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

Mission Critical Overlord Weather

By Gene J. Pfeffer

Operation Overlord, the cross-Channel attack that hit the Nazi-occupied beaches of Normandy in 1944, was the culmination of a grand strategy adopted early in the war, followed sporadically during the years of conflict, and aimed at defeating Hitler’s Reich by striking directly at Germany by invasion. Read more

D-Day

Tale of the Biscuit Bomber: The C-47 in WWII

By Sam McGowan

Even though, technically at least, it was not a combat airplane, the performance of the Douglas C-47 transport led General of the Army Dwight Eisenhower to label it as one of the most important weapons of World War II. Read more

D-Day

Armored Blitz to Avranches

By Kevin M. Hymel

Lieutenant General Omar Bradley had reason to be pleased by the last week of July 1944. His First Army had scratched out a substantial foothold on the Normandy coast, capturing three times more French territory than his British allies. Read more

D-Day

Six-Pounder Versus Panzer

By Christopher Miskimon

Sergeant Charles Callistan looked through the sights of an antitank gun at an approaching enemy tank. His weapon, a six-pounder cannon, was in the perimeter of a surrounded British outpost named Snipe. Read more

In December 1944, a small radio code-breaking unit intercepted a message that should have tipped off the Allies to the Battle of the Bulge attack.

D-Day

Codebreaking at the Battle of the Bulge

by Arnold Franco

World War II, being far more fluid than World War I, marked the advent of the mobile radio intercept unit whose task was to pick up, decrypt if possible, and pinpoint enemy units sending their messages through the airways. Read more

D-Day

Operation Overlord’s Colonel Alexis von Roenne

During the early part of 1944, an event took place that would change the outcome of World War II. It seemed insignificant at the time, but would have a profound influence upon Operation Overlord, code name for the invasion of German-occupied France, as well as the resulting Battle of Normandy and the breakout that followed.;
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Soldiers of the Polish 2nd Corps participate in the final assault on Monte Cassino on May 18, 1943.

D-Day

Walking in the Footsteps of Heroes

By Flint Whitlock

I wrote previously about my guided three D-Day tours in the summer of 2014. I repeated the tour-guiding experience in May and June this year for the Minnesota World War II History Roundtable during a tour of Fifth Army battlefields in Italy. Read more

Paratroopers and their supplies descend into danger during a daylight airborne operation in The Drop by Albert Richards.

D-Day

Attack on The Merville gun battery during D-Day

By Robert Barr Smith

Just boys facing danger, please God make them men; If they live through the danger, make them boys once again.      —Sergeant Ginger Woodcock, June 5, 1944

On the morning of June 6, 1944, the greatest amphibious fleet in history bore in toward the coast of Normandy. Read more

D-Day

Ernest Hemingway’s War

By Roy Morris, Jr.

When the United States entered World War II in December 1941, the nation’s most famous writer, a man who had built his reputation on gritty and intense novels about wars, soldiers, and “grace under pressure,” was nowhere to be seen—at least not on the home front. Read more