What Are the Most Important Facts About D-Day?


Quick Answer

D-Day occurred on June 6, 1944 when the Allies invaded Normandy, successfully turning the tide of World War II. Over 156,000 allied troops landed on 50 miles of beach in the largest seaborne invasion in history, liberating Northern France over the course of the next three months.

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Full Answer

D-Day, or codename Operation Overlord, was commanded by General Dwight D. Eisenhower and included forces from the United States, Great Britain and Canada. The Allied forces crossed the English Channel to land on the beaches of Normandy at 6:30 a.m. after successfully convincing the Germans that the invasion would occur at Pas-de-Calais. The trip to bring in the troops and supplies required 5,000 ships, while 11,000 airplanes guarded the forces from above.

Omaha Beach sustained the heaviest Allied casualties on D-Day. More than 2,000 Americans alone were killed. The invasions at Utah Beach, Gold Beach, Juno Beach and Sword Beach had fewer casualties. By the end of D-Day, they had successfully taken the beaches, although there were about 4,000 Allied casualties. By June 11, the beach was completely secure. At the end of August, the Allied Troops had liberated Northern France to the Seine River. Less than a year later, Germany surrendered to the Allies.

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