It was D-Day, one of the most significant 24-hour periods of the 20th century, and the horrifying tipping point in World War II. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Normandy Invasion and the beginning of the end of Hitler’s Third Reich.
For today’s Tuesday’s Trivia story, the Times News takes a look at this historic day and the sacrifices that were made by military personnel.
- The Battle of Normandy was code-named “Operation Overlord,” while the landings at Normandy was code-named “Operation Neptune,” (commonly referred to as D-Day).
- The United States landed at two beaches on the Normandy coast — dubbed Omaha and Utah — while British and Canadian troops sought to take three locations, named Gold, Juno and Sword beaches. In all, the invasion covered approximately 50 miles of French shoreline.
- On the two American beachheads, the United States suffered 2,501 casualties on June 6, 1944. In all, an estimated 4,414 men died on that single day, according to the latest figures. During the entire D-Day operations, more than 9,000 Americans died.
- Mounted from airfields and ports in Great Britain, D-Day was the largest amphibious assault in history, with nearly 5,000 landing and assault craft involved in the invasion, along with hundreds of escort vehicles and minesweepers.
- In addition to the amphibious assault, D-Day also involved more than 13,000 paratroopers with the U.S. 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions.
- More than 155,000 Allied troops landed at Normandy that day. Many of the soldiers who were killed are buried under white crosses and Stars of David in a U.S. military cemetery on a bluff above Omaha Beach.
- The U.S. Congress chose Bedford, Virginia, as the site of the National D-Day Memorial because it suffered the highest per capita D-Day losses of any community in the nation.
- Today, archaeologists are using laser-scanning techniques to map caves where French civilians sheltered on D-Day and in the battle of Normandy that followed. The data is being turned into 3-D models that will allow viewers to see for themselves the underground network of caves whose history is often neglected in the telling of D-Day.
Source – Associated Press