Monday, June 6, 2011

D-Day -- June 6 1944 -- General Eisenhower

General Eisenhower addresses a paratrooper who is preparing for the D-Day invasion of France. England, June 1944.
The D-Day operation of June 6, 1944 brought together the land, air and sea forces of the allied armies in what became known as the largest invasion force in human history.  The operation, given the codename OVERLORD, delivered five naval assault divisions to the beaches of Normandy, France.  The beaches were given the codenames UTAH, OMAHA, GOLD, JUNO and SWORD. A great invasion force stood off the Normandy coast of France as dawn broke on 6 June 1944: 9 battleships, 23 cruisers, 104 destroyers, and 71 large landing craft of various descriptions as well as troop transports, and mine sweepers, the largest armada ever assembled. The naval bombardment that began at 0550 that morning detonated large minefields along the shoreline.

The invasion force included 7,000 ships and landing craft manned by over 195,000 naval personnel from eight allied countries.  Almost 133,000 troops from England, Canada and the United States landed on D-Day.  Casualties from the three countries during the landing numbered 10,300.  By June 30th, over 850,000 men, 148,000 vehicles, and 570,000 tons of supplies had landed on the Normandy shores.  On May 7, 1945, German General Alfred Jodl signed an unconditional surrender at Reims, France.
Wounded men of the 3rd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, receive cigarettes and food after they had stormed Omaha beach on D-Day, 6 June 1944.

Army troops on board a LCT, ready to ride across the English Channel to France. Some of these men wear 101st Airborne Division insignia.

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