Normandy Invasion Facts

Normandy Invasion Facts
The Normandy invasion took place on June 6th, 1944, when U.S., Canadian, Free French forces, and British forces landed at five beaches in Normandy. It was the largest amphibious invasion (which brings troops, vehicles, and supplies being brought ashore via boats and other watercraft) in history, launched by the western Allies during World War II. This historic day became known as D-Day. The invasion began in the night, with air attacks, troops arriving by parachute and gliders, and navy bombardments, followed by the landings in the morning at five of Normandy's beaches. The beaches were given the codenames Juno, Gold, Omaha, Utah, and Sword. This invasion was instrumental for the Western Allies to gain a strong foothold and obtain Germany's surrender only a few months later.
Interesting Normandy Invasion Facts:
The plans for D-Day began months ahead of the actual invasion.
There were roughly 3,200 reconnaissance missions before D-Day to take pictures of various locations.
Rehearsals were held for the invasion, and one on April 28th, 1944 was interrupted by German torpedo boats and 638 soldiers from the U.S. were killed.
The Allies implemented a deception called Operation Fortitude to mislead the Nazis about the time and place of D-Day.
There were leaks of the upcoming invasion, but details were not enough to give the Germans enough information.
The initial invasion on D-Day included approximately 156,000 troops that stormed Normandy's beaches.
Germany had 55 divisions in France. It was important to attack with the element of surprise because the Allies could only bring 8 divisions to Normandy's shores on the morning of D-Day.
Prior to D-Day the air support operations flew 14,000 missions in an effort to weaken German forces. Between April 1st and June 5th, 1944 the losses to air forces included 12,000 airmen and 2,000 airplanes.
On D-Day 127 additional airplanes were destroyed. At the end of the Normandy invasion an additional 28,000 pilots and airmen had lost their lives.
Because D-Day's secrecy and decoy measures were so well planned, it took Germany's 2nd Waffen SS Division forces two weeks, instead of two days, to reach the front. Spies and French Resistance also helped to delay German forces.
Beginning at 11:00pm on June 5th approximately 24,000 troops were dropped behind German enemy lines to allow the Allies to secure strategic roads and bridges. Dummy paratroops were dropped in strategic locations to fool the Germans as well.
At 3:00am on June 6th, Allied bombers began to attack the Germans, dropping a total of seven million pounds of explosives that day.
The naval forces included 7 battleships, 43 destroyers, and 18 cruisers. They began to attack at 5:00am.
At 6:31am U.S. troops began to go ashore, followed by the British and Canadians.
The D-Day invasion at Normandy's beaches resulted in fewer casualties than expected, with Allied deaths totaling 4,572. Germans lost 9,000.
The invasion codenames given to the five beaches that the Allied forces took on D-Day are still used on maps and signs.
There are several war cemeteries in Normandy where Allied forces and German forces are buried.


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