protect Poland’s independence 7-April – Italy attacks Albania 23-August – Nazi Germany and the USSR sign a non-aggression pact. 25 -August – Orders to invade Poland are canceled. 1-Sep – Nazi Germany invades Poland; Norway claims neutrality; Portugal claims neutrality; Sweden claims neutrality. 3 – Sep Great Britain and France declare war on Nazi Germany; Spain claims neutrality; Ireland claims neutrality; United States proclaims neutrality. 8 – Sep – President of United States declares limited national emergency. 9 – Sep -Canada declares war. 29 – Sep – Germany and Soviet union agree on the partition of Poland. 6-Oct Last remnant of Polish forces surrenders to German Army. 4-Nov Congress passes law permitting “cash and carry” sale of munitions to belligerents. 30 – Nov – USSR attacks Finland.

1940 – 12-Mar Soviet-Finnish war ends. 8-Apr Nazi Germany occupies Denmark and invades Norway. 20 -Apr – . British land troops in Norway. 23 -Apr – Greece concludes armistice with Nazi Germany.10-May Nazi Germany launches “Sichelschnitt” invasion of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and France. Churchill succeeds Chamberlain as British Prime Minister. 13 – May – Nazi General Erwin Rommel’s 7th Panzer Division crosses the Meuse River near Dinant while General Heinz Guderian’s 19th Armored Corps crosses the Meuse River at Sedan. 15 – May – The Dutch surrender to Nazi Germany. 23 – May – Boulogne, France, falls to Nazi Germany. 24 – May – Allies withdraw from Norway. 27 May – Belgium surrenders to Nazi Germany. Allied troops begin to evacuate from Dunkirk, France. 3-Jun United States releases war material to Great Britain. 4 – Jun – Evacuation of Allied troops from Dunkirk is completed. Hitler allows 338,000 troops to escape to England. Churchill makes his “We shall fight on the beaches…” speech to Parliament. 9 – Jun – Norwegian government falls to Germany. 10 – Jun – Italy declares war on France and Great Britain. 14 – Jun – Germans march into Paris. 22 – Jun – France and Nazi Germany conclude armistice. 24 – Jun – France and Italy conclude armistice. 3-Jul British naval forces attack French fleet at Oran. 10 – Jul – Battle of Britain – Nazi Germany begins air offensive against Great Britain with 65 German airplanes. 16 – Jul – Hitler issues an invasion of Great Britain directive, Operation Sealion. to the German armed forces. 18 – Jul – Churchill makes his “This was their finest hour…” speech to Parliament. 19 – Jul – Hitler in the Reichstag makes a public peace offer to Britain, which is rejected on the 22nd by Churchill. 31- Jul – German high command meets with Hitler and agrees to attack the USSR in May. 27-Aug Congress authorizes call of reserve components for 12 months’ duty. Hitler approves Franco’s Spanish-German plan to attack Gibraltar. 3- Sep – United States and Great Britain conclude agreement to exchange destroyers (U.S.) for base rights (British). Hitler orders that British cities will be bombed every night, in retribution for their bombing of Berlin. 13 – Sep – Italy invades Egypt seeking to gain control of the Suez Canal. 16 – Sep -Draft – Selective Service law enacted by Congress. 18 – Sep – Hitler postpones Operation Sealion. 22 Sep -Japanese invade French Indochina. 27 – Sep – Axis – Nazi Germany, Italy, Japan conclude three-power pact. October 23 Franco agrees to enter the war. 28 – Oct – Italy attacks Greece. 31 – Oct – Churchill considers the Battle of Britain over 20 Nov. Hungary joined the Axis, Romania joined the Axis.

1941 — 5 Jan. British soldiers invaded Ethiopia. 29 -Jan. – British-American Staff Conversations. 1-Mar Bulgaria joined the Axis. 11 -Mar – Congress passes Lend-Lease Act. 6-April Germany invaded Greece and Yugoslavia. 13 – April Japan and Russia signed a non-aggression pact. 27-May President Roosevelt proclaims state of unlimited national emergency. 8 June British and French forces invaded Syria. 22 June – Russia is invaded by Hitler with approximately 3 million troops. 7-Jul United States forces land in Iceland. 26 -Jul United States declares oil embargo on Japan. 7-Aug The Atlantic Charter was announced 14-Aug – Roosevelt and Churchill announce Atlantic Charter. 4-Sep German torpedo attack on USS Greer opens tacit shooting war in Atlantic. 25 -Sep Army and Navy Secretaries submit to Roosevelt an estimate of U.S. forces needed to defeat the Axis and Japan. 1-Oct First Soviet Protocol signed by U.S., Great Britain, and USSR at Moscow. 7-8 Dec. Japan delivers simultaneous bombing attacks on Pearl Harbor, the Philippines, Wake, and Guam, invades Malaya and Thailand, seizes Shanghai, and declares war on the U.S. and Great Britain. 8 – Dec. German offensive in Russia bogs down Canada Declares War on Japan. 9 – Dec. China declares war on Japan, Nazi Germany, and Italy. 10 – Dec. Japanese capture Guam, land on Luzon in Philippines. 11 – Dec. Nazi Germany and Italy declare war on United States, and United States declares itself at war with them. 18 – Dec. Japanese they attacked Hong Kong and on Christmas Day the British surrendered. Dec. 20 Chennault’s Flying Tigers enter combat against Japanese in China. 23 – Dec. General Macarthur decides to evacuate Manila and withdraw to Bataan. Wake Island captured by Japanese.

1942 – 1-Jan United Nations Declaration signed by twenty-six nations at war with Axis. 2 -Jan – Japanese occupy Manila. 7 -Jan – American and Filipino forces complete withdrawal into Bataan. 9-Jan – Combined Chiefs of Staff established. 14 -24. Anglo-American Conference (ARCADIA) at Washington. 19 Japanese capture British North Borneo. 23 Japanese capture Rabaul and Kavieng in the Bismarck Archipelago, invade Bougainville in the Solomons. 1-Feb U.S. Navy bombards Gilberts and Marshalls. 2 Singapore surrenders. 27 -28. Allies loose the Battle of Java Sea. Japanese invade Java. Mar – Nov. Submarine attacks in Atlantic rise to record heights. 7 Japanese occupy Burma. 9 War Department is reorganized. 17 General MacArthur reaches Australia and takes command of Allied forces. 8 -15 April British-American conversations in London result in conditional agreement on BOLERO-ROUNDUP Plan. 9 Surrender of Bataan. 18 First U.S. air bombardment of Tokyo. 2-May Japanese land on Tulagi, adjacent to Guadalcanal, where they soon began to build an airstrip. 6 Surrender of all U.S. forces in Philippines. 8 Allies win Battle of the Coral Sea. 20 Japanese complete conquest of Burma. 27 Rommel opens drive into Egypt. 3-6 June Allies win Battle of Midway. 5 The United States declared war on Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania. 7 Japanese invade western Aleutians. 21 Axis troops seized Tobruk in North Africa. 1-Jul Germans capture Sevastopol. 2 Rommel’s advance stops at border of Egypt. 4 One of the most devastating submarine attacks on convoy to USSR along the northern route. 7 Second Soviet Protocol signed. 15 British suspend convoys to USSR on northern route. 18-25. British-American. conversations in London, resulting in decision to invade North Africa. 21 Japanese landing near Gona, New Guinea, starts Papua Campaign. 7-Aug South Pacific forces invade Guadalcanal, Florida, and Tulagi Islands, in the Solomons. 19 British Commonwealth force raids Dieppe, France that results in a disaster with 3,367 casualties including 1,946 prisoners of war. 23 Churchill accepts Roosevelt’s proposal that the U.S. operate Persian Gulf facilities for aid to USSR. 14-Sep Battle for Stalingrad begins. 23-Oct British open counteroffensive at El Alamein. 8-Nov Allies land at Casablanca, Oran, and Algiers in French North Africa. 10 Axis troops move into Tunis and Bizerte. 11 British offensive reaches Libya. French resistance to Allies in North Africa ceases. Axis troops march into unoccupied France. 13 British recapture Tobruk. 15 Allied offensive in West reaches Tunisia. 19 The Russians counter-attack at Stalingrad. 27 French fleet scuttled in Toulon harbor. 24 December Allied drive on Tunis ends in stalemate.

1943 – 14 -23 Jan. Allied conference at Casablanca. 22 Campaign for Papua, New Guinea, ends. 27 Eighth Air Force makes its first attack on Nazi Germany, at Wilhelmshaven. 2-Feb Soviet Army destroys remnants of German Sixth Army at Stalingrad. 9 Organized Japanese resistance on Guadalcanal ceases. 20 Rommel breaks through Kasserine Pass, Tunisia. 25 Allies retake Kasserine Pass. 2-4 March The Allies defeat the Japanese in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea. 13 Japanese troops retreated across the Yangtze 16 Final Allied offensive in Tunisia begins. 18 Americans capture E1 Guettar. 20 – 27 Montgomery breaks through the Mareth Line. 11 – 31 May With recapture of Attu by Allies Japanese are driven from the Aleutians. 13 Axis forces in northern Africa surrendered. 12 -25. TRIDENT Conference in Washington. 13 Axis forces in Tunisia surrender. 1-30 June Shipping losses reach new low, signalizing victory over U-boat. 30 Allies begin operation for reduction of Rabaul (CARTWHEEL) with attacks in central Solomons and New Guinea. 4-Jul Germany opened an assault near the Soviet city of Kursk. 10 Allies invade Sicily. 25 Mussolini falla from power in Italy. 14 – 24 Aug QUADRANT Conference at Quebec. 17 End of Sicily campaign. 23 Germans abandon Kharkov. 25 Allies complete occupation of New Georgia, Solomon Islands. 3-Sep British troops invade Southern Italy. Italy secretly signed an armistice with the Allies 4-16. Southwest Pacific forces recapture Lae-Salamaua, New Guinea. 8 Italy formally surrenders. 9 Allies under U.S. Fifth Army land on the Salerno beaches; British troops land at Taranto. Allies failed to pierce German defenses at the Hitler Line south of Rome. 11 Italian Fleet is surrendered at Malta. 1-Oct Allies enter Naples and occupy Foggia airfields. 2 Australians seize Finschhafen, New Guinea. 13 Italy declares war on Nazi Germany. 14 Soviets reach Zaporodzhe, industrial center of Ukraine. 19 – 30 Soviet, British, American Foreign Ministers and military representatives confer in Moscow. 1-Nov South Pacific forces invade Bougainville. 5 U.S. Fifth Army attacks German Winter Line in Italy. 6 The Russians captured Kiev. 20 Opening of Central Pacific offensive (Makin and Tarawa in Gilberts). 2 – 7 -Dec Allied conferences, Cairo-Tehran (SEXTANT, EUREKA). 14 Soviet armies begin first phase of winter offensive. 26 Southwest Pacific troops invade New Britain at Cape Gloucester.

1944 – 15-Jan USSR opens offensive to relieve Leningrad. 20 In Italy, beginning of unsuccessful operations to cross the Rapido River and seize Cassino. 22 VI Corps, U.S. Fifth Army, lands at Anzio. 27 The Russians broke the siege of Leningrad 31 Central Pacific forces invade the Marshall Islands. 12-Feb General Eisenhower is formally designated Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force, Europe, by Combined Chiefs of Staff. 18 U.S. Naval forces attack Truk in Caroline Islands. 20 Reduction of Rabaul completed with Japanese abandonment of it as an airbase. 24 In Burma, Merrill’s Marauders advance into Hukawng Valley, with the Myitkyina airfield as their goal. 29 Southwest Pacific forces begin invasion of Admiralty Islands, Bismarck Archipelago. 5-Mar Soviet Army opens drive in the Ukraine to destroy enemy in Dnieper bend. 20 German troops occupy Hungary. 10-Apr Odessa retaken by Russian troops. 22 Southwest Pacific forces land at Aitape and Hollandia, New Guinea. 9-May Sevastopol retaken by Soviet forces. 11 In Italy, Allies open a general offensive against the Gustav Line. 17 Myitkyina airstrip captured by Chinese forces. 18 Allied forces capture Cassino. 23 U.S. VI Corps launches offensive to break out of the Anzio Beachhead. 27 Southwest Pacific force lands on Biak Island, New Guinea. 4-Jun U.S. Fifth Army enters Rome. 6 D Day. Allied Forces invade France, landing on coast of Normandy, in Operation OVERLORD. 9 Soviet forces launch attack against the Finnish positions on Karelian Isthmus. 12 Germans launch first V-1 bombs against England. 15 B-29’s based in China, make their first attack on Japanese homeland. Central Pacific forces invade the Marianas. 19 -20 U.S. forces won the Battle of the Philippine Sea. 27 Organized resistance ceases at Cherbourg.

1945 – January 1-17 – Germany withdraws from the Ardennes, 16th – The U. S. Army 1st and 3rd divisions join forces after a month long separation while fighting the Battle of the Bulge, 17th – Warsaw, Poland captured by Soviets, 26th – Auschwitz P.O.W camp is liberated.

February 4 – 11 President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin hold conference in Yalta, 13-14th Allied bombing destroys Dresden; March 6th – The final German offensive begins as they attempt to defend Hungarian oil field, 7th – A bridge is established across the Rhine at Remagen following the allies taking of Cologne, 30th – Danzig captured by Soviet troops; April 1st – German troops are trapped by United States while defending Ruhr Allied offensive in North Italy, 12th – Concentration camps: Belsen and Buchenwald liberated by Allies, President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies, Vice President Harry S. Truman assumes the Presidency, 16th — Soviets launch the final attack on Berlin and Americans enter Nuremberg, 18th — The surrounded German Army surrenders at Ruhr, 21st — The Soviet Army surrounds Berlin, 28th — The Allies capture Venice. Italian partisans capture and hang Mussolini, 29th – Dachau, P.O.W. camp is liberated by the Americans 7th Army, 30th — Adolph Hitler commits suicide; May 2nd — German troops in Italy surrender, 7th — All German forces submit to un conditional surrender to Allies, 8th — Victory in Europe, 9th — Troops of the United States 7th Army capture Hermann Goring, 23rd — Reichsfuher Himmler commits suicide; June 5th – Germany is divided and Berlin remains the seat of the government, 26th – United Nations Charter signed; July 1st – Allied forces: U.S. British and French move into Berlin, 16th – United States tests the atomic bomb; August 6th – United States drops the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, 8th – After declaring war on Japan, the Soviet army invades Manchuria, 9th – United States drops 2nd atomic bomb on Nagasaki, 14th – Unconditional surrender by Japan; September 2nd – V.J. Day as Japan signs unconditional surrender; October 24th – Birth of United Nations; November 20 – Nuremberg trials begin; October 16th, 1946 – Two hours prior to his execution, Herman Goring commits suicide.

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