The D-Day June 6 1944 invasion launched from the south coast of England went on to change everything in WWII and the world thereafter.
The Allies sailed across the English channel using a mix of beach landing craft and battleships to soften the beachhead. The troops who entered into one of the bloodiest of battles were chiefly British, US and Canadian. It took three months from D-Day to take control of Northern France after landing on the beaches of Normandy. The Nazi army was well dug in with formidable defences erected to stop the Allied troops coming ashore. There were 6000 boats and 176,000 men supported by 822 aircraft that also dropped 20,000 men in behind enemy lines.
The D-Day invasion was critical because Hitler believed he was on the verge of victory. He committed a large number of his forces to the western front to beat off the Allies and then he was planning to move them East to defeat the Russians and hand him victory in Europe.
The Allied invasion was under control of General Dwight D. Eisenhower who had been given the role of supreme commander in Europe. The troops set off under cover of darkness from the UK in the early morning and started their landing at 6.30am.
Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery from Britain suggested that the landing had not gone entirely to plan as they failed to get sufficient supplies onto land. However, the bridgehead was formed and the Allies had 850,000 men based there by the end of June along with 150,000 vehicles and D-Day was considered a success.
The incredible selfless bravery of the men involved should be remembered forever. There are many strong accounts of the day and it has been immortalised in film through, The Band of Brothers, Saving Private Ryan and The Longest Day. Never forget.