Sunday, June 6, 2010

June 6th 2010- The 66th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion

(Image courtesy of National World War II Museum)
Today marks the 66th anniversary of the Allies storming the beaches of Normandy to establish a beachhead on the nazi-occupied European continent. After several months of preparation, coordination with the French resistance and misdirection, American, British and Canadian forces under the command of Gen. Eisenhower crossed the English Channel and launched an assault on the fortified German positions along five beachheads (Omaha, Juno, Gold, Sword and Utah). These amphibious assaults were complemented by paratroopers from the 101st Airborne and British 6th Airborne Division. It was said that Eisenhower drafted two copies of messages to the Allied Expeditionary forces on D-day. The one he used read:
"You are about to embark upon the great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months."

The second one was to be read in the event the invasion failed. While the Allies sustained approximately 10,000 casualties from storming the beaches on Normandy, they had managed to bring nearly 160,000 soldiers ashore and established a 50-mile foothold on Continental Europe. With the Soviets already pushing back hard on the Wermacht on the Eastern Front, the third reich's days were numbered.

Today, the area around Normandy is home to the final resting place of the thousands of Americans, Britons, Canadians, French, Poles, Australians and Czechs who were KIA.

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