D-Day was the most significant invasion ever, where 156,000 Allied troops landed by sea and air on five beachheads in Normandy, France. Allied forces faced horrible weather and fierce German gunfire as they stormed Normandy’s coast.
Top 4 Astonishing Facts About D-Day
The D in D-Day is redundant and merely stands for day. It’s a code designation that was used for the day of any exclusive invasion or military operation. The day before D-Day was referred to as D-1, while the day after D-Day was D+1.
The armed forces also incorporated H-Hour for the start time.
Below are the top 4 surprising facts about the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944
It was the Largest Water-Borne Attack in History
D-Day was the largest amphibious invasion on any shoreline in history. The assault was coordinated in two main phases- an airborne assault and amphibious landings on Nazi-occupied France.
Allied paratroopers also carried out bombardments on German coastal defenses prior to and during landing. They provided artillery and tactical support for the attacking troops and infantry division on the beaches.
D-Day Comprehensive Plan Was After Tehran Conference
In December 1943, the first commander team led by American General Dwight D. Eisenhower was formed to plan the marine, air, and land military operations.
Lieutenant-General Frederick Morgan and his colleagues of British, American, and Canadian officers submitted plans for the assault in July 1943. Soon after the clearance of Dunkirk in 1940, minimal planning of the attack commenced.
It was only after Tehran Conference in late 1943 that a compressive preparation for operation Overload began.
Part of the plan was to gather unlimited resources for the invasion. Therefore, the British factories expanded production. They managed to ship equipment and supplies across the Atlantic from North America to Britain.
D-Day Is More Than a Key Military Victory
D-Day is a historic World War II assault, but the events of 6, 1944 encompassed much more than an iconic military victory. Thousands of Allied troops and German troops died during the invasion.
Some Allied forces were missing in action, wounded, or jailed in prison of war. According to World Population Review, more than 209,000 Allied Casualties and 125,847 United States ground troops were lost. Additionally, 83,043 who were 21st Army Group men, British, Canadian, and Polish ground forces were also victims of D-Day.
Over the entire battle of Normandy, the United States lost about 2499 casualties from the air-borne troops. Germany is estimated to have lost between 4000 and, 9000 men on D-Day. Click here to view the D-Day casualties population by country.
Did you know the movie ‘Saving Private Ryan‘ is based on the three Niland brothers? The 3 fallen Medal of Honor recipients were buried at American St. Laurent Cemetery next to Omaha Beach.
Poor Weather Didn’t Stop the Attack
Nature played a vital role on June 6, 1944. The beach obstacles were not ideal for an assault, but further postponing meant a two-week delay. Allies relied on natural illumination and had to invade on a full moon night, and by June 5 that window was beginning to close.
It was hard to navigate the ocean due to the strong winds and rough sea that posed a challenge for the landing crafts. Poor weather triggered the tide quicker than it was anticipated.
Eisenhower ordered an attack on June 6, 1944. Luckily, the crucial full moon was out, and the angry skies kept German planes grounded.
The legacy set by D-Day resonates through history. Despite all the formidable odds, the Allied military succeeded in the fight. They victoriously managed to turn the tide of World War II towards triumph against Hitler’s forces.