(CNN) — Here’s a look at “D-Day,” or the day Allied troops invaded Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944, to fight Nazi Germany in World War II.
- It was the largest amphibious invasion (by land and water) in history.
- The code name for the invasion was “Operation Overlord.”
- General Dwight D. Eisenhower was in command of the operation, and the landing was planned in Normandy, west of where German troops and artillery were concentrated.
- “D” stands for Day. “D-Day” is a code for the day a major military attack is scheduled to begin.
- Code names for the five beaches where the Allies landed: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword.
- More than 13,000 aircraft and 5,000 ships supported the operation.
- The exact number of casualties is not known. An estimated 10,000 Allied soldiers were killed, wounded, or missing in action: 6,603 Americans, 2,700 British, and 946 Canadians.
August 19, 1942 – The heavy loss attack on the French port of Dieppe convinces D-Day planners to land on the beaches. Preparations begin for an allied invasion across the English Channel.
May 1943 – The Trident Conference, a strategic meeting of the United Kingdom and the United States on the war, takes place in Washington. Winston Churchill, President Theodore Roosevelt and their military advisers discuss the crossing of the English Channel.
August 1943 – The Chiefs of Staff of the United Kingdom and the United States outline Operation Overlord during the Quadrant Conference.
November and December 1943 – The military chiefs of the United Kingdom and the United States discuss the specifics of the incursion into France during the Sextant and Eureka conferences.
1944 – The Germans expect a raid along the northern coast of France, but do not know where it will occur. They concentrate their troops and artillery near Calais, where the English Channel is narrower.
June 5, 1944 – Allied paratroopers and gliders carrying heavy equipment leave England to begin the invasion of France by air.
In a message relayed to the troops before leaving, Eisenhower tells them: “The tide has turned! The free men of the world march together towards victory…. We will accept nothing less than total victory.
June 6, 1944 – The military navy and more than 160,000 soldiers cross the English Channel at dawn. The minesweepers sail first to clear the waters in preparation for the arrival of thousands of landing craft carrying men, vehicles and supplies.
Between midnight and 8 a.m., the Allied forces fly 14,674 missions.
At 6:30 am the troops begin to disembark on an 80-kilometer front.
In a broadcast to the population of occupied Europe, Eisenhower says, “Even if the initial raid was not made into your country, the time for your liberation is near.”