Saturday, 8 June 2013

D-DAY LANDINGS- Biggest Invasion in History - 69 Years Ago

D-Day was a turning point in World War II. On 6 June 1944, thousands of Allied troops forced their way into France after arriving by sea. Operation Neptune was the codename for the Normandy Landings, which were the landing operations of the Allied invasion of Normandy, in Operation Overlord, during World War II.

D-Day is a term traditionally used by the Armed Forces for when an operation, such as an attack begins. The ‘D’ just stands for day - the day before D-Day was known as "D-1", and the day after D-Day was "D+1". Prior to June 1944, there would have been lots of D-Days. Now it is generally just used to refer to the allied attack in Normandy on 6th June 1944 and the start of Operation Overlord

The landings were conducted in two phases:  an airborne assault landing of 24,000 British, American and Canadian airborne troops shortly after midnight, and an amphibious landing of Allied infantry and armoured divisions on the coast of France starting at 6:30 am. Surprise was achieved thanks to inclement weather and a comprehensive deception plan implemented in the months before the landings, Operation Bodyguard, to distract German attention from the possibility of landings in Normandy. A key success was to convince Adolf Hitler that the landings would actually occur to the north at the Pas-de-Calais. There were also decoy operations taking place simultaneously with the landings under the code names Operation Glimmer and Operation Taxable to distract the German forces from the real landing area.

The RAF's Order of Battle included 55 squadrons of Spitfire fighters, plus two squadrons of Spitfires and four of Seafires engaged in air spotting duties and a further four air sea rescue squadrons which had some Spitfires.

This incredible photograph shows the D-Day landings of Omaha Beach.

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