D-Day: the successes and failures in focus
Antony Beevor talks to Rob Attar about the successes and failures of one of the greatest ever military operations
Q: Was 6 June 1944 a good choice for the Normandy landings?
A: In a way it was a miraculous choice. Eisenhower [the supreme commander] had a very difficult decision to make but in fact it worked very well.
When he took the decision the weather was appalling, with wind and rain battering on the windows. However, the Allies had weather stations in the western and northern Atlantic, and so were able to see a gap in the weather which the Germans couldn’t see. This is why Rommel [commander of the German defences] was away from his headquarters on 6 June, thinking that the Allies wouldn’t invade on that day, and why many of the German divisional commanders were at Rennes actually looking at a possibility of doing a command exercise against a landing in Normandy.