CLS: Jim Craft
While most people have a passing awareness of the events of June 6, 1944, popular presentations of D-Day rarely place it in the full context. Where did it fit in the grand scheme of the war in Europe? What was the overall strategy for the campaign and why were the Allies successful? What were the German advantages and disadvantages? What made the campaign in Northern France a long, costly one? What would have been the consequences of failure? What happened after June 6? How were the Americans able to breach the formidable barrier at Omaha beach? These and other questions are addressed in this presentation. It will focus on the American experience and make only cursory reference to the British role in the Normandy Campaign due to session time limitations.
Jim Craft has a B.A. in History from Oakland University (Rochester, MI) and an M.A. in History from Wayne State University (Detroit, MI). After teaching history for thirteen years, he moved into “corporate America” for the balance of his career. Since 1995, however, he has been active in various historical projects: writing, researching, developing curriculum material, doing curatorial work and lecturing. A frequent presenter in southeastern Michigan, he is currently writing a series of short history books. These primarily focus on important, although underappreciated, aspects of American History but doing so from a local perspective. Craft’s primary expertise is in the 19th Century; the Normandy Campaign is one of his many areas of interests, and he has visited Normandy on six occasions to explore the far-flung combat areas. Jim has been a member of the Oakland County (Michigan) Historical Commission since 2008.