On June 6, 1944, allied troops invaded Normandy, France, in attempts to fight the Nazi’s in World War II.
Here are some facts about the infamous day:
- D-Day was the largest amphibious invasion in history.
- The code name of the invasion was Operation Overlord.
- General Dwight D. Eisenhower commanded the operation.
- The “D” stands for Day. D-Day and H-Hour stand for the secret day and time the operation is scheduled to begin.
- There were code names for the five beaches where the Allies landed: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword.
- The original date for the invasion was June 5, 1944, but bad weather forced the postponement.
- Over 13,000 aircraft and 5,000 ships supported the operation.
- Casualties from D-Day are estimated at 10,000 killed, wounded, and missing in action: 6,603 Americans, 2,700 British, and 946 Canadians.
- On August 19, 1942, a raid on the French port of Dieppe resulted in heavy losses which convinced D-Day planners to land on the beaches.
- Allied paratroopers and gliders carrying heavy equipment leave England to begin the invasion of France by air on June 5, 1944.
- Eisenhower tells troops in a broadcasted message, “The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to victory…. We will accept nothing less than full victory!”
- Overnight, more than 160,000 troops cross the English Channel on June 6, 1944.
- Between midnight and 8 am, Allied forces fly 14,674 sorties.
- By 6:30 am, troops set foot on 50-miles of beachfront in France.
- To the people of occupied Europe, Eisenhower says, “Although the initial assault may not have been in your own country, the hour of your liberation is approaching.”
And as you know the rest is history. The war ended on September 2, 1945 after six long years.