Was it necessary to invade the European continent to defeat Nazi Germany, or could the continual aerial bombing of towns and factories alone have done the job? Or was the invasion really mounted to forestall a Soviet victory and communist takeover of Europe? Some historians still debate the question.

D-Day

Code named Operation Overlord, the D-Day Invasion occurred on June 6, 1944, as elements of five Allied infantry and three Allied airborne divisions assaulted the Normandy coast of Nazi-occupied France during World War II. Under the overall command of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the landings on Gold, Juno, Sword, Utah, and Omaha beaches succeeded in establishing a foothold on the continent. Following an arduous campaign in Normandy and savage fighting across the German frontier, troops of the Western Allies met the Soviet Red Army, advancing from the East, and Nazi Germany surrendered on May 7, 1945.

D-Day

D-Day +12: Assault on Cherbourg

By Arnold Blumberg

When plans were drawn up for the Allied invasion of France in 1944, one important consideration was securing a deep-water port to allow reinforcements and supplies to be brought in directly from Great Britain and the United States. Read more

D-Day

Airborne Close Encounter

By Chris Blenheim

At midnight, the jumpers of 2nd Battalion, 517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team, as well as the 596th Parachute Combat Engineer Company, still dripping from the paint-spray line, shuffled across Ombrone Airfield to the waiting C-47s of Serial 6 and climbed aboard. Read more

D-Day

The Fight for Singling

By Arnold Blumberg

After four months and a 600-mile advance from the beaches of Normandy into Brittany and then through eastern France, the spearhead of Lt. Read more

D-Day

Tactical Thunder: The Ninth Air Force

By Sam McGowan

As the landing craft carrying the invading Allied ground forces of Operation Overlord motored toward the Normandy beaches on June 6, 1944, they were protected and supported by the largest aerial armada the world has ever seen. Read more

D-Day

Pegasus Bridge: Operation Deadstick’s Glider Assault

By Christopher Miskimon

On a darkened airfield at 2230 hours on June 5, 1944, a reinforced company of British gliderborne infantry, D Company of the Second Battalion, Oxford & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Ox & Bucks), boarded gliders, prepared to start the invasion of France. Read more

After the disastrous failure of operation market garden, the allies were determined to open the german held Belgian port on the Scheldt Estuary.

D-Day

Battle of the Scheldt Estuary

By Allyn Vannoy

As the Allied armies advanced across Western Europe in the summer of 1944, the First Canadian Army undertook the task of clearing the coastal areas and opening the Channel ports. Read more

D-Day

George C. Marshall: Architect of Victory

By Michael D. Hull

President Franklin D. Roosevelt was disturbed in the autumn of 1938 by the Munich agreement, at which the rights of Czechoslovakia were signed away, and by reports of mounting air strength in Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany. Read more

D-Day

WWII French Resistance Fighters: Pearl Cornioley

by Flint Whitlock

When Pearl Witherington Cornioley died quietly in 2008 at the age of 93 in a retirement home in the Loire Valley of France, some who thought they knew her well may have been surprised to learn that she had risked her life during World War II as an agent for the British Special Operations Executive (SOE). Read more