Ward's Book of Days.

Pages of interesting anniversaries.

What happened on this day in history.

JUNE 6th  

On this day in history in 1944, was D-Day.

D-Day was the beginning of the British and Allied invasion of Western Europe during the Second World War and marked the beginning of the campaign for victory in Europe.  

In 1944, the course of the Second World War was turning in favour of the Allies. Now it was decided to make a decisive thrust for victory. The planned invasion, the largest invasion in history, consisted of 1,200 fighting ships, 10,000 planes, 4,126 landing craft, 804 transport ships, and hundreds of amphibious and other special purpose tanks. An amphibious landing in Northern France would be followed by a sweep eastwards towards the German capital.

The invasion did not run entirely on schedule. The attack had to be postponed for 24 hour due to stormy conditions. After the weather had settled, the Allies landed successfully in Normandy and the combined forces of the R.A.F. and American Air Force knocked out key enemy installations. But due to paralysing congestion on the beaches and robust resistance by the Panzar divisions, the Allies failed to take the town of Caen as anticipated. A month of heavy fighting followed before Caen was secured and the Allies were able to press on to Berlin and eventually secure victory.

The term D-Day was military parlance for the day on which a combined attack was to take place when the date had not yet been determined or when secrecy was essential. June 6th became immortalised as D-day and successive operations could not be given that term. The invasion of Okinawa began on L-Day and the proposed invasion of Japan would have begun on X-Day had the Japanese not previously surrendered.

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