Although the term D-Day is used routinely as military lingo for the day an operation or event will take place, for the men and women in our armed forces who served and sacrificed in World War II, the term D-Day is synonymous with June 6, 1944. This is the day the Allied powers crossed the English Channel and landed on the beaches of Normandy, France. This momentous day was the beginning of the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi control during World War II. Within three months, the northern part of France would be freed and the invasion force would be preparing to enter Germany, where they would meet up with Soviet forces moving in from the east.
On the morning of June 5, 1944, U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the supreme commander of Allied forces in Europe gave the go-ahead for Operation Overlord, the largest amphibious military operation in history. On his orders, 6,000 landing craft, ships and other vessels carrying 176,000 troops began to leave England for the trip to France. That night, 822 aircraft filled with parachutists headed for drop zones in Normandy. An additional 13,000 aircraft were mobilized to provide air cover and support for the invasion.
By dawn on June 6, 18,000 parachutists were already on the ground; the land invasions began at 6:30 a.m. The British and Canadians overcame light opposition to capture Gold, Juno and Sword beaches; so did the Americans at Utah. The task was much tougher at Omaha beach, however, where 2,000 troops were lost and it was only through the tenacity and quick-wittedness of troops on the ground that the objective was achieved. By day’s end, 155,000 Allied troops–Americans, British and Canadians–had
successfully stormed Normandy’s beaches.
Today, give thanks in silent and humble prayer for the men and women who served at home and abroad on DDay 73 years ago.
“Greater love has no one than this; to lay down ones life………”
* Using a forwarded article from my parent’s Gleneagles neighborhood monthly newsletter