On June 6th ,1944, approximately 156,000 American, British and Canadian soldiers landed on five beaches along a 50-mile stretch of France's Normandy region. The objective was to rid Germans from Europe which would help remove Hitler from France.
Where was everyone positioned ?
The Americans would attack at Utah and Omaha, the British at Gold and Sword and Canadian troops at Juno.
How was it planned?
The president of the United States: Franklin D Roosevelt, was waiting to form an operation to retrieve France from German control. Since 1942 the US kept telling the British that an attack was necessary. The battle of Stalingrad further proved this point. Joseph Stalin, who was the leader of Soviet Russia, needed the Allies to create another front on the west of Europe as the Russian army was taking major casualties. In 1943 German U-Boats were no longer a threat to the Allies in the ocean, so it was clearly time to plan an attack. In November of 1943 Britain finally accepted the fact that an attack was needed. Operation was the code name and was planned by US Army General Dwight D Eisenhower and Allied Ground Force Commander British General Bernard Montgomery.
^US Army General Dwight D Eisenhower (left) and British General Bernard Montgomery(right)^
- D-day was the largest naval, land and air operation in history.
- The "d" in d-day stood for day and was used to preserve secrecy.
- The Germans knew they were going to be attacked but they didn't know when or where.
- The heaviest losses were at Omaha beach where US forces experienced 2000 casualties
- About 3200 recon missions were initiated to prepare for d-day
- D-day was supposed to be on June 5 but was rescheduled due to bad weather.
- Double Agent Garbo told the Germans that the landings at Normandy were a trick.
- High Command assumed a successful landing would leave 10000 dead and 30000 wounded, but instead 60000 died and 30000 were wounded.
- Many paratroopers were dropped in the wrong place, such as US Private John Steele who's parachute was snagged on the church steeple at Sainte-Mere-Eglise. He was stuck there for 2 hours before being taken prisoner.
- Hitler was asleep when the Germans found out about the invasion and no one dared wake him.
D-Day - A Critical Moment In History