Sunday, June 6, 2010

D-Day (66 Years Ago)

The Normandy landings were the landing operations of the Allied invasion of Normandy, also known as Operation Neptune and Operation Overlord, during World War II. The landings commenced on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 (D-Day), beginning at 6:30 AM, along a 50-mile stretch of the Normandy coast divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword.

The assault was conducted in two phases: an air assault landing of 24,000 American, British, Canadian and Free French airborne troops shortly after midnight, and an amphibious landing of Allied infantry and armoured divisions on the coast of France.

The operation was the largest amphibious invasion of all time, with over 160,000 troops landing on 6 June 1944. 195,700 Allied naval and merchant navy personnel in over 5,000 ships were involved. The invasion required the transport of soldiers and materiel from the United Kingdom by troop-laden aircraft and ships, the assault landings, air support, naval interdiction of the English Channel and naval fire-support.

The Allied planners knew they could not control the weather for D-Day. Late on the evening of June 2, 1944, Eisenhower, his top generals, and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill met to review the weather forecast. The news was not good - D-Day, June 5, promised cloudy skies, rain, and heavy seas.

Eisenhower decided to wait another day to see whether the forecast might improve. Less than 24 hours before the scheduled invasion Eisenhower gathered his advisers again. The forecast indicated that the rain would stop and there would be breaks in the clouds by mid-afternoon on June 5.

Eisenhower decided to change the date for D-Day to June 6. He knew that the tides would not favor an invasion again for nearly two weeks, long enough for the Germans to possibly learn of the Allies' plan.

The hard fought invasion was a success, Eisenhower had won his gamble with the weather. Within 2 months, Allied forces broke out from their Normandy beachheads and began the long heroic struggle to liberate Europe from Nazi tyranny.

Editor: In honor of D-Day, please remember to SUPPORT OUR TROOPS... They are fighting for your FREEDOM and the security of our HOMELAND!


Uncle Atom said...

Thanks for this post. My father was involved in D-Day, and I just did a short blog post and linked over here for more background.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the D-Day post.

My uncle landed there with 2nd Armored on D+6. always need to remember the vets.