The D-Day invasion, or Normandy landings, were the landing
operations of the Allied forces as part of Operation Overlord in World War II. The
landings began on June 6, 1944, and they marked the beginning of the liberation
of German-occupied Western Europe from Nazi control.
The invasion involved a series of military beach landings
along the coast of Normandy and has since been known as the largest seaborne
invasion in history. The battle also involved a massive airborne invasion.
The D-Day invasion took years of planning,
and, in months leading up to it, the Allies began a military deception strategy
known as Operation Bodyguard. This operation was intended to mislead German
forces as to the exact day and location of the suspected invasion.
Those planning the invasion determined
specific weather conditions based on moon phases, time of day, and ocean
tides that would be most ideal for a successful invasion. When the appointed
time of the invasion came, the weather was far from these conditions, and the
invasion was pushed back a day.
What Happened on D-Day?
On the morning of D-Day, paratroopers
and glider troops were sent behind enemy lines by the thousands to secure
bridges and exit roads. Then, at 6:30 in the morning, the beach landings began.
By the end of the day, over 150,000 Allied troops had successfully stormed and
captured Normandy’s beaches—but at a high price. By some estimates, over 4,000
of the Allied forces lost their lives. Thousands more were recorded as
wounded or missing.
The Importance of D-Day
The D-Day invasion is significant in history for the role it
played in World War II. It marked the turn of the tide for the control
maintained by Nazi Germany; less than a year after the invasion, the Allies
formally accepted Nazi Germany’s surrender.
It was a day that cost many lives on all sides of the
conflict, changing not only the future of countries, but of families as well.
Because of that, there is much to be learned from those who experienced its
victories and its horrors firsthand.
Do you have D-Day veterans in your family?
Record a memory or upload a
photo to help preserve their legacy.
Source: Family Search