In red, German-ruled Europe on June 6, 1944, the eve of D-Day. Â Given the Allied goal of seizing the Ruhr Valley, the industrial heart of German war production (right dot), as fast as possible, why on earth would they land at Normandy (the left dot) and not at Calais (the middle dot)?
On D-Day, Hitler held his troops back for hours, fully expecting the main landing not in Normandy but logically in Calais (where now the “refugee jungle” is.)
Why? Calais made perfect sense, being a much shorter trip across the Channel and also MUCH closer to the Ruhr, the industrial heart of Germany.Â
Hitler assumed Normandy was just a diversion, holding back his panzers for very sound reasons, as always.
Had AH committed everything to Normandy, only to see the main landing come at the more sensible Calais, the war would have been over in a few months.
All those Wehrmacht units rushing westward into Normandy would have been on a fool’s errand and then would have been cut off, had the Anglo-Americans driven southward from Calais (and almost unopposed!) as well as eastward.
Calais is just a hop, skip and a jump from England, and 200 miles (312 km) closer to the Ruhr, a much shorter way in go in bitter combat across urban areas and farming villages with many, many rivers and streams to cross, with most bridges blown up.
Germany did not lose the war because Hitler was a fool, but because by 1944 the best military the world has ever seen was outnumbered four to one.