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June 6, 1944

Why D-Day Matters

 

 

 

 

 

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Why D-Day Matters:

Turned the tide of World War II

  • Strategy: Invade German-occupied France by air & sea, weaken the Nazis, and take back Europe.
  • Results: Through brutal fighting, “the Allies” successfully invaded into enemy territory, a catalyst for the beginning of the end for the Germans (at no small cost).
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Largest Air, Land, Sea Military Operation Ever

  • More than 2.8M soldiers fought to liberate Europe at that time, about half were Americans.
  • “Allies” = America, UK, Canada, joined by Australian, Belgian, Czech, Dutch, French, Greek, New Zealand, Norwegian, Rhodesian & Polish forces.
  • 150,000+ soldiers participated in the D-Day invasion.

 

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Why “Utah” & “Omaha”?

  • Invasion took place on 5 Normandy beaches: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno & Sword; Americans took Utah & Omaha; Brits & Canadians the rest.
  • Germans had superior fire power, experience, & position, but the Allies convinced the Nazis to hold back some resources for another invasion elsewhere which never occurred.
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“You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you…We will accept nothing less than full Victory! “

Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, June 6, 1944
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D-Day invasion took about 6 months to plan and Germany surrendered less than a year later. Gen. Eisenhower wrote his wife before the invasion, explaining why he might be out of touch. Here's his letter to her:

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