AncientPages.com - On June 6, 1944, there was D-Day. This crucial day in European history will never be forgotten.
On this day, more than 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of the heavily fortified French coastline, to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France.
Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which, “we will accept nothing less than full victory.”
Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower encouraged Allied soldiers taking part in the D-day invasion of June 6, 1944, reminding them, "The eyes of the world are upon you," before they embarked on " a great crusade."
More than 5,000 Ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion, and by day’s end, the Allies gained a foothold in Continental Europe.
D-Day was the beginning of the British and Allied invasion of Western Europe during the Second World War and marked the beginning of the campaign for victory in Europe.
D-Day 6 June 1944
The cost of lives on D-Day was high. More than 9,000 Allied Soldiers were killed or wounded, but their sacrifice allowed more than 100,000 Soldiers to begin the slow, hard slog across Europe, to defeat Adolf Hitler’s crack troops.
U.S. troops disembark from a landing vehicle on Utah Beach on the coast of Normandy. France in June of 1944. Credits: Archive Boston
The planned invasion was the largest invasion in history. An amphibious landing in Northern France would be followed by a sweep eastwards towards the German capital.
The invasion did not run entirely on schedule. The attack had to be postponed for 24 hours due to stormy conditions. After the weather had settled, the Allies landed successfully in Normandy and the combined forces of the R.A.F. and American Air Force knocked out key enemy installations.
D-Day 6 June 1944
But due to paralyzing congestion on the beaches and robust resistance by the Panzar divisions, the Allies failed to take the town of Caen as anticipated. A month of heavy fighting followed before Caen was secured and the Allies were able to press on to Berlin and eventually secure victory.
The invasion of Okinawa began on L-Day and the proposed invasion of Japan would have begun on X-Day had the Japanese not previously surrendered.