You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.
—Supreme Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower, Letter to Allied Forces
This year is the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
On June 6, 1944, the Normandy landings began. “D-Day” marked the Allied invasion into German-controlled France. There are two parts to D-Day, the airborne assault and the amphibious landing. Around midnight, American, British, Canadian and Free French airborne troops parachuted into France to help secure the flanks and approaches for the beach landings. At 6:30am, Allied troops stormed the 50-mile stretch of coast which the Germans had heavily fortified. Over 150,000 Allied troops fought with the help of more than 5,000 ships and 11,000 aircraft support. D-Day became the largest amphibious landing in history. The cost of the invasion was high with around 9,000 Allied soldiers wounded or killed. As a military move, D-Day was successful, it allowed the Allies a foothold in France and to the eventual downfall of Nazi Germany.