On this day 73 years ago allied troops were getting ready for D-Day, which took meticulous planning:
“Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.” Dwight D. Eisenhower
The D-Day invasion, also known as ‘Operation Neptune’, was not a small operation, nor one that was entered into lightly. It involved no less than 156,000 Allied landed troops, 5,000 ships and landing craft along with 195,700 naval personnel, 50,000 vehicles, 11,000 aircraft and 23,000 paratroopers, all working together to attack 58 miles of coastline. Norman Longmate explains in his ‘If Britain had Fallen’ that Hitler’s intended invasion of Britain in 1940 failed largely because he only began to seriously plan the attack two days before his speech to the Reichstag in mid-July. Having swept through Europe more rapidly than he could ever have imagined, Hitler plainly expected to be able to mount a similar invasion extremely quickly, since bad weather would make it unfeasible to invade from mid- September onwards. Conversely, Britain’s best generals spent two years planning their D-Day amphibious invasion, crafting and perfecting the arrangements – and it showed. The casualties of the day were heavy, but on D-Day the Allied army became the first invading force to successfully cross the Channel since 1688.
Hitler’s days of dominating Europe were numbered.
Do you have any D-Day heroes in your family? Maybe you are researching them and your family's military history – search the Forces War Records 'WWII Daily reports (missing, dead, wounded & POWs)' collection, which can be found HERE