Nazi Germany spent many years (and a fortune) creating an invasion-proof barrier, only to have it breached in the span of a morning.

Cherbourg

Smashing Hitler’s Atlantic Wall

By Flint Whitlock

After overrunning France and other Western European countries in 1940, Adolf Hitler was certain that the Allies would one day attempt to invade the European continent and attack through the occupied countries to destroy his regime. Read more

Cherbourg

A Screaming Eagle’s Journey: The Story of Lud Labutka

By Richard Beranty

In an effort to calm his nerves just before he jumped into Normandy on D-Day, Lud Labutka thought it might be a good idea to accept the drink being offered from the paratrooper sitting across from him on their C-47 transport as it crossed the English Channel. Read more

Cherbourg

The Lions of Carentan Part III: Operation Cobra

By Volker Griesser

Background: In this, the third and final installment of a three-part series excerpted from The Lions of Carentan, the 2011 book by a respected German military historian, Fallschirmjäger Regiment 6 (FJR 6) has been pushed out of Ste.-Mère-église, Read more

Cherbourg

The Lions of Carentan Part II: Defending Carentan

By Volker Griesser

Background: Fallschirmjäger Regiment 6, under the command of Major Friedrich August Freiherr von der Heydte, had the fortune (or misfortune) to be stationed in Normandy at the time of the Allied invasion of France on June 6, 1944. Read more

The small destroyer saw action and escaped destruction from Normandy to the Philippines and even Korea and Vietnam.

Cherbourg

The Amazing Voyages of the USS O’Brien

By Eric Niderost

At exactly three o’clock in the afternoon on February 25, 1944, a crowd gathered at the Boston Navy Yard for the commissioning ceremony of the USS O’Brien (DD725), a destroyer of the Sumner class. Read more

Although often overlooked, Canadian troops did their part to ensure victory on D-Day.

Cherbourg

Soldiers of Juno: The Canadian Invasion of Normandy

By Dorothy Brotherton

As John Wesley Pointon jumped into the cold English Channel water with the Royal Canadian 7th Brigade Signal Corps and struggled with a heavy radio strapped to his back toward the beach that was being torn apart by shot and shell, the farm boy from Saskatchewan tried to make his mind go blank. Read more

Hitler did all in his power to create an impenetrable “Fortress Europa” and prevent an Allied invasion, but it wasn’t enough.

Cherbourg

Building the Atlantic Wall

By Allyn Vannoy

The popular image of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall (Atlantikwall) is one of massive bunkers and huge artillery pieces recessed in concrete casemates stretching the length of the Reich’s coastline. Read more

Cherbourg

Liberating Cherbourg, Normandy’s Great Port

By David H. Lippman

It was the storm that forced the battle. On June 19, 1944, a massive gale hit the English Channel, sweeping in from the west, hitting the gigantic artificial harbors the Allies had built on their D-Day invasion beaches. Read more

The destroyer USS Murphy survived a collision on the open sea and served during four amphibious operations in the European Theater.

Cherbourg

USS Murphy: Long Service in Wartime

By William B. Allmon

Eighty miles off the coast of New Jersey and 280 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean lies the forward section of a World War II destroyer, where it came to rest more than 60 years ago. Read more