Remembering D-Day

Remembering D-Day

On D-Day, 6 June 1944 - 80 year ago - Allied forces launched a combined naval, air and land assault on Nazi-occupied France.

Early on 6 June, Allied airborne forces parachuted into drop zones across northern France. Ground troops then landed across five assault beaches - Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword.

The invasion was conducted in two main phases - an airborne assault and amphibious landings. Shortly after midnight on 6 June, over 18,000 Allied paratroopers were dropped into the invasion area to provide tactical support for infantry divisions on the beaches. Allied air forces flew over 14,000 sorties in support of the landings and, having secured air supremacy prior to the invasion, many of these flights were unchallenged by the Luftwaffe.

Nearly 7,000 naval vessels, including battleships, destroyers, minesweepers, escorts and assault craft took part in Operation 'Neptune', the naval component of 'Overlord'. Naval forces were responsible for escorting and landing over 132,000 ground troops on the beaches. They also carried out bombardments on German coastal defences before and during the landings and provided artillery support for the invading troops.

By the end of the day, the Allies had established a foothold along the coast and could begin their advance into France.

 

 



 

 

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