On the 6 June 2024 we will mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day.  This day is remembered as the day when Allied forces launched a massive invasion of German-occupied France during World War 11.  The event is officially known as Operation Overlord and is often considered the turning point of the war in Europe.

The Key points about D-Day include: 

Planning and Preparation: The invasion was planned over several months, involving the American, British, Canadian and other Allied forces.  It included deceptive measures (operation Bodyguard) to mislead the Germans about the invasion location.

  • Invasion Sites: The invasion took place on five beachheads along the Normandy coast of France, codenamed Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword.  Each beach was assigned to different Allied forces: 
  • Utah Beach: US troops
  • Omaha Beach: US troops
  • Gold Beach: British troops
  • Juno Beach: Canadian troop
  • Sword Beach: British troops
  • Airborne Assaults:  Before the beach landings, paratroopers and glider troops were dropped behind enemy lines to secure key positions and disrupt German defences.
  • Scale: The operation involved more than 156,000 Allied troops, 5000 ships and 11000 aircrafts.  It was one of the largest amphibious assaults in history.
  • Objective: The goal was to establish a strong foothold in Normandy and begin the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi occupation.  The successful landing allowed the Allies to eventually push through France and advance towards Germany.
  • Significance: D-Day marked the beginning of the end of Nazi Germany.  It opened up a front in Europe.
  • Casualties: The invasion resulted in significant casualties, particularly on Omaha Beach, where American forces faced fierce resistance.  Total Allied casualties on D-Day were estimated around 10,000, with more than 4000 confirmed dead.

D-Day remains a symbol of Allied unity and military strategy, commemorated annually for its historical importance and the bravery and sacrifice of those who participated.  It is a reminder of the cooperation among Allied nations.  Many veterans who participated in D-Day are no longer alive.  Celebrations and commemorations provide an opportunity to honour these veterans, preserving their stories and experiences for posterity.

Overall, D-Day is celebrated to remember the heroism, strategic importance, and the profound impact it had on the course of World War 11.