Today is a very important day to remember the past. If it wasn’t for some 156,000 British, Canadian and American troops invading Normandy in France 70 years ago and turning the tide of the Nazi aggression, I could well have been typing my blog in German. As many as 4,000 Allied troops and 9,000 Germans died on June 6th 1944. To all that served we will always be in your debt and are ever grateful for the service and sacrifice of so many. We will never forget.
The Logistics involved in organizing such an invasion was an amazing feat even by today’s standards.
Here are 5 interesting facts about June 6th 1944
1/The D-Day force had about 5,000 vessels involved in various roles. Not all were military vessels; many were pleasure or fishing boats used to carry troops across the channel.
2/The Germans expected an invasion along the north coast of France, but they do not know where. They built up their troops and artillery near Calais, opposite from Dover England which is the narrowest passage across. The Allied forces however sailed from Devon in the west of England over to Normandy on the west coast of France.
3/ How did the Allies fool the Germans? The grand plan included the construction of a dummy invasion force across Dover. Rubber ships, plywood tanks and dummies playing recorded gunfire were part of the fake invasion force.
4/ On June 5, 1944 Between 11 pm and 3 am, 13,000 allied paratroopers and gliders carrying heavy equipment leave England to begin the invasion of France by air. Overnight, a military armada and more than 156,000 troops cross the English Channel. Minesweepers go ahead to clear the waters in preparation for the more than 2,300 landing craft that carried men, vehicles and supplies.
5/ June 6, 1944 between midnight and 8 am, Allied forces of more than 11,000 aircraft, fly 14,674 sorties. 6:30 am Troops begin coming ashore on a 60-mile front. With a huge force of over 150,000 soldiers, the Allies attacked and gradually gained a victory that became the turning point for World War II in Europe.