D-Day. June 6, 1944

74 years ago today, on Tuesday, June 6, 1944, the Allied invasion of Normandy began in Operation Overlord. Better known as D-Day , it was the largest seaborne invasion in history. The operation began the liberation of German-occupied northwestern Europe from Nazi control, and led to the Allied victory in the West.

A LCVP (Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel) from the U.S. Coast Guard-manned USS Samuel Chase disembarks troops of Company E, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division (the Big Red One) wading onto the Fox Green section of Omaha Beach on the morning of June 6, 1944. American soldiers encountered the newly formed German 352nd Division when landing. During the initial landing two-thirds of Company E became casualties.

History.com:

In November 1943, Adolf Hitler, who was aware of the threat of an invasion along France’s northern coast, put Erwin Rommel in charge of spearheading defense operations in the region, even though the Germans did not know exactly where the Allies would strike. Hitler charged Rommel with finishing the Atlantic Wall, a 2,400-mile fortification of bunkers, landmines and beach and water obstacles.

In January 1944, General Dwight Eisenhower (1890-1969) was appointed commander of Operation Overlord. In the months and weeks before D-Day, the Allies carried out a massive deception operation intended to make the Germans think the main invasion target was Pas-de-Calais (the narrowest point between Britain and France) rather than Normandy. In addition, they led the Germans to believe that Norway and other locations were also potential invasion targets. Many tactics was [sic] used to carry out the deception, including fake equipment; a phantom army commanded by George Patton and supposedly based in England, across from Pas-de-Calais; double agents; and fraudulent radio transmissions.

Eisenhower selected June 5, 1944, as the date for the invasion; however, bad weather on the days leading up to the operation caused it to be delayed for 24 hours. On the morning of June 5, after his meteorologist predicted improved conditions for the following day, Eisenhower gave the go-ahead for Operation Overlord. He told the troops: “You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you.”

Later that day, more than 5,000 ships and landing craft carrying troops and supplies left England for the trip across the Channel to France, while more than 11,000 aircraft were mobilized to provide air cover and support for the invasion.

By dawn on June 6, thousands of paratroopers and glider troops were already on the ground behind enemy lines, securing bridges and exit roads. The amphibious invasions began at 6:30 a.m. The British and Canadians overcame light opposition to capture beaches code-named Gold, Juno and Sword, as did the Americans at Utah Beach. U.S. forces faced heavy resistance at Omaha Beach, where there were over 2,000 American casualties. However, by day’s end, approximately 156,000 Allied troops had successfully stormed Normandy’s beaches.According to some estimates, more than 4,000 Allied troops lost their lives in the D-Day invasion, with thousands more wounded or missing.

Less than a week later, on June 11, the beaches were fully secured and over 326,000 troops, more than 50,000 vehicles and some 100,000 tons of equipment had landed at Normandy.

The Normandy American Cemetery, overlooking Omaha Beach and the English Channel, was established on June 8, 1944, as the first U.S. cemetery in Europe during World War II. It holds the graves of more than 9,300 U.S. servicemen who died in the D-Day invasion or subsequent missions.

One of my favorite Reagan speeches, given on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Normandy invasion:

Today, 74 years later, families of fallen soldiers and veterans of the D-Day invasion gathered on the Normandy shore.

(AP Photo/David Vincent). School children visit the Colleville American military cemetery, in Colleville sur Mer, western France, Wednesday June 6, 2018, on the 74th anniversary of the D-Day landing.

NBC/Associated Press

COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France (AP) – Families of fallen soldiers and dwindling numbers of veterans of the D-Day invasion gathered on the Normandy shore Wednesday to mark 74 years since the massive military operation that helped change the course of World War II.

Powerful gusts of wind blew through a heavy mist as relatives and others paid respects at the American military cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, above the sandy expanse known as Omaha Beach.

Ceremonies have been held this week at memorial sites along the cliffs and sandy expanse where Allied forces landed in Nazi-occupied France.

Thousands of U.S., British, Canadian and French troops launched a combined naval, air and land assault as dawn was breaking on June 6, 1944. The invasion weakened the Nazis’ hold on Western Europe after they suffered a punishing defeat in Stalingrad in the east.

American tourists and Dutch military history enthusiasts were among those visiting the memorial sites Wednesday, mingling with families of victims of the Battle of Normandy buried in cemeteries sprinkled around the region.

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33 Responses to D-Day. June 6, 1944

  1. lovely says:

    Imagine the thoughts, prayers, memories, hopes and strength that was flowing through their hearts and minds as they waiting for the stern to go down.

    Liked by 9 people

  2. Menagerie says:

    Reblogged this on The Last Refuge and commented:
    If you don’t know the story behind D-Day, you should. Every American should know this story, and be proud of it. Here it is, well told in a succinct post. Take a moment to remember, to be proud, and I hope, to pray.

    Liked by 15 people

  3. Steve in Lewes says:

    Stella, Thank You. Excellent.
    Saw on The Last Refuge with this comment:
    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/06/06/d-day-june-6-1944/comment-page-1/#comment-5472487

    Liked by 6 people

  4. MIKE says:

    Thank you for the D-Day story, Stella, from the son of a U.S. Marine present in the first wave at Betio, Tarawa.

    Liked by 9 people

  5. FofBW says:

    Stella, Menagerie reminded me that you posted this wonderful salute to our brave solders at D-Day.

    Thank you for posting.

    You are a patriot. God Bless!!

    Liked by 9 people

  6. stella says:

    Video about the phantom, or ghost, army:

    Liked by 6 people

  7. Some great PIX of that day /Users/Travelpal/Desktop/NormandyLanding.ppt

    Liked by 1 person

  8. budsblog868 says:

    Some great PIX of that day in history/Users/Travelpal/Desktop/NormandyLanding.ppt

    Like

  9. Pingback: D-Day. June 6, 1944 - Novus Vero

  10. Pingback: D-Day. June 6, 1944

  11. Pam says:

    Thank you Stella for putting together this beautiful tribute to these brave men who gave their all for this country.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Pingback: D-Day. June 6, 1944 | Centinel2012

  13. Col.(R) Ken says:

    Thank You Stella, my father 101ABN DIV, just spent their first day on the ground……. he told me much later, just glad he survived………

    Liked by 2 people

  14. americalsgt says:

    Suggest Countdown to D day with Tom Sellek as Ike. Great movie. Not for someone trying to stop smoking.

    Like

  15. americalsgt says:

    Father in law went in with the 101st. Landed in tree was about to be lit up when the Nazi saw gun parts he jumped with. Finished his war in a stalag.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Fools Gold says:

    Only met one person in my lifetime who stormed the beaches in Omaha. As he told me his story I couldn’t help but weep with him as he told me of his boat approaching the beach as the door opened. They wound up losing 3/4 of the men on that boat. He told me he never understood why he survived unscathed. He was a lovely man and was 30 years my elder. He told me his story on D day anniversary in 1984 and I’ll never forget it. He was such a humble man and a model employee where we worked together. Up until that day I had never known he was in the military.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Mary Ann says:

    I can not imagine what these brave men went through..
    I have seen reproductions of D-Day and it was like walking into a firing squad..
    Our freedom was never free.. and the scars they wear in body, and mind are heartbreaking..
    May God protect our soldiers and give them peace ..
    Thank you for sharing this great post..

    Liked by 1 person

  18. kevin king says:

    The good old days…when Britain’s MI5 and IC worked with our American pals rather than against them. Dear me, how times have changed.

    Like

  19. Pingback: VIDEO D-Day June 6, 1944 – 74th anniversary – President Trump signs VA Mission Act | Reclaim Our Republic

  20. GaterG says:

    I was in the easter offensive in march 1972 at Danang. I have walked among heroes. It is my earnest prayer the men of Omaha beach find peace and reconciliation on that long promised day of the glorious appearing. May my children and grandchildren live in peace until that day. I pray for the men and women who serve in harms way. May God continue to bless this wonderful country bathed in the sacrifice of those who have gone before us. Thank you sd.

    Liked by 2 people

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