Germans were about to take over all of Europe during World War II unless, the United States, Britain and Canada invaded, and stopped the Germans. In a meeting of the Allied Combined Chiefs of Staff which was held in Washington, D.C., the first thought was to invade France. Many Americans were strongly in favor of invading Europe as soon as possible. The British were fearful of the many casualties that would probably result if a beach head was not secured. The final decision was made by Roosevelt and Churchill to invade France. (Dank 7).
With the idea approved, planning began in earnest, with a the selected date set for early May 1944. The Allied commander in North America, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, was selected to lead the American forces in the invasion. "Operation Overlord- was the code name given to the enterprise. This plan covered the landing of armies and also the battles that would follow on the road to Berlin. While stupendous amounts of war material were shipped toward France, the Overlord planners looked at their maps, weighed the weather, the tides, the beaches, and made massive amounts of calculations to determine where the invasion would succeed. (Dank 8).
If this invasion failed, it would take many years before another could be planned and assembled. By that time Stalin might have signed a separate peace agreement. Hitler might have had time to get his much wanted rockets, jet fighters, submarines, and possibly the atomic bomb-which would give him the ability to rule the world. The outcome of World War II depended on the success or failure of this invasion. (Dank 7).
Pathfinders were the first troops to be dropped, and preceded about an hour before the main body of troops were dropped. They were ordered to mark the drop zones with direction-finder radios, lights, and Eureka sets. Large amounts of clouds caused the airplanes to either climb or fly below them, German fire also caused the pilots to fly off course.