D-Day - Normandy Landings
June 6, 1944 - August 1944
On D-Day, over 160,000 Allied troops landed in France on the beach of Normandy. More than 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the invasion to fight against Nazi Germany, which allowed American, British, and Canadian forces a strong foothold into Europe. This invasion was one of the largest military assaults in history, which required extensive planning.
The invasion of Normandy resulted in more than 4,000 Allied casualties, but the sacrificed lives paved way for over 326,000 troops to land and secure the beaches less than a week later.
Commander Rommel was away on leave which left the Germans in confusion of the ranks, and the deception campaign led by the Allies continued their disarray. Hitler believed the invasion was a distraction from a coming attack north of the Seine River, so he refused to release divisions to join the counterattack. Germans were thwarted by the attack and lack of support, and many key bridges were taken out by Allied air support, shortening their road to victory.
In the following weeks, Allies fought their way through German resistance in Normandy, which led to the seizing of Cherbourg. Approximately 850,000 men and 150,000 vehicles landed and were poised to continue their march across France.
By the end of August 1944, Germans had been removed from northwestern France, Paris was liberated, and the Allies had reached the Seine River. Once the destination was reached, Allied troops prepared to enter Germany where they would meet Soviet troops moving in from the east.
Significance to Axis and Allied Powers
The successful invasion of Normandy beach on D-Day was considered the beginning of the end for Nazi Germany. From then on, Allied troops fought their way through German force until Germany was stuck between their failures from facing Russia and other allied powers, until they finally surrendered.