Facts About D-Day
* D-Day commemorates the Battle of Normandy in WWII, which began on June 6, 1944 and resulted in the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi Germany’s control.
* It was the largest amphibious (land and water) invasion in history.
* The exact number of Allied casualties is not known. It is estimated that about 10,000 Allied soldiers were killed or went missing in action, including 6,603 Americans, 2,700 British, and 946 Canadians.
* The code name for the invasion was Operation Overlord. It became known as D-Day (which stands for “Departure Day”) because that was a common term used to describe the start of any significant military action.
* The Allies knew that Germany was expecting an invasion, so they came up with an ingenious plan (which included phony radio transmissions, dummy airfields, etc.) to fool the Germans into thinking that it would take place in Calais, not Normandy. Duped by the charade, the Germans left Normandy relatively under-defended.
* On the eve of D-Day, Hitler was entertaining Joseph Goebbels and some other guests at his home in the Alps. When he finally got news of the invasion, it was almost 6 hours old. He didn’t take it seriously, and was slow to authorize requests for reinforcements. A fatal mistake.
* While Hitler was partying in the Alps, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, commander of all the Allied forces, was drafting a statement that he was prepared to read if the invasion failed:“My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.”