Here’s a look at D-Day. Allied troops invaded Normandy, France on June 6, 1944, to fight Nazi Germany in Second World War.
The largest amphibious invasion (land and water) in history.
The codename for the invasion was Operation Overlord.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower commanded the operation and plans were made to land in Normandy, west of where German troops and artillery had been built.
The “D” stands for Day. D-Day is the code for the day when a major military attack is expected to begin.
Code names for the five beaches where the Allies landed: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword.
More than 13,000 aircraft and 5,000 ships supported the operation.
The exact number of victims is unknown. An estimated 10,000 Allied soldiers were killed, wounded or missing in action: 6,603 Americans, 2,700 British and 946 Canadians.
19 August 1942 – A raid in the French port of Dieppe with heavy losses convinces D-Day planners to land on the beaches. Preparations begin for an Allied invasion across the Channel.
May 1943 – The Trident Conference, a British and US strategic war meeting takes place in Washington, DC. Winston Churchill, President Theodore Roosevelt and their military advisers discuss crossing the Channel.
August 1943 – The Chiefs of Staff of the British and US Armed Forces outline Operation Overlord during the Quadrant Conference.
November and December 1943 – British and US military leaders discuss the details of the assault on France during the Sestante and Eureka conferences.
1944 – The Germans expect an invasion along the north coast of France, but they don’t know where it will take place. They build their troops and artillery near Calais, where the English Channel is the narrowest.
5 June 1944 – Allied paratroopers and gliders carrying heavy equipment leave England to begin the air invasion of France.
In a convey a message to the troops before they leave, Eisenhower tells them, “The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to victory … We will accept nothing less than full victory!”
June 6, 1944 – During the night, a military army and more than 160,000 soldiers cross the English Channel. The minesweepers go ahead to clean the waters in preparation for the thousands of landing craft that will carry men, vehicles and supplies.
Between midnight and 8 am, the Allied forces carry out 14,674 sorties.
At 6:30 the troops begin to land on a 50 mile front.
In a broadcast to the people of occupied Europe, Eisenhower says: “Although the initial assault may not have been made in your country, the hour of your liberation is approaching.”