This year, June 6, 2014, marks the 70th Anniversary of D-Day. The site, http://www.army.mil/d-day explains D-Day in a short but descriptive way: “On June 6, 1944, more than 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline, to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which, “we will accept nothing less than full victory.” More than 5,000 Ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion, and by day’s end, the Allies gained a foot-hold in Continental Europe. The cost in lives on D-Day was high. More than 9,000 Allied Soldiers were killed or wounded, but their sacrifice allowed more than 100,000 Soldiers to begin the slow, hard slog across Europe, to defeat Adolph Hitler’s crack troops.”
World War 2 and D-Day has always been intriguing to me, so I decided to look around the web and collect some interesting and fascinating details about this historic day. In the list below, next to each fact that I posted, I listed the name of the website in which I found the specific fact. So, without further ado, here we go…
The largest seaborne invasion in history – CNN
The invasion’s secret code name was Operation Overlord. – CNN
Condoms were issued to soldiers – most were used for covering the end of their rifles to keep them dry. – Express.co.uk
Although June 6 is often called D-Day, D-Day is also a generic military term that stands for the day, D, of any major attack. – Ducksters.com
The overall military operation was called “Operation Overlord”. The actual landings at Normandy were called “Operation Neptune” – Ducksters.com
The Allies created a ruse to convince the Germans that the invasion would take place at Pas de Calais instead of the Cotentin Peninsula. According to the U.S. Army, a dummy base was constructed out of plywood, and inflatable tanks were placed to create the illusion of a massive army division. – NewsYahoo.com
The invasion location was cloaked in secrecy and rumors. Allied leaders were constantly trying – soldiers knew the exact date, time, and location of the attack until the last minute. All training maps for troops had false names to keep the secret intact. – Warhistoryonline.com
The main reason for the secrecy was that the Germans had 55 divisions stationed in France, and the Allies could only bring in about eight divisions to attack on D-Day. – Warhistoryonline.com
Famous German General, Field Marshall Rommel, was nowhere near France on June 6. He was celebrating his wife’s birthday in Germany during the invasion. – NewsYahoo.com
There were 6,939 naval ships deployed, holding 195,000 sailors. – Warhistoryonline.com
The flat-bottomed landing craft were originally designed to rescue flood victims on the Mississippi river in the US. – Express.co.uk
The first two British soldiers that were killed on D-Day were Lt. Den Brotheridge of the 6th Airborne Division and Lance Corporal Fred Greehalgh. Brotheridge was shot in the neck while leading his platoon, and Greehalgh immediately drowned when he stepped out of Brotheridge’s glider. – Warhistoryonline.com
The first U.S. soldier that died on D-Day was twenty-eight year old Lt. Robert Mathias of the 82nd Airborne Division. He sustained a bullet wound in the chest right before he jumped out of his aircraft. He commanded his men to follow his lead as he jumped from the plane and died mid-air. – Warhistoryonline.com
The operation was the largest amphibious invasion in world history, with over 160,000 troops landing on 6 June 1944 – and 195,700 Allied naval and merchant navy personnel in over 5,000 ships were involved. – .Dailymail.co.uk
The landings took place along a 50-mile (80 km) stretch of the Normandy coast divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. – Dailymail.co.uk
Approximately 10,000 allies were injured or killed. – Dailymail.co.uk
Between 4,000 and 9,000 German troops were killed – and it proved the pivotal moment of the war, in the allied forces’ favor. – Dailymail.co.uk
Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was asleep when word of the invasion arrived. No one dared wake him and it’s said vital time was lost in sending reinforcements. – Express.co.uk
Let’s take some time during this time of year to thank our veterans for their honor, bravery and the sacrifices that they gave for the freedoms that we enjoy each day.
Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
Thank you, to all the heroes! The ultimate sacrifice ….
I am pretty good at World War 1 knowledge.. Also WW2
Reblogged this on Blackbutterfly7 and commented:
Very informative! Thank you so much, Coach. I remember a scene from the movie Saving Private Ryan while reading your article.
I remember that day. I was 18 years old, living in California. The next year I married a G.I. who had just been awarded the Bronze Star for bravery under German fire.
Dad was there. . .
Thanks for the post Coach. Here’s a fact you didn’t know. My father, 1st Lt. Charles Melvin Askins landed at Omaha Beach. We must remember and honor them all.
God bless you dad and all the other soldiers who fought for us!
Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
Another post that is appropriate for this week. Especially for those of us who had father’s and grandfather’s serving at the time. Also for all the mother’s, wives, families waiting at home.