The D-Day Invasion of Normandy
June 6, 1944
It is hard to conceive the epic scope of this decisive battle that foreshadowed the end of Hitlers dream of Nazi domination. Overlord was the largest air, land, and sea operation undertaken before or since June 6, 1944. The landing included over 5,000 ships, 11,000 airplanes, and over 150,000 service men. After years of meticulous planning and seemingly endless training, for the Allied Forces, it all came down to this: The boat ramp goes down, then jump, swim, run, and crawl to the cliffs. Many of the first young men (most not yet 20 years old) entered the surf carrying eighty pounds of equipment. They faced over 200 yards of beach before reaching the first natural feature offering any protection. Blanketed by small-arms fire and bracketed by artillery, they found themselves in hell. When it was over, the Allied Forces had suffered nearly 10,000 casualties; more than 4,000 were dead. Yet somehow, due to planning and preparation, and due to the valor, fidelity, and sacrifice of the Allied Forces, Fortress Europe had been breached.
D-Day is the name given to the landing of 160,000 Allied troops in Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944. The success of the invasion of Normandy was really the beginning of the end for Nazi Germany. The invasion, also called “Operation Overlord,” involved five separate landings by American, British, and Canadian troops and was commanded by American General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Stiff German resistance resulted in nearly 10,000 Allied casualties, but the Germans were ultimately unable to repel the Allied forces. Although German resistance continued even after all five beachheads were taken, they had too few troops in the area to be effective. By August 1944, all of Northern France was under Allied control as Eisenhower began to prepare for the invasion of Germany.
Some additional facts about the D-Day Operation: