Talk:Normandy landings

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Good article Normandy landings has been listed as one of the Warfare good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Military history (Rated GA-Class)
MILHIST This article is within the scope of the Military history WikiProject. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the project and see a list of open tasks. To use this banner, please see the full instructions.
GA This article has been rated as GA-Class on the quality assessment scale.
WikiProject Normandy (Rated GA-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Normandy, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Normandy on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 GA  This article has been rated as GA-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.

"Decisive Victory"[edit]

Writing Decisive victory is no longer Neutral point of view. People must decide themselves if it was decisive or not. We must remove "Decisive" from this article, later in other articles as well. Writing "Decisive Victory" is no longer neutral. Wikipedia:NPOV --Obitauri (talk) 10:05, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

Nonsense. Andy Dingley (talk) 10:17, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
Give normal point and bring proof its nonsense --Obitauri (talk) 12:08, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
If you do not demonstrate that historians share your view then the article will continue to say "decisive victory". Binksternet (talk) 12:17, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
Every pro-allied historian will say decisive victory, so British and American historians say its decisive, also about 2nd Kharkov battle, if this is decisive, then it is as well decisive. No point what historians say, but this breaks Neutral point of view to write decisive. Biased historian will write decisive. --Obitauri (talk) 13:16, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
OK then, Decisive Nonsense. Andy Dingley (talk) 12:32, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
If this stays as decisive still after I will bring even one source which does not says it was decisive, I will bring source of 2nd battle of Kharkov supporting decisive Axis victory which I already found --Obitauri (talk) 13:18, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
I have added a source for the information that the operation was a decisive Allied victory. Ford and Zaloga say on page 342 that the operation was "a complete and spectacular victory." Obitauri has removed it because I did not provide a Google link, but I don't feel that's necessary, as I have the book right here in my hand and can confirm it that way. -- Diannaa (talk) 14:56, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
Also, he says on my talk page that we can't say "decisive" as it is not neutral. I disagree; we can say decisive if reliable sources say so. Also, he says actual books are not reliable sources unless a Google link can be provided. I disagree. Books are very good to use as sources, and a Google link is not required. -- Diannaa (talk) 15:12, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
Bring argument why it is not breaking NPOV when you write Decisive. Not everyone agrees it was decisive victory, also single book source is not enough to write if this was decisive or not, investigate operation timeline, investigate numbers and casualties of both sides. I request to bring normal argument why you think its not breaking NPOV when you write decisive here. Allied bias is around wikipedia, I saw 90% of allied battles won are "decisive" with no source and normal research or have single source. 90% of axis battles are wrote as not decisive when they are decisive. Still NPOV here and no of battles won must have said if its decisive or not, users must decide themselves from reading article if it was decisive or not. One more thing, most of editors here have allied ancestors... This does something as well. --Obitauri (talk) 15:17, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
You are mistaken when you say the reader must decide for themselves if the battle was decisive or not. If reliable sources say it was a decisive victory, then it's not POV to put it in the article. Accusing individual editors of bias based on your assumptions about their heritage is not a good idea, as it borders on a personal attack, which is against the Wikipedia civility policy. -- Diannaa (talk) 15:29, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
In this conditions, single source is not enough to say it was decisive. This source needs to be reviewed and checked, put with historical facts and also timeline of battle. Trusting single source is not enough, also we are not sure if its reliable, to check if it is, check timeline of battle. --Obitauri (talk) 16:55, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
One source is entirely sufficient for a non-contentious assertion. If you believe that this is contentious then, as a first step, you will need to provide a source which says that the landings were not a decisive victory. Wiki-Ed (talk) 19:45, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Most authors describe this battle as utterly decisive. The Allies attained their goals and the Germans failed in theirs.

  • John Prados, a war historian with the NSA, wrote a book called Normandy Crucible: The Decisive Battle that Shaped World War II in Europe. The title says "decisive". Inside, Prados says that General Montgomery called the battle a definite victory, complete, and decisive in a communique he issued on 21 August 1944.
  • Military expert John Buckley (historian) edited a book titled The Normandy Campaign 1944: Sixty Years On. In it, chapter 3 by Marc Hansen discusses whether the battle can be considered decisive today in the knowledge that by 1941 the German Army was already losing on the Eastern Front.[1] Hansen argues that everybody in 1944, Allies and Axis, thought that the expected Allied invasion of France was going to be decisive, whatever its outcome. He goes into detail about the thoughts and actions of the top German commanders in Normandy and overall. Hansen concludes that by D+3 the chance for German success had passed, and that the Allies quickly took advantage of their lodgement to push the defenders back. Hansen asserts that the battle was a decisive victory.
  • D-Day expert Joseph Balkoski writes that D-Day was "one of the most decisive military operations in history."[2]
  • Military expert Paul K. Davis (historian) investigates the mainstream literature about D-Day and concludes that it was a decisive battle, "the point beyond which Hitler's dream of a German-dominated Europe could not be revived."[3] He cites John Keegan, a highly respected British military historian, and S.L.A. Marshall, the top American combat historian for the US Army. See 100 Decisive Battles: From Ancient Times to the Present, pages 402–407, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0195143663.
  • Canadian military historian Mark Zuehlke describes the D-Day invasion as decisive, a "winner-take-all" battle that could not be assessed in shades of gray—the result could never be a draw. Zuehlke's opinion is shared by all the authors I have ever read on the subject. Binksternet (talk) 19:51, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
All of those listed above are from UK/USA. American or British will write Decisive of its own nation victory. Check German sources and historian point of views. Also this is not still enough if this does not fits historical facts. Compare number of strenght, also if plan was done as planned 100% or most part (Which was not done as planned totally), also compare casualties.

So I can write book as well bringing proof that it was not decisive and I can be historian, so I am reliable as I am historian? --Obitauri (talk) 21:28, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

I think its clear English is not his/her first language. I would agree day one (6 June) was not a decisive victory which is what I am presuming they mean. However there is no doubt by the end of the campaign it was decisive. Jim Sweeney (talk) 21:31, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
So in the context of this article the Normandy Landings were not decisive but Operation Overlord was? Stephen Kirrage talk - contribs 21:51, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
His/Her no, His*. SO you know now I am Male. About this article, Allies were almost 10X more than Axis powers (Mainly Germans and SS-Waffengruppe Georgien or Georgian Legion Wehrmacht troops). Also still casualties of allies were more than Axis. Plan did not go as it was planned as well. --Obitauri (talk) 21:56, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
Obitauri, you still have not shown us even one strong source written by a respected historian (German or anybody else) who says that the Normany landings were not a decisive victory. The goal of the Allies was to establish a working beachhead—this task was done by 9 June, according to Marc Hansen. The goal of the Germans was various, with Rommel insisting on repelling the invader at the waterline. Some others argued that the beachhead could be allowed but then destroyed by counterattack. Germany was unable to complete either of these goals. The Luftwaffe put only two aircraft over the invasion beaches during the invasion. The armored units were unable to wipe out the beachhead as planned. Complete failure on one side, complete success on the other. Binksternet (talk) 23:29, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
To summarise we have a very new user with a history of blocks who cannot provide references to support his POV. Let's not get excited by this or go to extra effort to find sources to support the obvious - just revert unless/until contrary RS are provided. This is not a discussion forum about the landings. Wiki-Ed (talk) 10:21, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
With same logic, I can totally write Decisive in 2nd battle of Kharkov article. So one user removed my source with reason as it was "primary", I brought encyclopedia but he asked me page, I provided page now. Also if one reliable source says something was decisive, then if here is no source saying it was not decisive, if its enough, then in Kharkov I can write it was decisive as no source says it was not decisive.

No source will say about Normandy it was not decisive cause no one wrote something about it which talks about it was not decisive and its nonsense to ask source which says something was not decisive. Source saying decisive is primary here, I ask to bring tretiary and secondary sources, otherwise I have permission to remove decisive from article as in Kharkov article this user had to remove decisive as of I had only primary but now I have tretiary and secondary as well. Now I ask you to bring secondary and tretiary sources here about Normandy landings. --Obitauri (talk) 11:27, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

Not interested in the problems you have with another article. Take it to the talk page for that article. If you don't have a source and we have lots (as above) then there is no discussion to be had on this. Wiki-Ed (talk) 14:25, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
Incidentally, the source used for the "decisive" assertion in this article is secondary. Check WP:RS if you don't understand the difference and why Wikipedia prefers secondary to tertiary or primary sources. Wiki-Ed (talk) 14:32, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
I brought all needed sources, even secondary and tretiary but they still say not enough and I know why, I checked location of one of biased editors --Obitauri (talk) 17:02, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
You have no support here for your proposal—none. Stop wasting everyone's time. Binksternet (talk) 17:30, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
I dont need anyones support. If you dont like my talking, then do not read what I say and logic and facts are with me --Obitauri (talk) 17:55, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
@Obitauri: Wikipedia is not only the encyclopedia that anyone can edit, it's also the encyclopedia that we all edit together. You do indeed need support for changes to the article. If there's no consensus to make the changes, then they do not get implemented. Insisting that your changes get implemented, especially when you have presented no sources to back up your claim and consensus is strongly against you, is disruptive and could get you blocked. Please read up on Wikipedia:Consensus, an official Wikipedia policy governing how editorial decisions are made on this wiki. Thanks, -- Diannaa (talk) 21:53, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
So wikipedia is place when if even blinded mindless person does not agrees something, we have to wait for 1 week for this nonsense "consesus" when we still have no sources enough. I can tell you that the source you provided is not enough, you need to bring Primary, Secondary and Tretiary sources. --Obitauri (talk) 10:52, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
No, we are not waiting for one week. Consensus has already formed—in fact it was pre-existing—that the battle was decisive. Your wish to remove "decisive" will not be enacted. Binksternet (talk) 15:12, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
I see that Obitauri, a self-proclaimed Nazi, has been blocked indefinitely. Dougweller (talk) 15:24, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Quelle surprise. Wiki-Ed (talk) 20:03, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

The Allies's intention was to land on the continent and remain there. The German defenders' intention was to push them back into the sea. The former occurred, not the latter.

In fact the Allies's then went on to liberate the whole of France and Western Europe. I'd suggest that marks the Normandy Landings as a 'decisive victory' in anyone's book. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:05, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

Infobox Flagicon Error[edit]

In the Belligerents section of the infobox, the Nazi Germany flagicon is used, but the following word is "Germany", (this correctly links to the Nazi Germany page), shouldn't the actual infobox contain the phrase "Nazi Germany"? I know its obvious, but for example "Free France" is used instead of France. Thanks Greggydude (talk) 13:52, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

I think it would be better to modify it in the other direction, using actual country names (Germany was never actually officially called "Nazi Germany"). That would be consistent with other articles on this topic. -- Diannaa (talk) 14:12, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

Fought in a vacuum?[edit]

Did Allied and German forces fight each other in an uninhabited bare landscape? Did all their bombs, shells and bullets land unerringly on the enemy? Were no French civilians killed or injured and no French livestock, crops or property hurt in any way? Are there no cemeteries or memorials for French dead? --Clifford Mill (talk) 10:38, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

Trouble with internet text is it doesn't show facial expressions or tone of voice so it's hard to know whether your questions are really that, or somewhat more rhetorical in intent, so sorry if I get it wrong. It's a very interesting question and not one on which I am expert but I wondered if the following might be relevant:
  1. Evacuation of civilians from a coastal security strip might have meant there were relatively few ordinary French people in the thick of it; plus as a noncombatant I'd be heading the other way as soon as possible if I was anywhere close to hostilities.
  2. Certainly a family friend who had a house in Houlgate was allowed nowhere near it for most of the war.
  3. I doubt that in most cases there will be separate cemeteries for the civilian dead; the reason (I guess) that we have massive war cemeteries for Allied and German forces is that there was nowhere to put them and they were sadly far from home. I wonder if French civilians killed, though, could not have just been accommodated in the usual local cemeteries, as they presumably would have been sooner or later?
  4. Memorials etc - I've never seen one and there is much focus on the military, but I do wonder in places that were badly hit, for example Caen, if there aren't such memorials? But they would be outside the scope of this article, which is about the landings themselves rather than the aftermath.
  5. Some of the other damage like crops and livestock might be too incidental and/or undocumented to cover here.
Like I say, it's an interesting question and might repay further study, but I do wonder if there's nothing in the article partly because there's relatively little to report. Just my 2p worth - proper historians please comment away! :) best wishes to all DBaK (talk) 11:37, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
There's more information about civilian casualties during the first several months of the campaign in our article Operation Overlord. I have not seen any statistics on civilian casualties on D-Day itself, though of course there must have been some. Some of the towns on the coast had been completely occupied by the Germans and converted into coastal defenses. I do not know of any memorials dedicated to civilian war dead in France. Military cemeteries were the responsibility of organisations such as the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and no civilians were buried there. -- Diannaa (talk) 14:11, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Without irony on my part, thank you both for your reasoned responses. On the strength of what you have said, could one consider adding text on something like the following lines:“ Although the preliminary bombardments and subsequent battles caused significant loss of life among the French population and extensive damage to French property, on 6 June itself most fighting was limited to the coastal strip which the Germans had largely cleared of civilians and fortified.” --Clifford Mill (talk) 19:07, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
That's a good wording. But I will have to get the books from the library in order to see if the sources back it up. -- Diannaa (talk) 23:26, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Generally one doesn't want 'foreign' civilians hanging around one's defensive positions as they may be potential spies or saboteurs, so civilians are usually prohibited from the areas concerned. In the UK after the Operation Sea Lion scare of 1940 huge strips of coastal areas were 'out-of-bonds' to civilians for most of the war. In addition, all likely UK beaches were heavily mined, so one didn't just go for a walk on the beach - not if one wanted to remain sound of life and limb. The same applied to the ones in Normandy. As referred to above, most of the civilian casualties would have occurred after the fighting progressed off the beaches, and moved inland.

Unlike earlier battles in North Africa, where one could drive for days and never see a single civilian, the civilians in Normandy were much more of a concern, as from the Allies's POV, they had no control over what happened to these civilians until the areas containing them were taken. From the German's POV, they of course had no idea where the landings would take place until they actually occurred, as of course the Allies's were not about to tell them, so the Germans were not in a position to know which set of civilians in which area were in danger. For the Allies, giving non-specific warnings via the BBC was about all they could do. Generally, both sides tried to minimise civilian casualties - with the possible exception of the Waffen-SS - both for humanitarian, as well practical reasons, but with all that ironmongery and other muck flying around, it was sometimes necessary for civilians to take their chances too. It was their freedom that was being fought-over. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:49, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

French civilian deaths & success compared to expectations during the first 50 days[edit]

I rember a BBC (or ITV ?) TV-documenary about the landing. I believe that 40.000 French civilians, was the figure mentioned, that died in Normandy during its first 24 hours. I don't have it recorded or in wrighting. The figures may be discussed, but the entire topic seems to be lacking here. Further - in "2194 Days of war" by American University authors Salmaggi & Pallavisini (Swedish ISBN 91-582-0426-1) , page 551 (3rd to 5th July -44) there is a map which clearly suggest's to me, that the invasion actually began not at all as expected during the first 50 days. The bridge head 50 days after the landing, covers an area of less than 5% of what the Allied excpected. According to that map, the Allied forces should have reached rivers Seine and Loire but had not reached further south than the cities Caen and St-Lo. 50 days after the invasion, would be the 26th of July. Boeing720 (talk) 00:44, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

I have restored the previous statistic on civilian casualties. Your cited source,, shows casualties for the "Battle of Normandy", which includes action up until the end of August. It shows civilian casualties of 13,632, Allied casualties of 37,000, and German casualties of 80,000 in the period included in the Battle of Normandy, while this article includes action only on the first day, D-Day. I am confused as to why you would say in your edit summary that the Germans would not know from which areas civilians should be evacuated. They knew for certain that the Allies were planning a cross-channel invasion, and therefore it would be quite obvious to Rommel and the other defensive planners as to which areas would need to be evacuated. If you wish to read the source document yourself, it's available online. -- Diannaa (talk) 14:59, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
The Germans knew for certain that the Allies were planning a cross-channel invasion, but the main problem from their point of view, was they didn't know where (or when). Flandres, the Pas-de-Calais area [the closest], Normandy, Britanny or even Holland, the German North Sea coast and Jutland were all possible landing areas. So no, the only evacuation of civilians were due to military installations. For instance cities like Caen and Cherbourg were not evacuated, but became actual (not potential) battle zones. Caen was bombed as soon as it wasn't captured, and Cherbourg became an obsticle during several weeks. You made no reply about the slow Allied advance during the first 50 days. Boeing720 (talk) 14:41, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
My understanding is that the Allied projections were based on the presumption the Germans would withdraw their armour to areas where it would have better mobility. Instead they committed it to combat near the coast which slowed the Allies but resulted in greater attrition of the armoured units.

With regard to French casualties, should we count the Resistance fighters as civilians? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:55, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

The sources used to prepare the article did not mention any resistance casualties, so I don't know if they are included or not. -- Diannaa (talk) 23:55, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

Naval issues[edit]

My memory may be at fault, but I recall that at some point in the dim distant past this article absorbed Operation Neptune. Since then the naval coverage seems to have shrunk and shrunk until we have a mere three paragraphs covering the largest invasion fleet in history. Virtually no mention of the fleet disposition, tasking, evolving mission etc. Is there a detailed article on the naval component hiding somewhere? If so, it should have a Main-article link; if not then I think we're missing quite a lot of information here. Wiki-Ed (talk) 00:33, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

"D-Day" redirects here, so what we need in this article is a general overview of the landing operations. I think that the present article does that, and it quite recently passed GA. You are correct though when you say that some information on the naval side has been lost over time. Looking at the version of the page that existed on February 13, 2008, on that date the article focused almost exclusively on the naval side. However, it was completely unsourced, so it would be damaging to this article to incorporate back in any material present there that is not covered here. My feeling is that a new article on the naval side of the operation could be created, presuming that sources could be found. At the very least, a sourced list of ships that participated could be created. -- Diannaa (talk) 01:04, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for finding this - that is what I had in my memory. We've had a few ill-advised page moves and/or merges since then - I can't remember exactly how that developed, but the net result has been a loss of content (sourced or not). I agree that a new article on Operation Neptune could be created - there should be more than enough material and finding sources really shouldn't be a problem; organising it all might be more difficult. Wiki-Ed (talk) 10:56, 25 August 2014 (UTC)