11,000–19,000 killed in pre-invasion bombing
13,632–19,890 killed during invasion
Total: 25,000–39,000 killed
Invasion of Normandy
Taxable, Glimmer & Big Drum
Combined Bomber Offensive
Initial Airborne Assault
Pointe du Hoc
Initial ground campaign
Air and Sea Operations
West European Campaign (1944–45)
Paris to the Rhine
Invasion of Germany
World War II
World War II in Europe
Western Front of
World War II
The Heligoland Bight
German bombing of Rotterdam
Italian Invasion of France
The Hardest Day
Battle of Britain
Battle of Britain Day
Cerberus and Donnerkeil
St Nazaire Raid
Invasion of Germany
Defence of the Reich
Raids on the Atlantic Wall
Battle of Atlantic
Free French military campaigns of World War II
Run for Tunis
French Liberation Army
Army of Africa
Free French Navy
Free French Air Force
Operation Overlord was the codename for the Battle of Normandy, the
Allied operation that launched the successful invasion of
German-occupied Western Europe during World War II. The operation was
launched on 6 June 1944 with the
Normandy landings (Operation Neptune,
commonly known as D-Day). A 1,200-plane airborne assault preceded an
amphibious assault involving more than 5,000 vessels. Nearly 160,000
troops crossed the
English Channel on 6 June, and more than two
million Allied troops were in
France by the end of August.
The decision to undertake a cross-channel invasion in 1944 was taken
Trident Conference in Washington in May 1943. General Dwight D.
Eisenhower was appointed commander of Supreme Headquarters Allied
Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), and General
Bernard Montgomery was named
as commander of the 21st Army Group, which comprised all the land
forces involved in the invasion. The coast of
Normandy was chosen as
the site of the invasion, with the Americans assigned to land at
sectors codenamed Utah and Omaha, the British at Sword and Gold, and
the Canadians at Juno. To meet the conditions expected on the Normandy
beachhead, special technology was developed, including two artificial
ports called Mulberry harbours and an array of specialised tanks
nicknamed Hobart's Funnies. In the months leading up to the invasion,
the Allies conducted a substantial military deception, Operation
Bodyguard, using both electronic and visual misinformation. This
misled the Germans as to the date and location of the main Allied
Adolf Hitler placed German Field Marshal
Erwin Rommel in
charge of developing fortifications all along the
Atlantic Wall in
anticipation of an invasion.
The Allies failed to accomplish their objectives for the first day,
but gained a tenuous foothold that they gradually expanded when they
captured the port at Cherbourg on 26 June and the city of
Caen on 21
July. A failed counterattack by German forces on 8 August left 50,000
soldiers of the 7th Army trapped in the Falaise pocket. The Allies
launched an invasion of southern
France (code-named Operation Dragoon)
on 15 August, and the
Liberation of Paris
Liberation of Paris followed on 25 August.
German forces retreated across the Seine on 30 August 1944, marking
the close of Operation Overlord.
1 Preparations for D-Day
1.1 Allied invasion plan
1.5 Rehearsals and security
1.6 Weather forecasting
1.7 German preparations and defences
1.7.1 Atlantic Wall
1.7.2 Mobile reserves
2.4 Breakout from the beachhead
3 Campaign close
4.3 Civilians and French heritage buildings
5 War memorials and tourism
6 See also
7.1 Explanatory notes
9 Further reading
10 External links
Preparations for D-Day
In June 1940 Germany's leader
Adolf Hitler had triumphed in what he
called "the most famous victory in history"—the fall of France.
British craft evacuated to England over 338,000 Allied troops trapped
along the northern coast of
France (including much of the British
Expeditionary Force (BEF)) in the
Dunkirk evacuation (27 May to 4
June). British planners reported to Prime Minister Winston
Churchill on 4 October that even with the help of other Commonwealth
countries and the United States, it would not be possible to regain a
foothold in continental Europe in the near future. After the Axis
invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin
began pressing for a second front in Western Europe. Churchill
declined because he felt that even with American help the British did
not have adequate forces for such a strike, and he wished to avoid
costly frontal assaults such as those that had occurred at the Somme
and Passchendaele in World War I. Two tentative plans code-named
Operation Roundup and
Operation Sledgehammer were put forward for
1942–43, but neither was deemed by the British to be practical or
likely to succeed. Instead, the Allies expanded their activity in
the Mediterranean, launching the invasion of
French North Africa
French North Africa in
November 1942, the invasion of Sicily in July 1943, and invading Italy
in September. These campaigns provided the troops with valuable
experience in amphibious warfare.
Attendees at the
Trident Conference in Washington in May 1943 took the
decision to launch a cross-Channel invasion within the next year.
Churchill favoured making the main Allied thrust into Germany from the
Mediterranean theatre, but his American allies, who were providing the
bulk of the men and equipment, over-ruled him. British
Frederick E. Morgan
Frederick E. Morgan was appointed Chief of Staff,
Supreme Allied Commander (COSSAC), to begin detailed planning. The
initial plans were constrained by the number of available
landing-craft, most of which were already committed in the
Mediterranean and in the Pacific. In part because of lessons
learned in the
Dieppe Raid of 19 August 1942, the Allies decided not
to directly assault a heavily defended French seaport in their first
landing. The failure at Dieppe also highlighted the need for
adequate artillery and air support, particularly close air support,
and specialised ships able to travel extremely close to shore. The
short operating-range of British aircraft such as the Spitfire and
Typhoon greatly limited the number of potential landing-sites, as
comprehensive air-support depended upon having planes overhead for as
long as possible. Morgan considered four sites for the landings:
Brittany, the Cotentin Peninsula, Normandy, and the Pas de Calais. As
Brittany and Cotentin are peninsulas, the Germans could have cut off
the Allied advance at a relatively narrow isthmus, so these sites were
M4 Sherman tanks loaded in a landing craft tank (LCT), ready
for the invasion of France, c. late May or early June 1944
Pas de Calais, the closest point in continental Europe to Britain, was
the location of launch sites for V-1 and V-2 rockets, then still under
development.[c] The Germans regarded it as the most likely initial
landing zone, and accordingly made it the most heavily fortified
region. It offered the Allies few opportunities for expansion,
however, 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 therefore chosen as the landing
site. The most serious drawback of the
Normandy coast—the lack
of port facilities—would be overcome through the development of
The COSSAC staff planned to begin 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
Bernard Montgomery was named 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 COSSAC plan, which proposed amphibious landings by three
divisions, with two more divisions in support. The two generals
immediately insisted on expanding the scale of the initial invasion to
five divisions, with airborne descents by three additional divisions,
to allow operations on a wider front and to speed up the capture of
the port at Cherbourg. The need to acquire or produce extra landing
craft for the expanded operation meant delaying the invasion until
June 1944. Eventually the Allies committed 39 divisions to the
Battle of Normandy: 22 American, 12 British, three Canadian, one
Polish, and one French, totalling over a million troops all under
overall British command.[d]
Allied invasion plan
D-day assault routes into Normandy
"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 code-named
Operation Neptune. To gain the required air superiority needed to
ensure a successful invasion, the Allies launched a bombing campaign
(codenamed Operation Pointblank) to target German aircraft-production,
fuel supplies, and airfields. Under the Transport Plan, communications
infrastructure and road and rail links were bombed to cut off the
France and to make it more difficult to bring up
reinforcements. These attacks were widespread so as to avoid revealing
the exact location of the invasion. Elaborate deceptions were
planned to prevent the Germans from determining the timing and
location of the invasion.
The coastline of
Normandy was divided into seventeen sectors, with
codenames using a spelling alphabet—from Able, west of Omaha, to
Roger on the east flank of Sword. Eight further sectors were added
when the invasion was extended to include Utah on the Cotentin
Peninsula. Sectors were further subdivided into beaches identified by
the colours Green, Red, and White.
Allied planners envisaged preceding the sea-borne landings with
airborne drops: near
Caen on the eastern flank to secure the Orne
River bridges, and north of
Carentan on the western flank. The initial
goal was to capture Carentan, Isigny, Bayeux, and Caen. The Americans,
assigned to land at Utah and Omaha, were to cut off the Cotentin
Peninsula and capture the port facilities at Cherbourg. The British at
Sword and Gold, and the Canadians at Juno, were to capture
form a front line from
Caumont-l'Éventé to the south-east of
order to protect the American flank, while establishing airfields near
Caen. Possession of
Caen and its surroundings would give the
Anglo-Canadian forces a suitable staging area for a push south to
capture the town of Falaise. A secure lodgement would be established
and an attempt made to hold all territory captured north of the
Avranches-Falaise line during the first three weeks. The Allied armies
would then swing left to advance towards the River Seine.
The invasion fleet, led by Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, 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. The
American forces of the First Army, led by Lieutenant General Omar
Bradley, comprised VII Corps (Utah) and V Corps (Omaha). On the
British side, Lieutenant-General
Miles Dempsey commanded the Second
Army, under which XXX Corps was assigned to Gold and I Corps to Juno
and Sword. Land forces were under the overall command of
Montgomery, and air command was assigned to
Air Chief Marshal
Air Chief Marshal Sir
Trafford Leigh-Mallory. The
First Canadian Army
First Canadian Army included personnel
and units from Poland, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Other Allied
nations also participated.
Map of the air plan for the Allied landing in Normandy
Allied Expeditionary Air Force undertook over 3,200
photo-reconnaissance sorties from April 1944 until the start of the
invasion. Photos of the coastline were taken at extremely low altitude
to show the invaders the terrain, obstacles on the beach, and
defensive structures such as bunkers and gun emplacements. To avoid
alerting the Germans as to the location of the invasion, this work had
to be undertaken over the entire European coastline. Inland terrain,
bridges, troop emplacements, and buildings were also photographed, in
many cases from several angles, to give the Allies as much information
as possible. Members of Combined Operations Pilotage Parties
clandestinely prepared detailed harbour maps, including depth
An appeal for holiday pictures and postcards of Europe announced on
BBC produced over ten million items, some of which proved useful.
Information collected by the
French resistance helped provide details
on Axis troop movements and on construction techniques used by the
Germans for bunkers and other defensive installations.
Many German radio messages were encoded using the
Enigma machine and
other enciphering techniques and the codes were changed frequently. A
team of code breakers stationed at
Bletchley Park worked to break
codes as quickly as possible to provide advance information on German
plans and troop movements. British military intelligence code-named
Ultra intelligence as it could only be provided to
the top level of commanders. The Enigma code used by Field Marshal
Gerd von Rundstedt, Oberbefehlshaber West (Supreme Commander West; OB
West), commander of the Western Front, was broken by the end of March.
German intelligence changed the Enigma codes right after the Allied
landings of 6 June but by 17 June the Allies were again consistently
able to read them.
Mulberry harbour B at
Arromanches-les-Bains (Gold) as seen
In response to the lessons learned at the disastrous Dieppe Raid, the
Allies developed new technologies to help ensure the success of
Overlord. To supplement the preliminary offshore bombardment and
aerial assaults, some of the landing craft were equipped with
artillery and anti-tank guns to provide close supporting fire. The
Allies had decided not to immediately attack any of the heavily
protected French ports and two artificial ports, called Mulberry
harbours, were designed by COSSAC planners. Each assembly consisted of
a floating outer breakwater, inner concrete caissons (called Phoenix
breakwaters) and several floating piers. The Mulberry harbours
were supplemented by blockship shelters (codenamed
"Gooseberries"). With the expectation that fuel would be difficult
or impossible to obtain on the continent, the Allies built a
"Pipe-Line Under The Ocean" (PLUTO). Specially developed pipes 3
inches (7.6 cm) in diameter were to be laid under the Channel
Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight to Cherbourg by
D-Day plus 18. Technical
problems and the delay in capturing Cherbourg meant the pipeline was
not operational until 22 September. A second line was laid from
Dungeness to Boulogne in late October.
The British military built a series of specialised tanks, nicknamed
Hobart's Funnies, to deal with conditions expected during the Normandy
campaign. Developed under the supervision of Major-General Percy
Hobart, these were specially modified
M4 Sherman and Churchill tanks.
Examples include the
Sherman Crab tank (equipped with a mine flail),
Churchill Crocodile (a flame-throwing tank), and the Armoured Ramp
Carrier, which other tanks could use as a bridge to scale sea-walls or
to overcome other obstacles. In some areas, the beaches consisted
of a soft clay that could not support the weight of tanks. The
"bobbin" tank would overcome this problem by deploying a roll of
matting over the soft surface and leaving the material in place as a
route for more conventional tanks. The Armoured Vehicle Royal
Engineers (AVREs) were modified for many tasks, including laying
bridges and firing large charges into pillboxes. The Duplex-Drive
tank (DD tank), another design developed by Hobart's group, was a
self-propelled amphibious tank kept afloat using a waterproof canvas
screen inflated with compressed air. These tanks were easily
swamped, and on
D-Day many sank before reaching the shore, especially
See also: Military deception
In the months leading up to the invasion, the Allies conducted
Operation Bodyguard, the overall strategy designed to mislead the
Germans as to the date and location of the main 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
designed to fool the Germans into believing that the landings would
take place at
Pas de Calais
Pas de Calais in July. A fictitious First U.S. Army
Group was invented, supposedly located in
Sussex under the
command of Lieutenant General George S. Patton. The Allies constructed
dummy tanks, trucks, and landing craft, and positioned them near the
coast. Several military units, including
II Canadian Corps
II Canadian Corps and 2nd
Canadian Division, moved into the area to bolster the illusion that a
large force was gathering there. As well as the broadcast of
fake radio-traffic, 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 remained stationed in England until 6 July, thus
continuing to deceive the Germans into believing a second attack would
take place at Calais. Military and civilian personnel alike were
aware of the need for secrecy, and the invasion troops were as much as
possible kept isolated, especially in the period immediately before
the invasion. One American general was sent back to the United States
in disgrace after revealing the invasion date at a party.
The Germans thought they had an extensive network of spies operating
in the UK, but in fact all their agents had been captured, and some
had become double agents working for the Allies as part of the
Double-Cross System. The double agent Juan Pujol García, a Spanish
opponent of the Nazis known by the code name "Garbo", developed over
the two years leading up to
D-Day a fake network of informants that
the Germans believed were collecting intelligence on their behalf. In
the months preceding D-Day, Pujol sent hundreds of messages to his
superiors in Madrid, messages specially prepared by the British
intelligence service to convince the Germans that the attack would
come in July at Calais.
Many of the German radar stations on the French coast were destroyed
by the RAF in preparation for the landings. On the night before
the invasion, in Operation Taxable,
No. 617 Squadron RAF
No. 617 Squadron RAF dropped
strips of "window", metal foil that caused a radar return mistakenly
interpreted by German radar operators as a naval convoy. The illusion
was bolstered by a group of small vessels towing barrage balloons. No.
218 Squadron RAF also dropped "window" near
Operation Glimmer. On the same night, a small group of
Service (SAS) operators deployed dummy paratroopers over
Le Havre and
Isigny. These dummies led the Germans to believe an additional
airborne assault had occurred.
Rehearsals and security
Training exercise with live ammunition
Training exercises for the Overlord landings took place as early as
July 1943. As the nearby beach resembled the planned Normandy
landing-site, the town of Slapton in Devon, was evacuated in December
1943 and taken over by the armed forces as a site for training
exercises that included the use of landing craft and the management of
beach obstacles. Near Slapton on 28 April 1944 749 American
soldiers and sailors died when German torpedo-boats surprised members
of Assault Force "U" conducting Exercise Tiger. Exercises with
landing craft and live ammunition also took place at the Combined
Training Centre in
Inveraray in Scotland. Naval exercises took
place in Northern Ireland, and medical teams in London and elsewhere
rehearsed how they would handle the expected waves of casualties.
Paratroopers conducted exercises, including a huge demonstration drop
on 23 March 1944 observed by Churchill, Eisenhower, and other top
Allied planners considered tactical surprise to be a necessary element
of the plan for the landings. Information on the exact date and
location of the landings was provided only to the topmost levels of
the armed forces. Men were sealed into their marshalling areas at the
end of May, with no further communication with the outside world.
Troops were briefed using maps that were correct in every detail
except for the place names, and most were not told their actual
destination until they were already at sea. A news blackout in
Britain increased the effectiveness of the deception operations.
Travel to and from the
Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland was banned, and movement
within several kilometres of the coast of England restricted.
Men of the British 22nd Independent Parachute Company, 6th Airborne
Division being briefed for the invasion, 4–5 June 1944
The invasion planners specified a set of conditions regarding the
timing of the invasion, deeming only a few days in each month
suitable. 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 the enemy had placed on the beach while minimising the
amount of time the men had to spend exposed in the open. Specific
criteria were also set for wind speed, visibility, and cloud
cover. Eisenhower had tentatively selected 5 June as the date for
the assault. However, on 4 June, conditions were clearly unsuitable
for a landing; high winds and heavy seas made it impossible to launch
landing craft, and low clouds would prevent aircraft from finding
By the evening of 4 June, the Allied meteorological team, headed by
James Stagg of the Royal Air Force, predicted that the
weather would improve sufficiently so that the invasion could go ahead
on 6 June. He met Eisenhower and other senior commanders at their
Southwick House in Hampshire to discuss the
situation. General Montgomery and Major General Walter Bedell
Smith, Eisenhower's chief of staff, were eager to launch the invasion.
Bertram Ramsay was prepared to commit his ships, while Air
Trafford Leigh-Mallory expressed concern that the
conditions would be unfavourable for Allied aircraft. After much
discussion, Eisenhower decided that the invasion should go ahead.
Allied control of the Atlantic meant that German meteorologists did
not have access to as much information as the Allies on incoming
weather patterns. As the Luftwaffe meteorological centre in Paris
predicted 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. Marshal
Erwin Rommel returned to Germany for his
wife's birthday and to meet Hitler to try to get more Panzers.
Had Eisenhower postponed the invasion, the next available period with
the right combination of tides (but without the desirable full moon)
was two weeks later, from 18 to 20 June. As it happened, during this
period the invaders would have encountered a major storm lasting four
days, between 19 and 22 June, that would have made the initial
German preparations and defences
German troops of the
Indian Legion on the
Atlantic Wall in France, 21
Nazi Germany had at its disposal 50 divisions in
France and the Low
Countries, with another 18 stationed in Denmark and Norway.[e] Fifteen
divisions were in the process of formation in Germany, but there was
no strategic reserve. The Calais region was defended by the 15th
Generaloberst (Colonel General) Hans von Salmuth, and
Normandy by the 7th Army commanded by
Dollmann. Combat losses throughout the war, particularly on
the Eastern Front, meant 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
Ostlegionen (eastern legions)—conscripts and "volunteers" from
Turkestan, Russia, Mongolia, and elsewhere. The Wehrmacht had
provided them mainly with unreliable captured equipment; they lacked
motorised transport. Formations that arrived later, such as the
12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend, were for the most part younger
and far better equipped and trained than the static troops stationed
along the coast.
Main article: Atlantic Wall
Map of the Atlantic Wall
Alarmed by the raids on St Nazaire and Dieppe in 1942, Hitler 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 due to
shortages, particularly of concrete and manpower, most of the
strongpoints were never built. As the expected site of an Allied
Pas de Calais
Pas de Calais was heavily defended. In the Normandy
area the best fortifications were concentrated at the port facilities
at Cherbourg and Saint-Malo.
A report by Rundstedt to Hitler in October 1943 regarding the weak
France led to the appointment of Rommel to oversee the
construction of further fortifications along the expected
invasion-front, which stretched from the Netherlands to
Cherbourg. Rommel 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. Nazi Germany's tangled
command structure made it difficult for Rommel to achieve his task. He
was not allowed to give orders to the Organisation Todt, which was
commanded by armaments minister Albert Speer, so in some places he had
to assign soldiers to do construction work.
Beach obstacles at Pas de Calais, 18 April 1944
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 beach to delay the approach of landing craft and to
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-tide 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. Given the Allied air supremacy (4,029 Allied aircraft
assigned to operations in
Normandy plus 5,514 aircraft assigned to
bombing and defence, versus 570 Luftwaffe planes stationed in France
and the Low Countries), booby-trapped stakes known as
Rommelspargel (Rommel's asparagus) were set up in meadows and fields
to deter airborne landings.
Rommel, believing that the Germans' best chance was to stop the
invasion at the shore, requested that mobile reserves—especially
tanks—be stationed as close to the coast as possible. Rundstedt,
Leo Geyr von Schweppenburg (commander of Panzer Group West),
and other senior commanders 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. Geyr also noted that in the Italian
Campaign the armour stationed near the coast had been damaged by naval
bombardment. Rommel's opinion was that because of the overwhelming
Allied air superiority, large-scale movement of tanks would not be
possible once the invasion was underway. Hitler made the final
decision: he left three divisions under Geyr's command and gave Rommel
operational control of three tank-divisions as reserves. Hitler took
personal control of four divisions as strategic reserves, not to be
used without his direct orders.
Invasion of Normandy
Invasion of Normandy and
You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have
striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The
hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.
In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts,
you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the
elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and
security for ourselves in a free world.
— Eisenhower, Letter to Allied Forces
British Pathfinders synchronise their watches in front of an Armstrong
By May 1944, 1.5 million American troops had arrived in the United
Kingdom. Most were housed in temporary camps in the south-west of
England, ready to move across the Channel to the western section of
the landing zone. British and Canadian troops were billeted in
accommodation further east, spread from
Southampton to Newhaven, and
even on the east coast for men who would be coming across in later
waves. A complex system called Movement Control assured that the men
and vehicles left on schedule from twenty departure points. Some
men had to board their craft nearly a week before departure. The
ships met at a rendezvous point (nicknamed "Piccadilly Circus")
south-east of the
Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight to assemble into convoys to cross the
Channel. Minesweepers began clearing lanes on the evening of 5
June, and a thousand bombers left before dawn to attack the
coastal defences. Some 1,200 aircraft departed England just
before midnight to transport three airborne divisions to their drop
zones behind enemy lines several hours before the beach landings.
The American 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions were assigned
objectives on the
Cotentin Peninsula west of Utah. The British 6th
Airborne Division was assigned to capture intact the bridges over the
Caen Canal and River Orne. The
Free French 4th SAS battalion of
538 men was assigned objectives in
Brittany (Operation Dingson,
Operation Samwest). Some 132,000 men were transported by sea
on D-Day, and a further 24,000 came by air. Preliminary naval
bombardment commenced at 05:45 and continued until 06:25 from five
battleships, twenty cruisers, sixty-five destroyers, and two
monitors. Infantry began arriving on the beaches at around
Main articles: Utah Beach, Pointe du Hoc, Omaha Beach, Gold Beach,
Juno Beach, and Sword Beach
U.S. soldiers of the 8th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division advance over
the sea-wall at Utah.
The craft bearing the U.S. 4th Infantry Division assaulting Utah were
pushed by the current to a spot about 1,800 metres (2,000 yd)
south of their intended landing zone. The troops met light resistance,
suffering fewer than 200 casualties. Their efforts to push
inland fell far short of their targets for the first day, but they
were able to advance about 4 miles (6.4 km), making contact with
the 101st Airborne Division. The airborne landings west of
Utah were not very successful, as only ten per cent of the
paratroopers landed in their drop zones. Gathering the men together
into fighting units was made difficult by a shortage of radios and by
the terrain, with its hedgerows, stone walls and marshes.
82nd Airborne Division
82nd Airborne Division captured its primary objective at
Sainte-Mère-Église and worked to protect the western flank. Its
failure to capture the river crossings at the River
in a delay in sealing off the Cotentin Peninsula. The 101st
Airborne Division helped protect the southern flank and captured the
lock on the River
Douve at La Barquette, but did not capture the
assigned nearby bridges on the first day.
At Pointe du Hoc, the task for the two hundred men of the 2nd Ranger
Battalion, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel James Rudder, was to scale
the 30 metres (98 ft) cliffs with ropes and ladders to destroy
the gun battery located there. While under fire from above, the men
scaled the cliff, only to discover that the guns had already been
withdrawn. The Rangers located the weapons, unguarded but ready to
use, in an orchard some 550 metres (600 yd) south of the point,
and disabled them. Under attack, 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 come until D+2, when members of the 743rd Tank
Into the Jaws of Death
Into the Jaws of Death shows American troops, part of
the U.S. 1st Infantry Division, leaving a
Higgins Boat on Omaha.
Omaha, the most heavily defended sector, was assigned to the U.S. 1st
Infantry Division, supplemented by troops from the U.S. 29th Infantry
Division. They faced the 352nd Infantry Division, rather
than the expected single regiment. Strong currents forced many
landing craft east of their intended position or delayed them.
Casualties were heavier than all the other landings combined, 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 offer supporting artillery fire. Exit
from Omaha was possible only via five gullies, and by late morning
barely six hundred 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 draws 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 were
accomplished by D+3.
Gold, as of 7 June 1944.
At Gold, high winds made conditions difficult for the landing craft,
and the amphibious DD tanks were landed close to shore or directly on
the beach instead of further out as planned. Aerial attacks had
failed to hit the Le Hamel strong point, and its 75 mm gun
continued to do damage until 16:00. 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.
Landings of infantry at Juno were delayed because of rough 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. In spite of these difficulties, the
Canadians quickly cleared the beach and created two exits to the
villages above. Delays in taking
Bény-sur-Mer led to congestion on
the beach, but 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.
On Sword, 21 of 25 DD tanks succeeded in getting safely ashore to
provide cover for the infantry, who began disembarking at 07:30. They
quickly cleared the beach and created several exits for the tanks. In
the windy conditions, the tide came in more quickly than expected,
making manoeuvring the armour difficult. The 2nd Battalion,
King's Shropshire Light Infantry
King's Shropshire Light Infantry advanced on foot to within a few
kilometres of Caen, but had to withdraw due to lack of armour
support. At 16:00, the German 21st Panzer Division mounted a
counterattack between Sword and Juno and nearly succeeded in reaching
the coast. They met stiff resistance from the British 3rd Infantry
Division and were soon recalled to assist in the area between
The build-up at Omaha Beach: U.S. 2nd Infantry Division troops and
equipment moving inland toward
Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer on D+1, 7 June
The first components of the Mulberry harbours were brought across on
D+1 and the structures were in use for unloading by mid-June. One
was constructed at
Arromanches by the British, the other at Omaha by
the Americans. Severe storms on 19 June interrupted the landing of
supplies and destroyed the Omaha harbour. The repaired
Arromanches harbour was able to receive around 6,000 tons of materiel
daily and was in continuous use for the next ten months, but most
shipments were brought in over the beaches until the port of Cherbourg
was cleared of mines and obstructions on 16 July.
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, Caen,
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. Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the
English Channel on 6
June, and more than two million Allied troops were in
the end of August.
Battle of Cherbourg
Battle of Cherbourg and Bombardment of Cherbourg
In the western part of the lodgement, US troops were to occupy the
Cotentin Peninsula, especially Cherbourg, which would provide the
Allies with a deep water harbour. The terrain behind Utah and Omaha
was characterised by bocage, with thorny hedgerows on embankments 3 to
4 feet (0.91 to 1.2 m) high with a ditch on either side.
Many areas were additionally protected by rifle pits and machine-gun
emplacements. Most of the roads were too narrow for tanks.
The Germans had flooded the fields behind Utah with sea water for up
to 2 miles (3.2 km) from the coast. German forces on the
peninsula included the 91st Infantry Division and the 243rd and 709th
Static Infantry Divisions. By D+3 the Allied commanders realised
that Cherbourg would not quickly be taken, and decided to cut off the
peninsula to prevent any further reinforcements from being brought
in. After failed attempts by the inexperienced 90th Infantry
Division, Major General J. Lawton Collins, the VII Corps commander,
assigned the veteran 9th Infantry Division to the task. They reached
the west coast of the Cotentin on 17 June, cutting off Cherbourg.
The 9th Division, joined by the 4th and 79th Infantry Divisions, took
control of the peninsula in fierce fighting from 19 June; Cherbourg
was captured on 26 June. By this time the Germans had destroyed the
port facilities, which were not brought back into full operation until
Main article: Battle for Caen
Operations in the Battle for Caen.
Fighting in the
Caen area versus the 21st Panzer, the 12th SS Panzer
Division Hitlerjugend and other units soon reached a stalemate.
During Operation Perch, XXX Corps attempted to advance south towards
Mont Pinçon but soon abandoned the direct approach in favour of a
pincer attack to encircle Caen. XXX Corps made a flanking move from
Tilly-sur-Seulles towards Villers-
Bocage with part of the 7th Armoured
Division, while I Corps tried to pass
Caen to the east. The attack by
I Corps' attack was quickly halted and XXX Corps briefly captured
Villers-Bocage. Advanced elements of the British force were ambushed,
initiating a day-long
Battle of Villers-Bocage
Battle of Villers-Bocage and then the Battle of
the Box. The British were forced to withdraw to
Tilly-sur-Seulles. After a delay because of storms from
Operation Epsom began on 26 June, an attempt by VIII
Corps to swing around and attack
Caen from the south-west and
establish a bridgehead south of the Odon. Although the operation
failed to take Caen, the Germans suffered many tank losses after
committing every available Panzer unit to the operation.
Rundstedt was dismissed on 1 July and replaced as
OB West by Field
Günther von Kluge
Günther von Kluge after remarking that the war was now
lost. The northern suburbs of
Caen were bombed on the evening of
7 July and then occupied north of the River Orne in Operation
Charnwood on 8–9 July.
Operation Atlantic and Operation
Goodwood captured the rest of
Caen and the high ground to the south
from 18–21 July by when the city was nearly destroyed. Hitler
survived an assassination attempt on 20 July.
Breakout from the beachhead
After securing territory in the
Cotentin Peninsula south as far as
Saint-Lô, the U.S. First Army launched
Operation Cobra on 25 July and
advanced further south to
Avranches by 1 August. The British
Operation Bluecoat on 30 July to secure
Vire and the high
ground of Mont Pinçon. Lieutenant General George S. Patton's
U.S. Third Army, activated on 1 August, quickly took most of Brittany
and territory as far south as the Loire, while the First Army
maintained pressure eastward toward
Le Mans to protect their flank. By
3 August, Patton and the Third Army were able to leave a small force
Brittany and drive eastward towards the main concentration of
German forces south of Caen. Over Kluge's objections, on 4 August
Hitler ordered a counter-offensive (Operation Lüttich) from Vire
Map showing the break-out from the
Normandy beachhead and the
formation of the Falaise Pocket, August 1944.
II Canadian Corps
II Canadian Corps pushed south from
Caen toward Falaise in
Operation Totalize on 8 August, Bradley and Montgomery realised
that there was an opportunity for the bulk of the German forces to be
trapped at Falaise. The Third Army continued the encirclement from the
Alençon on 11August. Although Hitler continued to
insist until 14 August that his forces should counter-attack, Kluge
and his officers began planning a retreat eastward. The German
forces were severely hampered by Hitler's insistence on making all
major decisions himself, which left his forces without orders for
periods as long as 24 hours while information was sent back and forth
to the Führer's residence at
Obersalzberg in Bavaria. On the
evening of 12 August, Patton asked Bradley if his forces should
continue northward to close the gap and encircle the German forces.
Bradley refused, because Montgomery had already assigned the First
Canadian Army to take the territory from the north. The
Canadians met heavy resistance and captured Falaise on 16 August. The
gap was closed on 21 August, trapping 50,000 German troops but more
than a third of the German 7th Army and the remnants of nine of the
eleven Panzer divisions had escaped to the east. Montgomery's
decision-making regarding the Falaise Gap was criticised at the time
by American commanders, especially Patton, although Bradley was more
sympathetic and believed Patton would not have been able to close the
gap. The issue has been the subject of much discussion among
historians, criticism being levelled at American, British and Canadian
forces. Hitler relieved Kluge of his command of OB West
on 15 August and replaced him with Field Marshal Walter Model. Kluge
committed suicide on 19 August after Hitler became aware of his
involvement in the 20 July plot. An invasion in southern
France (Operation Dragoon) was launched on 15 August.
British infantry aboard Sherman tanks wait for the order to advance,
near Argentan, 21 August 1944.
French Resistance in Paris rose against the Germans on 19
August. Eisenhower initially wanted to bypass the city to pursue
other targets, but amid reports that the citizens were going hungry
and Hitler's stated intention to destroy it, de Gaulle insisted that
it should be taken immediately. French forces of the 2nd Armoured
Division under General Philippe Leclerc arrived from the west on 24
August, while the U.S. 4th Infantry Division pressed up from the
south. Scattered fighting continued throughout the night, and by the
morning of 25 August Paris was liberated.
Operations continued in the British and Canadian sectors until the end
of the month. On 25 August, the U.S. 2nd Armored Division fought its
way into Elbeuf, making contact with British and Canadian armoured
divisions. The 2nd Canadian Infantry Division advanced into the
Forêt de la Londe on the morning of 27 August. The area was strongly
held; the 4th and 6th Canadian brigades suffered many casualties over
the course of three days as the Germans fought a delaying action in
terrain well suited to defence. The Germans pulled back on 29 August,
withdrawing over the Seine the next day. On the afternoon of 30
August, the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division crossed the Seine near
Elbeuf and entered
Rouen to a jubilant welcome.
Eisenhower took direct command of all Allied ground forces on 1
September. Concerned about German counter-attacks and the limited
materiel arriving in France, he decided to continue operations on a
broad front rather than attempting narrow thrusts. The linkup of
Normandy forces with the Allied forces in southern
on 12 September as part of the drive to the Siegfried Line. On 17
September, Montgomery launched Operation Market Garden, an
unsuccessful attempt by Anglo-American airborne troops to capture
bridges in the Netherlands to allow ground forces to cross the Rhine
into Germany. The Allied advance slowed due to German resistance
and the lack of supplies (especially fuel). On 16 December the Germans
launched the Ardennes Offensive, also known as the Battle of the
Bulge, their last major offensive of the war on the Western Front. A
series of successful Soviet actions began with the Vistula–Oder
Offensive on 12 January. Hitler committed suicide on 30 April as
Soviet troops neared his
Führerbunker in Berlin, and Germany
surrendered on 7 May 1945.
Canadian soldiers with a captured Nazi flag
Normandy landings were the largest seaborne invasion in history,
with nearly 5,000 landing and assault craft, 289 escort vessels, and
277 minesweepers. They hastened the end of the war in Europe,
drawing large forces away from the Eastern Front that might otherwise
have slowed the Soviet advance. The opening of another front in
western Europe was a tremendous psychological blow for Germany's
military, who feared a repetition of the two-front war of World War I.
Normandy landings also heralded the start of the "race for Europe"
between the Soviet forces and the Western powers, which some
historians consider to be the start of the Cold War.
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 superiority, which meant that the
Germans were unable to make observations of the preparations underway
in Britain and were unable to interfere via bomber attacks.
Transport infrastructure in
France was severely disrupted by Allied
bombers and the French Resistance, making it difficult for the Germans
to bring up reinforcements and supplies. Much of the opening
artillery barrage 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. The indecisiveness and overly
complicated command structure of the German high command was also a
factor in the Allied success.
American assault troops injured while storming Omaha
D-Day to 21 August, the Allies landed 2,052,299 men in northern
France. The cost of the
Normandy campaign was high for both sides.
Between 6 June and the end of August, the American armies suffered
124,394 casualties, of whom 20,668 were killed.[f] Casualties within
the First Canadian and Second British Armies are placed at 83,045:
15,995 killed, 57,996 wounded, and 9,054 missing.[g] Of these,
Canadian losses amounted to 18,444, with 5,021 killed in action.
The Allied air forces, having flown 480,317 sorties in support of the
invasion, lost 4,101 aircraft and 16,714 airmen (8,536 members of the
USAAF, and 8,178 flying under the command of the RAF). The
Free French SAS paratroopers suffered 77 killed, with 197 wounded and
missing. Allied tank losses have been estimated at around 4,000,
with losses split evenly between the American and British/Canadian
armies. Historians slightly differ on overall casualties during
the campaign, with the lowest losses totaling 225,606 and
the highest at 226,386.
German forces surrender in Saint-Lambert-sur-Dive, 21 August 1944
German forces in
France reported losses of 158,930 men between D-Day
and 14 August, just before the start of
Operation Dragoon in Southern
France. In action at the Falaise pocket, 50,000 men were lost, of
whom 10,000 were killed and 40,000 captured. Sources vary on the
total German casualties. Niklas Zetterling, on examining German
records, places the total German casualties suffered in
facing the Dragoon landings to be 290,000. Other sources arrive at
higher estimates: 400,000 (200,000 killed or wounded and a further
200,000 captured), 500,000 (290,000 killed or wounded, 210,000
captured), to 530,000 in total.
There are no exact figures regarding German tank losses in Normandy.
Approximately 2,300 tanks and assault guns were committed to the
battle,[h] of which only 100 to 120 crossed the Seine at the end of
the campaign. While German forces reported only 481 tanks
destroyed between D-day and 31 July, research conducted by No. 2
Operational Research Section of
21st Army Group
21st Army Group indicates that the
Allies destroyed around 550 tanks in June and July and another
500 in August, for a total of 1,050 tanks destroyed, including
100 destroyed by aircraft. Luftwaffe losses amounted to 2,127
aircraft. By the end of the
Normandy campaign, 55 German divisions
(42 infantry and 13 panzer) had been rendered combat ineffective;
seven of these were disbanded. By September,
OB West had only 13
infantry divisions, 3 panzer divisions, and 2 panzer brigades rated as
Civilians and French heritage buildings
During the liberation of Normandy, between 13,632 and 19,890 French
civilians were killed, and more were seriously wounded. In
addition to those who died during the campaign, 11,000 to 19,000
Normans are estimated to have been killed during pre-invasion
bombing. A total of 70,000 French civilians were killed throughout
the course of the war. Land mines and unexploded ordnance
continued to inflict casualties upon the Norman population following
the end of the campaign.
A British soldier escorts an elderly lady in Caen, July 1944
Prior to the invasion, SHAEF issued instructions (later the basis for
the 1954 Hague Convention Protocol I) emphasising the need to limit
the destruction to French heritage sites. These sites, named in the
Official Civil Affairs Lists of Monuments, were not to be used by
troops unless permission was received from the upper echelons of the
chain of command. Nevertheless, church spires and other stone
buildings throughout the area were damaged or destroyed to prevent
them being used by the Germans. Efforts were made to prevent
reconstruction workers from using rubble from important ruins to
repair roads, and to search for artefacts. The
and other important cultural treasures had been stored at the Château
de Sourches near
Le Mans from the start of the war, and survived
intact. The occupying German forces also kept a list of protected
buildings, but their intent was to keep the facilities in good
condition for use as accommodation by German troops.
Many cities and towns in
Normandy were totally devastated by the
fighting and bombings. By the end of the Battle of
Caen there remained
only 8,000 liveable quarters for a population of over 60,000. Of
the 18 listed churches in Caen, four were seriously damaged and five
were destroyed, along with 66 other listed monuments. In the
Calvados department (location of the
Normandy beachhead), 76,000
citizens were rendered homeless. Of Caen's 210 pre-war Jewish
population, only one survived the war.
Looting was a concern, with all sides taking part—the retreating
Germans, the invading Allies (for example British forces looting the
Musée des Antiquaires in
Caen and Château d'Audrieu near Bayeux),
and the local French population. Looting was never condoned by
Allied forces, and perpetrators were punished.
War memorials and tourism
Bény-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery
The beaches of
Normandy are still known by their invasion code names.
Significant places have plaques, memorials, or small museums, and
guide books and maps are available. Some of the German strong points
Pointe du Hoc
Pointe du Hoc in particular is little changed from
1944. The remains of
Mulberry harbour B still sits in the sea at
Arromanches. Several large cemeteries in the area serve as the final
resting place for many of the Allied and German soldiers killed in the
World War II
World War II portal
List of Allied forces in the
Outline of war
British logistics in the
The Battle of
^ Around 812,000 were American and 640,000 were British and Canadian
(Zetterling 2000, p. 408).
^ In addition, the Allied air forces made 480,317 sorties directly
connected to the operation, with the loss of 4,101 planes and 16,714
lives. Tamelander & Zetterling 2003, p. 341.
^ V-weapons were first launched against the UK on 12 June (Wilmot
1997, p. 316).
^ The British 79th Armoured Division never operated as a single
formation (Buckley 2006, p. 13), and thus has been excluded from
the total. In addition, a combined total of 16 (three from the 79th
Armoured Division) British, Belgian, Canadian, and Dutch independent
brigades were committed to the operation, along with four battalions
Special Air Service
Special Air Service (Ellis, Allen & Warhurst 2004,
pp. 521–523, 524).
^ As of November 1943. They also had 206 divisions on the Eastern
Front, 24 in the Balkans, and 22 in Italy. Wilmot 1997, p. 144.
^ American casualties are sourced from the G-3 War Room Summary 91,
dated 5 September 1944, covering the campaign (Pogue 1954, Chapter
XIV, footnote 10). In 1953, the US Statistical and Accounting Branch,
Office of the Adjutant General issued a final report on US casualties
(excluding Air Force losses) for the period from 6 June to 14
September 1944. This source shows the number killed in action during
the Battle of
Normandy (June 6 – July 24, 1944) as 13,959 and
France (25 July to 14 September 1944) as 15,239 for a total
of 29,198. Total deaths among battle casualties (including accidental
deaths, disease, etc) for
Normandy (June 6 – July 24, 1944) were
16,293 and in Northern
France (July 25 – September 14, 1944) were
17,844, for a total of 34,137 (US Army 1953, p. 92).
^ British casualties are sourced from "War Diary, 21st Army Group, 'A'
Section, SITEP" dated 29 August 1944 (D'Este 2004,
^ The most common tank/assault gun deployed at
Normandy by the Germans
was by far the Panzer IV, followed by the Panther (650) and Stug III
(550). Also present were 120–130 Tiger Is, 20 Tiger 2s, and smaller
numbers of other types, including Marders and Jagdpanthers. Buckley
2006, pp. 117–120.
^ a b Beevor 2009, p. 82.
^ a b c Williams 1988, p. x.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 492.
^ US Navy website.
^ Luxembourg Army website.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 76.
^ Cision 2014.
^ Copenhagen Post 2014.
^ Badsey 1990, p. 85.
^ Zetterling 2000, p. 32.
^ Zetterling 2000, p. 34.
^ Shulman 2007, p. 192.
^ a b c d Wilmot 1997, p. 434.
^ Buckley 2006, pp. 117–120.
^ a b c d Tamelander & Zetterling 2003, p. 341.
^ a b c Tamelander & Zetterling 2003, p. 342.
^ a b Zetterling 2000, p. 77.
^ a b Giangreco, Moore & Polmar 2004, p. 252.
^ a b Tamelander & Zetterling 2003, pp. 342–343.
^ Zetterling 2000, p. 83.
^ a b c d Beevor 2009, p. 519.
^ a b Flint 2009, pp. 336–337.
^ Dear & Foot 2005, p. 322.
^ Churchill 1949, p. 115.
^ Zuehlke 2004, p. 20.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 8–10.
^ Churchill 1951, p. 582.
^ Zuehlke 2004, pp. 21–22.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 10–11.
^ Beevor 2012, p. 319.
^ a b Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 11.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 10.
^ Wilmot 1997, pp. 177–178, chart p. 180.
^ Whitmarsh 2009, p. 9.
^ Zuehlke 2004, p. 23.
^ Gilbert 1989, pp. 397, 478.
^ 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.
^ Gilbert 1989, p. 491.
^ a b Whitmarsh 2009, pp. 12–13.
^ Weinberg 1995, p. 684.
^ Ellis, Allen & Warhurst 2004, pp. 521–533.
^ Churchill 1951, p. 642.
^ a b c d Beevor 2009, p. 3.
^ Buckingham 2004, p. 88.
^ Churchill 1951, pp. 592–593.
^ a b c Beevor 2009, Map, inside front cover.
^ Ellis, Allen & Warhurst 2004, pp. 78, 81.
^ Churchill 1951, p. 594.
^ Goldstein, Dillon & Wenger 1994, p. 6.
^ Whitmarsh 2009, Map, p. 12.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 25.
^ Evans 2008, p. 623.
^ Zuehlke 2004, p. 81.
^ Whitmarsh 2009, p. 21.
^ a b Whitmarsh 2009, p. 11.
^ Whitmarsh 2009, pp. 27–28.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 181.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 183.
^ a b Wilmot 1997, p. 321.
^ Whitmarsh 2009, pp. 89–90.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 182.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 195.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 208.
^ Zuehlke 2004, pp. 42–43.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 73.
^ Weinberg 1995, p. 680.
^ Brown 2007, p. 465.
^ Zuehlke 2004, pp. 71–72.
^ a b Whitmarsh 2009, p. 27.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 282.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 4.
^ a b Whitmarsh 2009, p. 34.
^ Bickers 1994, pp. 19–21.
^ Zuehlke 2004, p. 35.
^ Goldstein, Dillon & Wenger 1994, pp. 50–51, 54–57.
^ Fenton 2004.
^ Zuehlke 2004, p. 36.
^ Goldstein, Dillon & Wenger 1994, pp. 59, 61.
^ Goldstein, Dillon & Wenger 1994, pp. 61–62.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 46.
^ a b c d Whitmarsh 2009, p. 30.
^ Whitmarsh 2009, pp. 30, 36.
^ Dear & Foot 2005, p. 667.
^ a b c Whitmarsh 2009, p. 31.
^ a b c Whitmarsh 2009, p. 33.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 21.
^ Wilmot 1997, pp. 224–226.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 131.
^ Beevor 2009, pp. 42–43.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 144.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 34.
^ Goldstein, Dillon & Wenger 1994, p. 13.
^ Zaloga 2013, pp. 58–59.
^ Goldstein, Dillon & Wenger 1994, pp. 16–19.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 37.
^ a b c Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 30.
^ a b c d Whitmarsh 2009, p. 13.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 33.
^ Goldstein, Dillon & Wenger 1994, p. 11.
^ Whitmarsh 2009, p. 12.
^ a b Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 54–56.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 31.
^ Whitmarsh 2009, p. 15.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 192.
^ Whitmarsh 2009, p. 42.
^ Beevor 2009, pp. 1–2.
^ a b Beevor 2009, p. 74.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 79.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 51.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 51–52.
^ Corta 1952, pp. 157–161.
^ Corta 1997, pp. 64–79.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 69.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 70.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 118.
^ a b Hughes 2010, p. 5.
^ Whitmarsh 2009, p. 51.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 166–167.
^ a b Beevor 2009, p. 116.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 115.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 172.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, Map, p. 170.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 95–104.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 64–65, 334.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 45.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 76–77, 334.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 90–91.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 56, 83.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 337.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 281–282.
^ Wilmot 1997, pp. 270–273.
^ Wilmot 1997, pp. 275–276.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 131.
^ Wilmot 1997, pp. 277–278.
^ Beevor 2009, pp. 143, 148.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 326–327.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 283.
^ Beevor 2009, pp. 215–216.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 387.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 331.
^ Whitmarsh 2009, p. 87.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 335.
^ Horn 2010, p. 13.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 360.
^ Dear & Foot 2005, pp. 627–630.
^ a b Wilmot 1997, p. 301.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 175.
^ Whitmarsh 2009, p. 49.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 118–120.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 179.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 182.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 185–193.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 186.
^ Ellis, Allen & Warhurst 2004, pp. 247–254.
^ Forty 2004, pp. 36, 97.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 342.
^ Beevor 2009, pp. 232–237.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 347.
^ Copp 2000, p. 73.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 273.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 340–341.
^ Beevor 2009, pp. 332–333.
^ Beevor 2009, Map, p. 344.
^ Beevor 2009, pp. 366–367.
^ Wilmot 1997, pp. 398–400.
^ Wilmot 1997, pp. 399–400.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 410.
^ Beevor 2009, pp. 434–435.
^ Wilmot 1997, pp. 416–417.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 440.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 418.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 420.
^ Bradley 1951, p. 377.
^ Beevor 2009, pp. 439–440.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 424.
^ Hastings 2006, p. 369.
^ Wilmot 1997, pp. 421, 444.
^ Evans 2008, p. 642.
^ Beevor 2009, pp. 445, 447.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 429.
^ Beevor 2009, pp. 481, 483, 494.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 430.
^ a b Stacey 1960, p. 286.
^ Stacey 1948, p. 219.
^ a b Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 341–342.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 485.
^ a b Whitmarsh 2009, p. 109.
^ Gaddis 1990, p. 149.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 290.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 343.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 289.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, p. 36.
^ Copp 2003, p. 259.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 291.
^ Wilmot 1997, p. 292.
^ Stacey 1960, p. 271.
^ Ellis, Allen & Warhurst 2004, pp. 487–488.
^ Corta 1997, pp. 288–289.
^ Beevor 2009, p. 522.
^ D'Este 2004, p. 517.
^ Ellis, Allen & Warhurst 2004, pp. 488, 493.
^ Tamelander & Zetterling 2003, pp. 341–342.
^ a b Tamelander & Zetterling 2003, p. 343.
^ Shulman 2007, p. 166.
^ Copp 2000, pp. 399–400.
^ Zetterling 2000, p. 408.
^ Zaloga 2015, p. 470.
^ Flint 2009, p. 305.
^ Flint 2009, p. 350.
^ a b Beevor 2009, p. 520.
^ a b c Flint 2009, p. 354.
^ a b Flint 2009, p. 352.
^ Flint 2009, p. 337.
^ Flint 2009, p. 292.
^ Ford & Zaloga 2009, pp. 345–354.
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(Video of interview) on 7 September 2016.
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(Transcript of speech). London: The Churchill Society.
Leighton, Richard M. (2000) . "Overlord Versus the Mediterranean
at the Cairo-Tehran Conferences". In Greenfield,
Kent Roberts. Command
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CMH Pub 70-7.
"World War II: D-Day, The Invasion of Normandy". Eisenhower
D-Day and the
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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)
Operation Fortitude (Deception plan)
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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