82nd Airborne Division
101st Airborne Division
6th Airborne Division
South of Caen
709th Static Division
Gold, Juno, and Sword
716th Static Division
170 coastal artillery guns. Includes guns from 100mm to 210mm, as well
as 320mm rocket launchers.
Casualties and losses
10,000+ casualties; 4,414 confirmed dead[b]
M4 Sherman tanks
Invasion of Normandy
Taxable, Glimmer & Big Drum
Combined Bomber Offensive
Initial Airborne Assault
Pointe du Hoc
Initial ground campaign
Air and Sea Operations
Normandy landings were the landing operations on Tuesday, 6 June
1944 of the Allied invasion of
Operation Overlord during
World War II. Codenamed Operation Neptune and often referred to as
D-Day, it was the largest seaborne invasion in history. The operation
began the liberation of German-occupied northwestern Europe from Nazi
control, and laid the foundations of the Allied victory on the Western
Planning for the operation began in 1943. In the months leading up to
the invasion, the Allies conducted a substantial military deception,
codenamed Operation Bodyguard, to mislead the Germans as to the date
and location of the main Allied landings. The weather on
D-Day was far
from ideal and the operation had to be delayed 24 hours; a further
postponement would have meant a delay of at least two weeks as the
invasion planners had requirements for the phase of the moon, the
tides, and the time of day that meant only a few days each month were
Adolf Hitler placed German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel
in command of German forces and of developing fortifications along the
Atlantic Wall in anticipation of an Allied invasion.
The amphibious landings were preceded by extensive aerial and naval
bombardment and an airborne assault—the landing of 24,000 American,
British, and Canadian airborne troops shortly after midnight. Allied
infantry and armoured divisions began landing on the coast of France
at 06:30. The target 50-mile (80 km) stretch of the Normandy
coast was divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and
Sword. Strong winds blew the landing craft east of their intended
positions, particularly at Utah and Omaha. The men landed under heavy
fire from gun emplacements overlooking the beaches, and the shore was
mined and covered with obstacles such as wooden stakes, metal tripods,
and barbed wire, making the work of the beach-clearing teams difficult
and dangerous. Casualties were heaviest at Omaha, with its high
cliffs. At Gold, Juno, and Sword, several fortified towns were cleared
in house-to-house fighting, and two major gun emplacements at Gold
were disabled, using specialised tanks.
The Allies failed to achieve any of their goals on the first day.
Carentan, St. Lô, and
Bayeux remained in German hands, and Caen, a
major objective, was not captured until 21 July. Only two of the
beaches (Juno and Gold) were linked on the first day, and all five
beachheads were not connected until 12 June; however, the operation
gained a foothold which the Allies gradually expanded over the coming
months. German casualties on
D-Day have been estimated at 4,000 to
9,000 men. Allied casualties were at least 10,000, with 4,414
Museums, memorials, and war cemeteries in the area now host many
visitors each year.
3 Deception plans
5 German order of battle
5.1 Cotentin Peninsula
5.2 Grandcamps Sector
5.3 Forces around Caen
6 Atlantic Wall
7 Armoured reserves
8 Allied order of battle
8.1 American zones
8.2 British and Canadian zones
9 Coordination with the French Resistance
10 Naval activity
10.1 Naval losses
12.1 Airborne operations
12.1.1 American airborne landings
12.1.2 British and Canadian airborne landings
12.2 Tank landings
12.3 Utah Beach
12.4 Pointe du Hoc
12.5 Omaha Beach
12.6 Gold Beach
12.7 Juno Beach
12.8 Sword Beach
14 War memorials and tourism
15 Depiction in media
15.2 Film and television
15.3 Video games
16 See also
18 Further reading
19 External links
After the German Army invaded the
Soviet Union in June 1941, the
Joseph Stalin began pressing his allies for the creation
of a second front in western Europe. In late May 1942 the Soviet
Union and the
United States made a joint announcement that a "... full
understanding was reached with regard to the urgent tasks of creating
a second front in Europe in 1942." However, British Prime Minister
Winston Churchill persuaded American President Franklin D. Roosevelt
to postpone the promised invasion as, even with American help, the
Allies did not have adequate forces for such an activity.
Instead of an immediate return to France, the western Allies staged
offensives in the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations, where British
troops were already stationed. By mid-1943 the campaign in North
Africa had been won. The Allies then launched the invasion of Sicily
in July 1943, and subsequently invaded the Italian mainland in
September the same year. By then, Soviet forces were on the offensive
and had won a major victory at the Battle of Stalingrad. The decision
to undertake a cross-channel invasion within the next year was taken
Trident Conference in Washington in May 1943. Initial
planning was constrained by the number of available landing craft,
most of which were already committed in the Mediterranean and
Pacific. At the
Tehran Conference in November 1943, Roosevelt and
Churchill promised Stalin that they would open the long-delayed second
front in May 1944.
Meeting of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force
(SHAEF), 1 February 1944. Front row: Air Chief Marshal Arthur Tedder;
General Dwight D. Eisenhower; General Bernard Montgomery. Back row:
Lieutenant General Omar Bradley; Admiral Bertram Ramsay; Air Chief
Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory; Lieutenant General Walter Bedell
Four sites were considered for the landings: Brittany, the Cotentin
Peninsula, Normandy, and the Pas de Calais. As
Brittany and Cotentin
are peninsulas, it would have been possible for the Germans to cut off
the Allied advance at a relatively narrow isthmus, so these sites were
rejected. With the
Pas de Calais
Pas de Calais being the closest point in
continental Europe to Britain, the Germans considered it to be the
most likely initial landing zone, so it was the most heavily fortified
region. But it offered few opportunities for expansion, as the
area is bounded by numerous rivers and canals, whereas landings on
a broad front in
Normandy would permit simultaneous threats against
the port of Cherbourg, coastal ports further west in Brittany, and an
overland attack towards Paris and eventually into Germany. Normandy
was hence chosen as the landing site. The most serious drawback of
Normandy coast—the lack of port facilities—would be overcome
through the development of artificial Mulberry harbours. A series
of specialised tanks, nicknamed Hobart's Funnies, were created to deal
with conditions expected during the
Normandy Campaign, such as scaling
sea walls and providing close support on the beach.
The Allies planned to launch the invasion on 1 May 1944. The
initial draft of the plan was accepted at the Quebec Conference in
August 1943. General
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower was appointed commander of
Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force
Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF). General
Bernard Montgomery was named as commander of the 21st Army Group,
which comprised all of the land forces involved in the invasion.
On 31 December 1943 Eisenhower and Montgomery first saw the plan,
which proposed amphibious landings by three divisions with two more
divisions in support. The two generals immediately insisted that the
scale of the initial invasion be expanded to five divisions, with
airborne descents by three additional divisions, to allow operations
on a wider front and speed up the capture of Cherbourg. The need
to acquire or produce extra landing craft for the expanded operation
meant that the invasion had to be delayed to June. Eventually,
thirty-nine Allied divisions would be committed to the Battle of
Normandy: twenty-two American, twelve British, three Canadian, one
Polish, and one French, totalling over a million troops all under
overall British command.
Operation Overlord was the name assigned to the establishment of a
large-scale lodgement on the Continent. The first phase, the
amphibious invasion and establishment of a secure foothold, was
codenamed Operation Neptune. To gain the air superiority needed to
ensure a successful invasion, the Allies undertook a bombing campaign
(codenamed Operation Pointblank) that targeted German aircraft
production, fuel supplies, and airfields. Elaborate deceptions,
codenamed Operation Bodyguard, were undertaken in the months leading
up to the invasion to prevent the Germans from learning the timing and
location of the invasion.
The landings were to be preceded by airborne operations near
the eastern flank to secure the Orne River bridges and north of
Carentan on the western flank. The Americans, assigned to land at Utah
Beach and Omaha Beach, were to attempt to capture
Carentan and St. Lô
the first day, then cut off the
Cotentin Peninsula and eventually
capture the port facilities at Cherbourg. The British at Sword and
Gold Beaches and Canadians at
Juno Beach would protect the American
flank and attempt to establish airfields near Caen. A secure lodgement
would be established and an attempt made to hold all territory north
of the Avranches-Falaise line within the first three weeks.
Montgomery envisaged a ninety-day battle, lasting until all Allied
forces reached the River Seine.
Shoulder patches were designed for units of the fictitious First
United States Army Group under George Patton
Under the overall umbrella of Operation Bodyguard, the Allies
conducted several subsidiary operations designed to mislead the
Germans as to the date and location of the Allied landings.
Operation Fortitude included Fortitude North, a misinformation
campaign using fake radio traffic to lead the Germans into expecting
an attack on Norway, and Fortitude South, a major deception
involving the creation of a fictitious First
United States Army Group
under Lieutenant General George S. Patton, supposedly located in Kent
and Sussex. Fortitude South was intended to deceive the Germans into
believing that the main attack would take place at Calais.
Genuine radio messages from
21st Army Group
21st Army Group were first routed to Kent
via landline and then broadcast, to give the Germans the impression
that most of the Allied troops were stationed there. Patton was
stationed in England until 6 July, thus continuing to deceive the
Germans into believing a second attack would take place at Calais.
Many of the German radar stations on the French coast were destroyed
in preparation for the landings. In addition, on the night before
the invasion, a small group of
Special Air Service
Special Air Service (SAS) operators
deployed dummy paratroopers over
Le Havre and Isigny. These dummies
led the Germans to believe that an additional airborne landing had
occurred. On that same night, in Operation Taxable, No. 617 Squadron
RAF dropped strips of "window", metal foil that caused a radar return
which was mistakenly interpreted by German radar operators as a naval
convoy near Le Havre. The illusion was bolstered by a group of small
vessels towing barrage balloons. A similar deception was undertaken
Boulogne-sur-Mer in the
Pas de Calais
Pas de Calais area by No. 218 Squadron
RAF in Operation Glimmer.
The invasion planners determined a set of conditions involving the
phase of the moon, the tides, and the time of day that would be
satisfactory on only a few days in each month. A full moon was
desirable, as it would provide illumination for aircraft pilots and
have the highest tides. The Allies wanted to schedule the landings for
shortly before dawn, midway between low and high tide, with the tide
coming in. This would improve the visibility of obstacles on the
beach, while minimising the amount of time the men would be exposed in
the open. Eisenhower had tentatively selected 5 June as the date
for the assault. However, on 4 June, conditions were unsuitable for a
landing: high winds and heavy seas made it impossible to launch
landing craft, and low clouds would prevent aircraft from finding
Surface weather analysis
Surface weather analysis map showing weather fronts on 5 June
James Stagg of the
Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force (RAF) met Eisenhower
on the evening of 4 June. He and his meteorological team predicted
that the weather would improve enough for the invasion to proceed on 6
June. The next available dates with the required tidal conditions
(but without the desirable full moon) would be two weeks later, from
18 to 20 June. Postponement of the invasion would have required
recalling men and ships already in position to cross the Channel, and
would have increased the chance that the invasion plans would be
detected. After much discussion with the other senior commanders,
Eisenhower decided that the invasion should go ahead on the 6th. A
major storm battered the
Normandy coast from 19 to 22 June, which
would have made the beach landings impossible.
Allied control of the Atlantic meant German meteorologists had less
information than the Allies on incoming weather patterns. As the
Luftwaffe meteorological centre in Paris was predicting two weeks of
stormy weather, many Wehrmacht commanders left their posts to attend
war games in Rennes, and men in many units were given leave. Field
Erwin Rommel returned to Germany for his wife's birthday and
to meet with Hitler to try to obtain more Panzers.
German order of battle
Nazi Germany had at its disposal fifty divisions in France and the Low
Countries, with another eighteen stationed in
Denmark and Norway.
Fifteen divisions were in the process of formation in Germany.
Combat losses throughout the war, particularly on the Eastern Front,
meant that the Germans no longer had a pool of able young men from
which to draw. German soldiers were now on average six years older
than their Allied counterparts. Many in the
Normandy area were
Ostlegionen (eastern legions) – conscripts and volunteers from
Russia, Mongolia, and other areas of the Soviet Union. They were
provided mainly with unreliable captured equipment and lacked
motorised transport. Many German units were under
German Supreme commander: Adolf Hitler
Oberbefehlshaber West (Supreme Commander West; OB West): Field Marshal
Gerd von Rundstedt
Panzer Group West: General Leo Geyr von Schweppenburg)
Army Group B: Field Marshal Erwin Rommel
7th Army: Generaloberst Friedrich Dollmann
LXXXIV Corps under General der Artillerie Erich Marcks
Allied forces attacking
Utah Beach faced the following German units
stationed on the Cotentin Peninsula:
Infantry Division under Generalleutnant Karl-Wilhelm von
Schlieben numbered 12,320 men, many of them
conscripts recruited from Soviet prisoners of war, Georgians and
729th Grenadier Regiment
739th Grenadier Regiment
919th Grenadier Regiment
German troops using captured French tanks (Beutepanzer) in Normandy,
Omaha Beach faced the following troops:
Infantry Division under Generalleutnant Dietrich Kraiss, a
full-strength unit of around 12,000 brought in by Rommel on 15 March
and reinforced by two additional regiments.
914th Grenadier Regiment
915th Grenadier Regiment (as reserves)
916th Grenadier Regiment
Infantry Regiment (from 716th
352nd Artillery Regiment
Allied forces at Gold and Juno faced the following elements of the
914th Grenadier Regiment
915th Grenadier Regiment
916th Grenadier Regiment
352nd Artillery Regiment
Forces around Caen
Allied forces attacking Gold, Juno, and Sword Beaches faced the
following German units:
Infantry Division under Generalleutnant Wilhelm Richter.
At 7,000 troops, the division was significantly understrength.
1716th Artillery Regiment
Panzer Division, (south of Caen) under Generalmajor Edgar
Feuchtinger included 146 tanks and 50 assault guns, plus supporting
infantry and artillery.
125th Panzergrenadier Regiment
192nd Panzergrenadier Regiment
Panzer Artillery Regiment
Atlantic Wall and English Channel
Map of the Atlantic Wall, shown in yellow
Axis and occupied countries
Allies and occupied countries
Alarmed by the raids on St Nazaire and Dieppe in 1942, Hitler had
ordered the construction of fortifications all along the Atlantic
coast, from Spain to Norway, to protect against an expected Allied
invasion. He envisioned 15,000 emplacements manned by 300,000 troops,
but shortages, particularly of concrete and manpower, meant that most
of the strongpoints were never built. As it was expected to be the
site of the invasion, the
Pas de Calais
Pas de Calais was heavily defended. In
Normandy area, the best fortifications were concentrated at the
port facilities at
Cherbourg and Saint-Malo. Rommel was assigned
to oversee the construction of further fortifications along the
expected invasion front, which stretched from the
Cherbourg, and was given command of the newly re-formed Army
Group B, which included the 7th Army, the 15th Army, and the forces
guarding the Netherlands. Reserves for this group included the 2nd,
21st, and 116th
Rommel believed that the
Normandy coast could be a possible landing
point for the invasion, so he ordered the construction of extensive
defensive works along that shore. In addition to concrete gun
emplacements at strategic points along the coast, he ordered wooden
stakes, metal tripods, mines, and large anti-tank obstacles to be
placed on the beaches to delay the approach of landing craft and
impede the movement of tanks. Expecting the Allies to land at high
tide so that the infantry would spend less time exposed on the beach,
he ordered many of these obstacles to be placed at the high water
mark. Tangles of barbed wire, booby traps, and the removal of
ground cover made the approach hazardous for infantry. On Rommel's
order, the number of mines along the coast was tripled. The Allied
air offensive over Germany had crippled the
Luftwaffe and established
air supremacy over western Europe, so Rommel knew he could not expect
effective air support. The
Luftwaffe could muster only 815
Normandy in comparison to the Allies' 9,543.
Rommel arranged for booby-trapped stakes known as Rommelspargel
(Rommel's asparagus) to be installed in meadows and fields to deter
Rommel believed that Germany's best chance was to stop the invasion at
the shore. He requested that the mobile reserves, especially tanks, be
stationed as close to the coast as possible. Rundstedt, Geyr, and
other senior commanders objected. They believed that the invasion
could not be stopped on the beaches. Geyr argued for a conventional
doctrine: keeping the
Panzer formations concentrated in a central
position around Paris and Rouen and deploying them only when the main
Allied beachhead had been identified. He also noted that, in the
Italian Campaign, the armoured units stationed near the coast had been
damaged by naval bombardment. Rommel's opinion was that, because of
Allied air supremacy, the large-scale movement of tanks would not be
possible once the invasion was under way. Hitler made the final
decision, which was to leave three
Panzer divisions under Geyr's
command and give Rommel operational control of three more as reserves.
Hitler took personal control of four divisions as strategic reserves,
not to be used without his direct orders.
Allied order of battle
D-day assault routes into Normandy
Commander, SHAEF: General Dwight D. Eisenhower
Commander, 21st Army Group: General Bernard Montgomery
Commander, First Army (United States): Lieutenant General Omar
The First Army contingent totalled approximately 73,000 men, including
15,600 from the airborne divisions.
VII Corps, commanded by Major General J. Lawton Collins
Infantry Division: Major General Raymond O. Barton
82nd Airborne Division: Major General Matthew Ridgway
Infantry Division: Brigadier General Jay W. MacKelvie
101st Airborne Division: Major General Maxwell D. Taylor
V Corps, commanded by Major General Leonard T. Gerow, making up
Infantry Division: Major General Clarence R. Huebner
Infantry Division: Major General Charles H. Gerhardt
British and Canadian zones
Royal Marine Commandos
Royal Marine Commandos attached to 3rd
Infantry Division move inland
from Sword Beach, 6 June 1944
Commander, Second Army (Britain and Canada): Lieutenant General Sir
Overall, the Second Army contingent consisted of 83,115 men, 61,715 of
them British. The nominally British air and naval support units
included a large number of personnel from Allied nations, including
several RAF squadrons manned almost exclusively by overseas air crew.
For example, the Australian contribution to the operation included a
Royal Australian Air Force
Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) squadron, nine Article XV
squadrons, and hundreds of personnel posted to RAF units and RN
warships. The RAF supplied two-thirds of the aircraft involved in
XXX Corps, commanded by Lieutenant General Gerard Bucknall
Infantry Division: Major General D.A.H.
Juno Beach order of battle
British I Corps, commanded by Lieutenant General John Crocker
3rd Canadian Division: Major General Rod Keller
British I Corps, commanded by Lieutenant General John Crocker
Infantry Division: Major General Tom Rennie
6th Airborne Division: Major General R.N. Gale
79th Armoured Division: Major General Percy Hobart provided
specialised armoured vehicles which supported the landings on all
beaches in Second Army's sector.
Coordination with the French Resistance
Members of the
French Resistance and the U.S. 82nd Airborne division
discuss the situation during the Battle of
Normandy in 1944
Through the London-based État-major des Forces Françaises de
l'Intérieur (French Forces of the Interior), the British Special
Operations Executive orchestrated a massive campaign of sabotage to be
implemented by the French Resistance. The Allies developed four plans
for the Resistance to execute on
D-Day and the following days:
Plan Vert was a 15-day operation to sabotage the rail system.
Plan Bleu dealt with destroying electrical facilities.
Plan Tortue was a delaying operation aimed at the enemy forces that
would potentially reinforce Axis forces at Normandy.
Plan Violet dealt with cutting underground telephone and teleprinter
The resistance was alerted to carry out these tasks by messages
personnels transmitted by the BBC's French service from London.
Several hundred of these messages, which might be snatches of poetry,
quotations from literature, or random sentences, were regularly
transmitted, masking the few that were actually significant. In the
weeks preceding the landings, lists of messages and their meanings
were distributed to resistance groups. An increase in radio
activity on 5 June was correctly interpreted by German intelligence to
mean that an invasion was imminent or underway. However, because of
the barrage of previous false warnings and misinformation, most units
ignored the warning.
A 1965 report from the Counter-insurgency Information Analysis Center
details the results of the French Resistance's sabotage efforts: "In
the southeast, 52 locomotives were destroyed on 6 June and the railway
line cut in more than 500 places.
Normandy was isolated as of 7
D-Day planning map, used at Southwick House
Large landing craft convoy crosses the
English Channel on 6 June 1944
Naval operations for the invasion were described by historian Correlli
Barnett as a "never surpassed masterpiece of planning". In overall
command was British Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, who had served as Flag
Dover during the Dunkirk evacuation four years earlier. He
had also been responsible for the naval planning of the invasion of
North Africa in 1942, and one of the two fleets carrying troops for
the invasion of Sicily the following year.
The invasion fleet was drawn from eight different navies, comprising
6,939 vessels: 1,213 warships, 4,126 landing craft of various types,
736 ancillary craft, and 864 merchant vessels. The majority of the
fleet was supplied by the UK, which provided 892 warships and 3,261
landing craft. There were 195,700 naval personnel involved.
The invasion fleet was split into the
Western Naval Task Force (under
Admiral Alan G Kirk) supporting the American sectors and the Eastern
Naval Task Force (under Admiral Sir Philip Vian) in the British and
Canadian sectors. Available to the fleet were five
battleships, 20 cruisers, 65 destroyers, and two monitors. German
ships in the area on
D-Day included three torpedo boats, 29 fast
attack craft, 36 R boats, and 36 minesweepers and patrol boats.
The Germans also had several U-boats available, and all the approaches
had been heavily mined.
At 05:10, four German torpedo boats reached the Eastern Task Force and
launched fifteen torpedoes, sinking the Norwegian destroyer HNoMS
Svenner off Sword beach but missing the battleships HMS Warspite and
Ramillies. After attacking, the German vessels turned away and fled
east into a smoke screen that had been laid by the RAF to shield the
fleet from the long-range battery at Le Havre. Allied losses to
mines included USS Corry off Utah and USS PC-1261, a 173-foot patrol
craft. In addition, many landing craft were lost.
Main article: Bombing of Normandy
Map of the invasion area showing channels cleared of mines, location
of vessels engaged in bombardment, and targets on shore
Normandy began around midnight with more than 2,200
British, Canadian, and American bombers attacking targets along the
coast and further inland. The coastal bombing attack was largely
ineffective at Omaha, because low cloud cover made the assigned
targets difficult to see. Concerned about inflicting casualties on
their own troops, many bombers delayed their attacks too long and
failed to hit the beach defences. The Germans had 570 aircraft
Normandy and the Low Countries on D-Day, and another 964
Minesweepers began clearing channels for the invasion fleet shortly
after midnight and finished just after dawn without encountering the
enemy. The Western Task Force included the battleships Arkansas,
Nevada, and Texas, plus eight cruisers, 28 destroyers, and one
monitor. The Eastern Task Force included the battleships Ramillies
and Warspite and the monitor Roberts, twelve cruisers, and
thirty-seven destroyers. Naval bombardment of areas behind the
beach commenced at 05:45, while it was still dark, with the gunners
switching to pre-assigned targets on the beach as soon as it was light
enough to see, at 05:50. Since troops were scheduled to land at
Utah and Omaha starting at 06:30 (an hour earlier than the British
beaches), these areas received only about 40 minutes of naval
bombardment before the assault troops began to land on the shore.
The success of the amphibious landings depended on the establishment
of a secure lodgement from which to expand the beachhead to allow the
buildup of a well-supplied force capable of breaking out. The
amphibious forces were especially vulnerable to strong enemy
counter-attacks before the arrival of sufficient forces in the
beachhead could be accomplished. To slow or eliminate the enemy's
ability to organise and launch counter-attacks during this critical
period, airborne operations were used to seize key objectives such as
bridges, road crossings, and terrain features, particularly on the
eastern and western flanks of the landing areas. The airborne landings
some distance behind the beaches were also intended to ease the egress
of the amphibious forces off the beaches, and in some cases to
neutralise German coastal defence batteries and more quickly expand
the area of the beachhead.
The US 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions were assigned to objectives
west of Utah Beach, where they hoped to capture and control the few
narrow causeways through terrain that had been intentionally flooded
by the Germans. Reports from Allied intelligence in mid-May of the
arrival of the German 91st
Infantry Division meant the intended drop
zones had to be shifted eastward and to the south. The British
6th Airborne Division, on the eastern flank, was assigned to capture
intact the bridges over the
Caen Canal and River Orne, destroy five
bridges over the Dives 6 miles (9.7 km) to the east, and destroy
Merville Gun Battery
Merville Gun Battery overlooking Sword Beach. Free French
paratroopers from the British SAS Brigade were assigned to objectives
Brittany from 5 June until August in Operations Dingson, Samwest,
BBC war correspondent Robert Barr described the scene as paratroopers
prepared to board their aircraft:
Their faces were darkened with cocoa; sheathed knives were strapped to
their ankles; tommy guns strapped to their waists; bandoliers and hand
grenades, coils of rope, pick handles, spades, rubber dinghies hung
around them, and a few personal oddments, like the lad who was taking
a newspaper to read on the plane ... There was an easy familiar
touch about the way they were getting ready, as though they had done
it often before. Well, yes, they had kitted up and climbed aboard
often just like this – twenty, thirty, forty times some of them, but
it had never been quite like this before. This was the first combat
jump for every one of them.
American airborne landings
Main article: American airborne landings in Normandy
Gliders are delivered to the
Cotentin Peninsula by Douglas C-47
Skytrains. 6 June 1944
The American airborne landings began with the arrival of pathfinders
at 00:15. Navigation was difficult because of a bank of thick cloud,
and as a result only one of the five paratrooper drop zones was
accurately marked with radar signals and Aldis lamps.
Paratroopers of the US 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions, numbering
over 13,000 men, were delivered by Douglas C-47 Skytrains of the IX
Troop Carrier Command. To avoid flying over the invasion fleet,
the planes arrived from the west over the
Cotentin Peninsula and
exited over Utah Beach.
Paratroops from 101st Airborne were dropped beginning around 01:30,
tasked with controlling the causeways behind
Utah Beach and destroying
road and rail bridges over the
Douve River. The C-47s could not
fly in a tight formation because of thick cloud cover, and many
paratroopers were dropped far from their intended landing zones. Many
planes came in so low that they were under fire from both flak and
machine gun fire. Some paratroopers were killed on impact when their
parachutes did not have time to open, and others drowned in the
flooded fields. Gathering together into fighting units was made
difficult by a shortage of radios and by the bocage terrain, with its
hedgerows, stone walls, and marshes. Some units did not
arrive at their targets until afternoon, by which time several of the
causeways had already been cleared by members of the 4th Infantry
Division moving up from the beach.
Troops of the 82nd Airborne began arriving around 02:30, with the
primary objective of capturing two bridges over the River
destroying two bridges over the Douve. On the east side of the
river, 75 per cent of the paratroopers landed in or near their drop
zone, and within two hours they captured the important crossroads at
Sainte-Mère-Église (the first town liberated in the invasion)
and began working to protect the western flank. Because of the
failure of the pathfinders to accurately mark their drop zone, the two
regiments dropped on the west side of the
Merderet were extremely
scattered, with only four per cent landing in the target area.
Many landed in nearby swamps, with much loss of life.
Paratroopers consolidated into small groups, usually a combination of
men of various ranks from different units, and attempted to
concentrate on nearby objectives. They captured but failed to
Merderet River bridge at La Fière, and fighting for the
crossing continued for several days.
Reinforcements arrived by glider around 04:00 (
Mission Chicago and
Mission Detroit), and 21:00 (Mission Keokuk and Mission Elmira),
bringing additional troops and heavy equipment. Like the paratroopers,
many landed far from their drop zones. Even those that landed on
target experienced difficulty, with heavy cargo such as Jeeps shifting
during landing, crashing through the wooden fuselage, and in some
cases crushing personnel on board.
After 24 hours, only 2,500 men of the 101st and 2,000 of the 82nd
Airborne were under the control of their divisions, approximately a
third of the force dropped. This wide dispersal had the effect of
confusing the Germans and fragmenting their response. The 7th
Army received notification of the parachute drops at 01:20, but
Rundstedt did not initially believe that a major invasion was
underway. The destruction of radar stations along the
in the week before the invasion meant that the Germans did not detect
the approaching fleet until 02:00.
British and Canadian airborne landings
Main article: Operation Tonga
Waco CG-4 glider is examined by German troops
The first Allied action of
D-Day was Operation Deadstick, a glider
assault at 00:16 at
Pegasus Bridge over the
Caen Canal and the bridge
(since renamed Horsa Bridge) over the Orne, half a mile (800 metres)
to the east. Both bridges were quickly captured intact, with light
casualties, by members of the 5th Parachute Brigade and the 7th (Light
Infantry) Parachute Battalion. The five bridges over the
Dives were destroyed with minimal difficulty by the 3rd Parachute
Brigade. Meanwhile, the pathfinders tasked with setting up
radar beacons and lights for further paratroopers (scheduled to begin
arriving at 00:50 to clear the landing zone north of Ranville) were
blown off course, and had to set up the navigation aids too far east.
Many paratroopers, also blown too far east, landed far from their
intended drop zones; some took hours or even days to be reunited with
their units. Major General Richard Gale arrived in the third
wave of gliders at 03:30, along with equipment, such as antitank guns
and jeeps, and more troops to help secure the area from
counter-attacks, which were initially staged only by troops in the
immediate vicinity of the landings. At 02:00, the commander of
the German 716th
Infantry Division ordered Feuchtinger to move his
Panzer Division into position to counter-attack. However, as the
division was part of the armoured reserve, Feuchtinger was obliged to
seek clearance from
OKW before he could commit his formation.
Feuchtinger did not receive orders until nearly 09:00, but in the
meantime on his own initiative he put together a battle group
(including tanks) to fight the British forces east of the Orne.
Only 160 men out of the 600 members of the 9th Battalion tasked with
eliminating the enemy battery at Merville arrived at the rendezvous
point. Lieutenant Colonel Terence Otway, in charge of the operation,
decided to proceed regardless, as the emplacement had to be destroyed
by 06:00 to prevent it firing on the invasion fleet and the troops
arriving on Sword Beach. In the Battle of Merville Gun Battery, Allied
forces disabled the guns with plastic explosives at a cost of 75
casualties. The emplacement was found to contain 75 mm guns
rather than the expected 150 mm heavy coastal artillery. Otway's
remaining force withdrew with the assistance of a few members of the
1st Canadian Parachute Battalion.
With this action, the last of the
D-Day goals of the British 6th
Airborne Division was achieved. They were reinforced at 12:00 by
commandos of the 1st
Special Service Brigade, who landed on Sword
Beach, and by the 6th Airlanding Brigade, who arrived in gliders at
21:00 in Operation Mallard.
Some of the landing craft had been modified to provide close support
fire, and self-propelled amphibious Duplex-Drive tanks (DD tanks),
specially designed for the
Normandy landings, were to land shortly
before the infantry to provide covering fire. However, few arrived in
advance of the infantry, and many sank before reaching the shore,
especially at Omaha.
Main article: Utah Beach
Carrying their equipment, U.S. assault troops move onto Utah Beach.
Landing craft can be seen in the background.
Utah Beach was in the area defended by two battalions of the 919th
Grenadier Regiment. Members of the 8th
Infantry Regiment of the
Infantry Division were the first to land, arriving at 06:30. Their
landing craft were pushed to the south by strong currents, and they
found themselves about 2,000 yards (1.8 km) from their intended
landing zone. This site turned out to be better, as there was only one
strongpoint nearby rather than two, and bombers of IX Bomber Command
had bombed the defences from lower than their prescribed altitude,
inflicting considerable damage. In addition, the strong currents had
washed ashore many of the underwater obstacles. The assistant
commander of the 4th
Infantry Division, Brigadier General Theodore
Roosevelt, Jr., the first senior officer ashore, made the decision to
"start the war from right here", and ordered further landings to be
The initial assault battalions were quickly followed by 28 DD tanks
and several waves of engineer and demolition teams to remove beach
obstacles and clear the area directly behind the beach of obstacles
and mines. Gaps were blown in the sea wall to allow quicker access for
troops and tanks. Combat teams began to exit the beach at around
09:00, with some infantry wading through the flooded fields rather
than travelling on the single road. They skirmished throughout the day
with elements of the 919th Grenadier Regiment, who were armed with
antitank guns and rifles. The main strongpoint in the area and another
1,300 yards (1.2 km) to the south were disabled by noon. The
Infantry Division did not meet all of their
D-Day objectives at
Utah Beach, partly because they had arrived too far to the south, but
they landed 21,000 troops at the cost of only 197
Pointe du Hoc
Main article: Pointe du Hoc
U.S. Rangers scaling the wall at Pointe du Hoc
Pointe du Hoc, a prominent headland situated between Utah and Omaha,
was assigned to two hundred men of 2nd Ranger Battalion, commanded by
Lieutenant Colonel James Rudder. Their task was to scale the 30m
(100ft) cliffs with grappling hooks, ropes, and ladders to destroy the
coastal gun battery located at the top. The cliffs were defended by
the German 352nd
Infantry Division and French collaborators firing
from above. Allied destroyers Satterlee and Talybont provided
fire support. After scaling the cliffs, the Rangers discovered that
the guns had already been withdrawn. They located the weapons,
unguarded but ready to use, in an orchard some 550 metres
(600 yd) south of the point, and disabled them with
The now-isolated Rangers fended off numerous counter-attacks from the
German 914th Grenadier Regiment. The men at the point became isolated
and some were captured. By dawn on D+1, Rudder had only 90 men able to
fight. Relief did not arrive until D+2, when members of the 743rd Tank
Battalion and others arrived. By then, Rudder's men had run
out of ammunition and were using captured German weapons. Several men
were killed as a result, because the German weapons made a distinctive
noise, and the men were mistaken for the enemy. By the end of the
battle, the Rangers casualties were 135 dead and wounded, while German
casualties were 50 killed and 40 captured. An unknown number of French
collaborators were executed.
Main article: Omaha Beach
U.S. assault troops in an
LCVP landing craft
LCVP landing craft approach Omaha Beach, 6
Omaha, the most heavily defended beach, was assigned to the 1st
Infantry Division and 29th
Infantry Division. They faced the
Infantry Division rather than the expected single regiment.
Strong currents forced many landing craft east of their intended
position or caused them to be delayed. For fear of hitting the
landing craft, American bombers delayed releasing their loads and, as
a result, most of the beach obstacles at Omaha remained undamaged when
the men came ashore. Many of the landing craft ran aground on
sandbars and the men had to wade 50-100m in water up to their necks
while under fire to get to the beach. In spite of the rough seas,
DD tanks of two companies of the 741st Tank Battalion were dropped
5,000 yards (4,600 m) from shore; however, 27 of the 32 flooded
and sank, with the loss of 33 crew. Some tanks, disabled on the
beach, continued to provide covering fire until their ammunition ran
out or they were swamped by the rising tide.
Casualties were around 2,000, as the men were subjected to fire from
the cliffs above. Problems clearing the beach of obstructions led
to the beachmaster calling a halt to further landings of vehicles at
08:30. A group of destroyers arrived around this time to provide fire
support so landings could resume. Exit from the beach was
possible only via five heavily defended gullies, and by late morning
barely 600 men had reached the higher ground. By noon, as the
artillery fire took its toll and the Germans started to run out of
ammunition, the Americans were able to clear some lanes on the
beaches. They also started clearing the gullies of enemy defences so
that vehicles could move off the beach. The tenuous beachhead was
expanded over the following days, and the
D-Day objectives for Omaha
were accomplished by D+3.
Main article: Gold Beach
British troops come ashore at Jig Green sector, Gold Beach
The first landings on Gold beach were set for 07:25 due to the
differences in the tide between there and the American beaches.
High winds made conditions difficult for the landing craft, and the
amphibious DD tanks were released close to shore or directly on the
beach instead of further out as planned. Three of the four guns
in a large emplacement at the
Longues-sur-Mer battery were disabled by
direct hits from the cruisers Ajax and Argonaut at 06:20. The fourth
gun resumed firing intermittently in the afternoon, and its garrison
surrendered on 7 June. Aerial attacks had failed to hit the Le
Hamel strongpoint, which had its embrasure facing east to provide
enfilade fire along the beach and had a thick concrete wall on the
seaward side. Its 75 mm gun continued to do damage until
16:00, when a modified
Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers
Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers (AVRE) tank
fired a large petard charge into its rear entrance. A second
casemated emplacement at La Rivière containing an 88 mm gun was
neutralised by a tank at 07:30.
Meanwhile, infantry began clearing the heavily fortified houses along
the shore and advanced on targets further inland. The No. 47
(Royal Marine) Commando moved toward the small port at Port-en-Bessin
and captured it the following day in the Battle of
Company Sergeant Major
Company Sergeant Major
Stanley Hollis received
Victoria Cross awarded on
D-Day for his actions while
attacking two pillboxes at the Mont Fleury high point. On the
western flank, the 1st Battalion,
Hampshire Regiment captured
Arromanches (future site of Mulberry "B"), and contact was made on the
eastern flank with the Canadian forces at Juno.
Bayeux was not
captured the first day due to stiff resistance from the 352nd Infantry
Division. Allied casualties at
Gold Beach are estimated at
Main article: Juno Beach
Personnel of Royal Canadian Navy Beach Commando "W" land on Mike Beach
sector of Juno Beach, 6 June 1944
The landing at Juno was delayed because of choppy seas, and the men
arrived ahead of their supporting armour, suffering many casualties
while disembarking. Most of the offshore bombardment had missed the
German defences. Several exits from the beach were created, but
not without difficulty. At Mike Beach on the western flank, a large
crater was filled using an abandoned AVRE tank and several rolls of
fascine, which were then covered by a temporary bridge. The tank
remained in place until 1972, when it was removed and restored by
members of the Royal Engineers. The beach and nearby streets were
clogged with traffic for most of the day, making it difficult to move
Major German strongpoints with 75 mm guns, machine-gun nests,
concrete fortifications, barbed wire, and mines were located at
Courseulles-sur-Mer, St Aubin-sur-Mer, and Bernières-sur-Mer.
The towns themselves also had to be cleared in house-to-house
fighting. Soldiers on their way to Bény-sur-Mer, 3 miles
(5 km) inland, discovered that the road was well covered by
machine gun emplacements that had to be outflanked before the advance
could proceed. Elements of the 9th Canadian
advanced to within sight of the Carpiquet airfield late in the
afternoon, but by this time their supporting armour was low on
ammunition so the Canadians dug in for the night. The airfield was not
captured until a month later as the area became the scene of fierce
fighting. By nightfall, the contiguous Juno and Gold beachheads
covered an area 12 miles (19 km) wide and 7 miles (10 km)
deep. Casualties at Juno were 961 men.
Main article: Sword Beach
British troops take cover after landing on Sword Beach.
On Sword, 21 of 25 DD tanks of the first wave were successful in
getting safely ashore to provide cover for the infantry, who began
disembarking at 07:30. The beach was heavily mined and peppered
with obstacles, making the work of the beach clearing teams difficult
and dangerous. In the windy conditions, the tide came in more
quickly than expected, so manoeuvring the armour was difficult. The
beach quickly became congested. Brigadier Simon Fraser, 15th Lord
Lovat and his
1st Special Service Brigade
1st Special Service Brigade arrived in the second wave,
piped ashore by Private Bill Millin, Lovat's personal piper.
No. 4 Commando
No. 4 Commando moved through
Ouistreham to attack from the
rear a German gun battery on the shore. A concrete observation and
control tower at this emplacement had to be bypassed and was not
captured until several days later. French forces under Commander
Philippe Kieffer (the first French soldiers to arrive in Normandy)
attacked and cleared the heavily fortified strongpoint at the casino
at Riva Bella, with the aid of one of the DD tanks.
The 'Morris' strongpoint near
Colleville-sur-Mer was captured after
about an hour of fighting. The nearby 'Hillman' strongpoint,
headquarters of the 736th
Infantry Regiment, was a large complex
defensive work that had come through the morning's bombardment
essentially undamaged. It was not captured until 20:15. The 2nd
Battalion, King's Shropshire Light
Infantry began advancing to
foot, coming within a few kilometres of the town, but had to withdraw
due to lack of armour support. At 16:00, the 21st
mounted a counter-attack between Sword and Juno and nearly succeeded
in reaching the Channel. It met stiff resistance from the British 3rd
Division and was soon recalled to assist in the area between
Bayeux. Estimates of Allied casualties on
Sword Beach are as
high as 1,000.
Supply landings at Omaha Beach, mid-June 1944
Situation map for 24:00, 6 June 1944
Normandy landings were the largest seaborne invasion in history,
with nearly 5,000 landing and assault craft, 289 escort vessels, and
277 minesweepers participating. Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the
English Channel on D-Day, with 875,000 men disembarking by the end
of June. Allied casualties on the first day were at least 10,000,
with 4,414 confirmed dead. The Germans lost 1,000 men. The
Allied invasion plans had called for the capture of Carentan, St. Lô,
Bayeux on the first day, with all the beaches (other than
Utah) linked with a front line 10 to 16 kilometres (6 to 10 mi)
from the beaches; none of these objectives were achieved. The five
bridgeheads were not connected until 12 June, by which time the Allies
held a front around 97 kilometres (60 mi) long and 24 kilometres
(15 mi) deep. Caen, a major objective, was still in German
hands at the end of
D-Day and would not be completely captured until
21 July. The Germans had ordered French civilians other than
those deemed essential to the war effort to leave potential combat
zones in Normandy. Civilian casualties on
D-Day and D+1 are
estimated at 3,000 people.
Normandy stemmed from several factors. German preparations
Atlantic Wall were only partially finished; shortly before
D-Day Rommel reported that construction was only 18 per cent complete
in some areas as resources were diverted elsewhere. The
deceptions undertaken in
Operation Fortitude were successful, leaving
the Germans obliged to defend a huge stretch of coastline. The
Allies achieved and maintained air supremacy, which meant that the
Germans were unable to make observations of the preparations underway
in Britain and were unable to interfere via bomber attacks.
Infrastructure for transport in France was severely disrupted by
Allied bombers and the French Resistance, making it difficult for the
Germans to bring up reinforcements and supplies. Some of the
opening bombardment was off-target or not concentrated enough to have
any impact, but the specialised armour worked well except on
Omaha, providing close artillery support for the troops as they
disembarked onto the beaches. Indecisiveness and an overly
complicated command structure on the part of the German high command
were also factors in the Allied success.
War memorials and tourism
Bény-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery
The La Cambe German war cemetery, near Bayeux
At Omaha Beach, parts of the
Mulberry harbour are still visible, and a
few of the beach obstacles remain. A memorial to the American National
Guard sits at the location of a former German strongpoint. Pointe du
Hoc is little changed from 1944, with the terrain covered with bomb
craters and most of the concrete bunkers still in place. The Normandy
American Cemetery and Memorial is nearby, in Colleville-sur-Mer.
A museum about the Utah landings is located at Sainte-Marie-du-Mont,
and there is one dedicated to the activities of the American airmen at
Sainte-Mère-Église. Two German military cemeteries are located
Pegasus Bridge, a target of the British 6th Airborne, was the site of
some of the earliest action of the
Normandy landings. The bridge was
replaced in 1994 by one similar in appearance, and the original is now
housed on the grounds of a nearby museum complex. Sections of
Mulberry Harbour B still sit in the sea at Arromanches, and the
Longues-sur-Mer battery is nearby. The Juno Beach
Centre, opened in 2003, was funded by the Canadian federal and
provincial governments, France, and Canadian veterans.
Depiction in media
The Longest Day (1959 book)
D-Day: The Battle for
Normandy by Antony Beevor, Viking Penguin, (2009
Film and television
The Longest Day (1962 film)
Saving Private Ryan
Saving Private Ryan (1998 film)
Band of Brothers (2001 miniseries)
Medal of Honor: Allied Assault (2002)
Medal of Honor: Frontline (2002)
Call of Duty 2
Call of Duty 2 (2005)
Call of Duty: WWII (2017)
World War II
World War II portal
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
D-Day Daily Telegraph crossword security alarm
Martha Gellhorn, the only woman to land at
Normandy on D-Day
List of Allied warships in the
Wireless Set No. 46
^ The official British history gives an estimated figure of 156,115
men landed on D-Day. This comprised 57,500 Americans and 75,215
British and Canadians from the sea and 15,500 Americans and 7,900
British from the air. Ellis, Allen & Warhurst 2004,
^ The original estimate for Allied casualties was 10,000, of which
2,500 were killed. Research under way by the National
has confirmed 4,414 deaths, of which 2,499 were American and 1,915
were from other nations. Whitmarsh 2009, p. 87.
^ a b c Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 25.
^ a b c Beevor 2009, p. 76.
^ a b Williams 1988, p. x.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 492.
^ Wenande 2014.
^ a b c d Beevor 2009, p. 82.
^ US Navy website.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 7.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 342.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 60, 63, 118–120.
^ Zaloga & Johnson 2005, p. 29.
^ Napier 2015, p. 72.
^ a b c d e f g Portsmouth Museum Services.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 8–9.
^ Folliard 1942.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 10.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 10–11.
^ Wilmot 1997, pp. 177–178, chart p. 180.
^ Churchill 1951, p. 404.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 13–14.
^ Beevor 2009, pp. 33–34.
^ a b Wilmot 1997, p. 170.
^ Ambrose 1994, pp. 73–74.
^ a b c Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 14.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 182.
^ Gilbert 1989, p. 491.
^ Whitmarsh 2009, pp. 12–13.
^ a b c d e Whitmarsh 2009, p. 13.
^ Weinberg 1995, p. 684.
^ a b Ellis, Allen & Warhurst 2004, pp. 521–533.
^ a b Beevor 2009, p. 3.
^ Churchill 1951, pp. 592–593.
^ a b Beevor 2009, Map, inside front cover.
^ Weinberg 1995, p. 698.
^ Weinberg 1995, p. 680.
^ Brown 2007, p. 465.
^ Zuehlke 2004, pp. 71–72.
^ Whitmarsh 2009, p. 27.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 282.
^ a b Whitmarsh 2009, p. 34.
^ Bickers 1994, pp. 19–21.
^ a b c d e Whitmarsh 2009, p. 31.
^ a b Whitmarsh 2009, p. 33.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 21.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 224.
^ Wilmot 1997, pp. 224–226.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 131.
^ Beevor 2009, pp. 42–43.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 144.
^ Francois 2013, p. 118.
^ Goldstein, Dillon & Wenger 1994, pp. 16–19.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 37.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 118.
^ a b c Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 122.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 60, 63.
^ a b c d e Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 63.
^ a b c d e f g h Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 275.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 60.
^ a b Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 206.
^ Whitmarsh 2009, p. 73.
^ a b c Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 30.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 33.
^ Goldstein, Dillon & Wenger 1994, p. 12.
^ Whitmarsh 2009, p. 12.
^ a b Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 54–56.
^ Murray 1983, p. 263.
^ Murray 1983, p. 280.
^ Hooton 1999, p. 283.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 31.
^ Whitmarsh 2009, p. 15.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 192.
^ a b c Whitmarsh 2009, Map, p. 12.
^ a b c d e Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 125.
^ Whitmarsh 2009, p. 53.
^ a b Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 66.
^ Stanley 2004.
^ a b Holland 2014.
^ a b Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 271.
^ a b Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 270.
^ a b c Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 200.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 201.
^ Douthit 1988, p. 23.
^ Escott 2010, p. 138.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 43.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 229.
Special Operations Research Office 1965, pp. 51–52.
^ Yung 2006, p. 133.
^ a b Goldstein, Dillon & Wenger 1994, p. 6.
^ Churchill 1951, p. 594.
^ Whitmarsh 2009, p. 30.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 205.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 233.
^ Weigley 1981, pp. 136–137.
^ a b Wilmot 1997, p. 275.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 255.
^ Goldstein, Dillon & Wenger 1994, p. 82.
^ Beevor 2009, pp. 81, 117.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 69.
^ Whitmarsh 2009, pp. 51–52, 69.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 114.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 175.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 125, 128–129.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 234.
^ Corta 1952, p. 159.
^ Corta 1997, pp. 65–78.
^ Barr 1944.
^ a b Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 133.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 134.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 27.
^ a b Wilmot 1997, p. 243.
^ Beevor 2009, pp. 61–64.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 166–167.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 116.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 139.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 67.
^ a b Wilmot 1997, p. 244.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 145.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 69.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 149–150.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 151.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 71.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 167.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 246–247.
^ Beevor 2009, pp. 52–53.
^ Wilmot 1997, pp. 238–239.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 240.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 57.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 239.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 222.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 228, 230.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 230.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 282.
^ Beevor 2009, pp. 56–58.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 242.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, Map, pp. 216–217.
^ Goldstein, Dillon & Wenger 1994, p. 84.
^ a b Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 73.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 130.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 131, 160–161.
^ Whitmarsh 2009, pp. 50–51.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 158–159, 164.
^ Whitmarsh 2009, p. 51.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 165.
^ a b Beevor 2009, p. 102.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 95–104.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 263.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 155.
^ Zaloga 2009, p. 50.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 106.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 64–65, 334.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 45.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 76–77.
^ a b Beevor 2009, p. 91.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 90.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 99.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 333–334.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 90–91.
^ a b Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 56, 83.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 337.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 276–277.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 281–282.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 299.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 286.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 298–299.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 272.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 292.
^ a b Whitmarsh 2009, p. 70.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 289–290.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 129.
^ Wilmot 1997, pp. 272–273.
^ Wilmot 1997, pp. 274–275.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 312–313.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, Map, p.314–315.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 317.
^ Beevor 2009, pp. 133–135.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 135.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 276.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 131.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 277.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 239–240.
^ a b Beevor 2009, p. 143.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 138.
^ a b Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 244–245.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 248–249.
^ Beevor 2009, pp. 143, 148.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 326–327.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 283.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 74.
^ Whitmarsh 2009, p. 104.
^ Whitmarsh 2009, p. 87.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 335.
^ Horn 2010, p. 13.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 360.
^ Flint 2009, p. 102.
^ Flint 2009, p. 336.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 290.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 343.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 289.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 36.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 291.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 292.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 346.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 346–348.
^ Mémorial Pegasus.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 352.
^ Zuehlke 2004, pp. 349–350.
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D-Day to the
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Wikivoyage has a travel guide for
Wikimedia Commons has media related to D-Day.
Boire, Michael (2003). "Lest We Forget: A Review of Books Marking the
60th Anniversary of D-Day". Canadian Military Journal. 5 (2).
Normandy Invasion at the US Army Center of Military History
Neptune Operations Plan
Naval details for Overlord at Naval-History.Net
Documents on D-Day: The
Invasion of Normandy
Invasion of Normandy at the Eisenhower
Omar Bradley FUSAG 12TH AG: June 6, 1944
D-Day Maps Omar
D-Day Maps restored, preserved and Displayed at Historical
Allied veterans remember D-Day
Naval History and Heritage Command (archive)
The short film Big Picture:
Normandy is available for
free download at the Internet Archive
Complete Broadcast Day:
D-Day (June 6, 1944) from CBS Radio News,
available at the Internet Archive
D-Day – Normandy
Coordinates: 49°20′N 0°34′W / 49.333°N 0.567°W /
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Primary articles on the Battle of Normandy, Western Front, World War
Operation Overlord (The overall invasion plan)
Operation Neptune (The assault plan)
American airborne landings in Normandy
Operation Deadstick (UK 6th Airborne)
Operation Tonga (UK 6th Airborne)
Battle of Merville Gun Battery
Battle of Merville Gun Battery (UK 6th Airborne)
Operation Mallard (UK 6th Airborne)
Battle of Bréville
Battle of Bréville (UK 6th Airborne)
Operation Pluto (Pipe-Line Under The Ocean)
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Operation Perch (UK)
Operation Martlet (UK)
Operation Epsom (UK)
Operation Windsor (Canada)
Operation Charnwood (UK)
Operation Jupiter (UK)
Operations Greenline, Pomegranate and Express (UK)
Operation Goodwood (UK)
Operation Atlantic (Canada)
Operation Spring (Canada)
Operation Cobra (US)
Operation Bluecoat (UK)
Operation Totalize (Canada, Poland, UK)
Operation Lüttich (German)
Operation Tractable (Canada, Poland, UK)
Battle for Brest
Battle for Brest (US)
Battle for Caen
Battle for Caen (UK, Canada)
Battle of Verriéres Ridge (Canada)
Battle of Carentan
Battle of Carentan (US)
Battle of Cherbourg
Battle of Cherbourg (US)
Battle of Villers-Bocage
Battle of Villers-Bocage (UK)
Landing points (W→E):
Utah Beach (US)
Omaha Beach (US)
Pointe du Hoc
Pointe du Hoc (US)
Gold Beach (UK)
Juno Beach (Canada)
Sword Beach (UK)
Merville Gun Battery
Mont Canisy battery
Operation Overlord people
Allied forces in Normandy
Liberation of Paris
Liberation of Paris (France)
Operation Dragoon (France, UK, US)
Operation Jedburgh (France, UK, US)
Normandy US Cemetery & Memorial
Brittany US Cemetery & Memorial
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