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.

Today marks the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion.

D-Day

On the Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion

June 6, 1944…

SUPEREME HEADQUARTERS ALLIED EXPEDITIONARY FORCE

Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

You are about to embark upon a great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. Read more

Around 3 AM on June 6, Vierville-sur-Mer locals awoke to the sound of U.S. Liberator bombers preparing the beach for the largest invasion in history.

D-Day

Vierville Civilians Recall Allied Pre-Invasion Bombings

by Kevin Hymel

The townspeople of Vierville-sur-Mer awoke around 3 am on June 6, 1944, to the sound of bombs. In the early morning of the Normandy Invasion, American Consolidated B-24 Liberator bombers were dropping their payloads, preparing the invasion beaches for the coming attack. Read more

D-Day

Why America Participated in the Allied Bombing of France in WWII

By Flint Whitlock

By any standard, the ancient city of Rouen, in Upper Normandy, is a historical treasure. Within its magnificent High Gothic Notre-Dame Cathedral (which was portrayed in a famous series of paintings by the Impressionist Claude Monet as well as by his contemporary Camille Pissarro) is a tomb containing the heart of Richard the Lionheart (1157-1199) who had been King of England and the Duke of Normandy. Read more

In August 1944, the Allies followed up the massive Normandy Invasion with another in southern France known as Operation Dragoon.

D-Day

Rampage on the Riviera: Operation Dragoon

By Glenn Barnette and André Bernole

Early in 1944, German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, the defeated hero of North Africa and now head of Army Group B in France, was tasked with strengthening the Atlantic Wall defenses against Allied invasion. Read more

D-Day

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

D-Day

Paratrooper Brawl at Carentan

By William F. Floyd, Jr.

The two exits from the American landing zones at Utah Beach were entrusted to the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. Read more

D-Day

Hobart’s Funnies

By Phil Zimmer

The elite German paratroopers, who were some of the finest fighters in the service of the Third Reich, believed they were exceptionally well prepared to defend the deep water port of Brest on France’s Brittany coast against an impending attack by the Allies. Read more

D-Day

Every man an Emperor

By Patrick J. Chaisson

Sergeant William R. Kelly crashed through the treetops, slamming to a stop when his parachute canopy caught on some branches. Read more

D-Day

Brittany: Too High a Price?

By Nathan Prefer

At age 86, with a full and successful career behind him, General of the Army Omar Nelson Bradley sat down to write his uncensored memoirs. Read more