Thesis Prospectus

Thesis Prospectus - Imms 1 Christopher Imms March 8, 2007...

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Imms 1 Christopher Imms March 8, 2007 HST 290- Historical Methods Dr. Matthew O’Brien Thesis Prospectus The topic I have chosen for my research paper is the following: United States Airborne Forces were essential to the success of the amphibious landing at Utah Beach during Operation Overlord. I will concentrate on the contribution of the two divisions of airborne forces, the 82 nd and the 101 st , and how those contributions made it possible for the successful amphibious invasion of Normandy at Utah Beach. The use of airborne troops was questioned and their success was greatly undermined by military strategists during the planning of Operation Overlord. Eisenhower’s chief for air operations, Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory appealed for the cancellation of the American drops. Casualties were calculated prior to the drops in Normandy and calculations were so high that Allied commanders wondered whether or not airborne troops would be successful in any of their objectives due to extreme losses. I will prove that airborne forces, despite their heavy losses, miss-drops and being behind enemy lines were able to coordinate themselves to still complete their main objectives and save Operation Overlord. I will also examine the individual events of Ste. Mère Église, Carentan, and Brécourt Manor and will explain how these events were vital to the successes in the early morning of June 6, 1944. These events are important to my thesis because they contributed to the relatively easy amphibious landing at Utah Beach several hours later. These events prevented the German’s ability to coordinate a counterattack because of
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Imms 2 the disruption of communications as well as mass confusion among the soldiers. These events also contributed to the safe passage of troops, armor, and supplies through the causeways behind Utah Beach. This topic is important because the invasion of Normandy marked the beginning of Allied advances in World War II. Without the airborne forces landing in the hours before the amphibious landings, German reinforcements could have overrun Utah Beach putting all of Operation Overlord in danger. This topic is important in both American and European history because a small, scattered force of American defeated a large fortified German force within a few hours to make way for the entire American invasion force. I believe this topic is important because the argument which I will present is imperative to understand to have a good knowledge base of Operation Overlord and the Normandy invasion. In pre-existing historiographical debates, historians argue that airborne forces had
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Thesis Prospectus - Imms 1 Christopher Imms March 8, 2007...

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