I will be doing the BBBR19 with Help for Heroes in June 2019 and I have come across a piece of information which I thought will be applicable in a post for today. On the BBBR19 we will be visiting Normandy, so a little information about why it was picked for destination.

Why did the Allies choose these 5 specific beaches in Normandy for D-Day landings?

The allies had to ensure air supremacy over whatever the landing site was, which did mean it had to be in range of the Spitfire, the most numerous Allied fighter. This was to be southern England and the Allies gave three possible destinations, Pas-de-Calais, Normandy and the Cotentin Peninsula. The Pas-de-Calais was the shortest route (The Channel is narrowest there) and had the advantage of being closer to Germany. However Germany knew this and placed their best forces in France near there. The Contentin Peninsula is rather narrow, and could easily be sealed off at the base. Leaving the beaches of Normandy as the best option.

The Allies had also constructed mobile harbours (Mulberries) they did not have to seize a major port to land necessary supplies, giving them the ability to build up more forces on more desolate beaches like Normandy. Otherwise they would have to land at Cherbourg or Dunkirk.
The Germans never knew about the Mulberries, so had to assume the Allies had to take a port, which resulted in them sending resources to Cherbourg (located on the Cotentin Peninsula5) and Calais.

Last but by no means least, Normandy was in the middle of the three possible landing sites, so it allowed the Allies to strike at what was most convenient, whether it be west to Cherbourg, east to Calais, Belgium and the German border, or south to Paris.

At this point in time I have managed to raise so far £2,730 and I hope there will be more to come.

David Reynolds.

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