Landing On D-Day, 1944: The Allies Open New Front On Hitler's Germany

William James

Operation Neptune, or D-Day, was the largest seaborne invasion in history.

On June 4, 1944, Soldiers from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Australia, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Norway, and New Zealand opened a new front on Hitler's Germany.

The allies liberated Western Europe from fascists on May 8, 1945 (Victory in Europe Day).

Unfortunately, Eastern Europe and East Germany were occupied by the Soviet Union for another 40+ years.

D-Day was 76-years-ago today.

CNN

Operation Overlord was launched over 76 years ago on June 6, 1944. Commonly known as D-Day -- a military term for the first day of a combat operation -- it was the largest seaborne invasion in history and it kick-started the Battle of Normandy, which successfully opened a second, Western front in Nazi-occupied Europe.

American, British and Canadian forces landed simultaneously on five beachheads in northern France, with the support of more than 13,000 aircraft and 5,000 ships.

Aware that the Normandy campaign would be a crucial step in the war, the Allies prepared to document it extensively through film and still photography.

"Everything for the year before was a buildup to that, in terms of resources, manpower and planning, so the Allies knew it was going to be a huge deal ... or a deal breaker," Anthony Richards, head of documents and sound at the Imperial War Museum (IWM), said in a phone interview.

"With that in mind, it was really important for them to document it photographically and on film, as a historical event but also for propaganda reasons."

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