Follow along at #dday75uwvc as the UWVC posts the story of DDay over the next 48 hours, in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the invasion of Normandy during World War II.
June 5, 1944; 04:17 in Great Britain | 22:17 (June 4) in NYC
General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, gives the final approval for the Allied invasion of Europe to proceed, after a oneday delay due to stormy weather.
After four years of German occupation in Europe, the United States, Great Britain and their other western allies are about to cross the English Channel and invade France. The assault will be the greatest amphibious operation ever launched, and will begin the Liberation of Europe…
June 5, 1944: 17:00 in Great Britain | 11:00 in NYC
The Allied invasion fleet begins leaving ports along the southern coast of England. 7,000 vessels carrying 150,000 troops link up into a massive armada and begin the cruise towards the Allied invasion beaches on the northern coast of France…
June 5, 1944: 20:30 in Great Britain | 14:30 in NYC
General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, visits U.S. paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division, on the eve of DDay. Along with troops of the 82nd U.S. Airborne Division and the 6th British Airborne, they will soon start boarding their transports and gliders and take off, heading towards their drop zones in France. Some Allied commanders fear that airborne casualties will reach over 80%…
June 6, 1944; 01:00 in Normandy, France | 19:00 (June 5) in NYC
In the first hours of DDay, the full airborne assault begins, as troops of the 101st and 82nd U.S. Airborne Division and the 6th British Airborne division drop into occupied France. Despite the best efforts of pathfinder scouts who jumped in just after midnight, the paratroopers and glider forces are scattered and disorganized. Individuals and small groups find each other in the dark and begin moving toward their objectives…
June 6, 1944: 03:30 in Normandy, France | 21:00 (June 5) in NYC
In the predawn hours of DDay, the invasion fleet arrives off the coast of Normandy, in northern France.
The naval and assault forces include vessels and troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, as well as from the occupied nations of France, Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Czechoslovakia, Luxembourg and Greece.
As naval guns bombard the German positions, the assault troops ready themselves to head to the beaches…
June 6, 1944: 06:30 in Normandy, France | 00:30 in NYC
The U.S. 1st and 29th Infantry Divisions begin their landing at the sector of coastline codenamed Omaha Beach, while the 4th Division lands at Utah Beach, just to the west.
Utah Beach is quickly secured, but many of the landing craft heading for Omaha end up in the wrong place. Assault troops in the Omaha sector are faced with a formidable array of obstacles and withering German machine gun and artillery fire.
British and Canadian forces in subsequent landings at Gold, Sword, and Juno Beaches to the east run into heavy resistance.
The invasion hangs in the balance…
June 6, 1944: 08:00 in Normandy, France | 02:00 in NYC
On Omaha Beach, leadership comes to the forefront, from Brigadier General Norman Cota down to company commanders and squad leaders. Officers and NCOs coax, inspire, bully and lead soldiers forward up the seaside cliffs and through the heavily guarded causeways leading off the beach. In other sectors, U.S. troops press through Utah Beach, while British and Canadian troops advance on Gold, Sword and Juno Beaches to the east.
The Allies move forward, but the cost is high…
June 6, 1944: 12:00 in Normandy, France | 06:00 in NYC
On the morning of June 6, New Yorkers and other Americans on the East Coast wake up to news of the Allied invasion of Normandy. Crowds begin to form in public gathering places such as Times Square and Madison Square. Churches and other houses of worship open early for impromptu services. Families across America have a loved one in uniform; millions watch news tickers and listen to radio broadcasts, anxiously following news reports of the day…
June 6, 1944: 14:00 in Normandy, France | 08:00 in NYC
Allied forces have seized control of all five invasion beaches. Omaha Beach is secure enough to allow vehicles to recommence landing in support of the push inland.
June 6, 1944: 17:00 in Normandy, France | 11:00 in NYC
The last troops scheduled to land on DDay arrive at the beachhead. Allied commanders order a halt for the day. Although not all targeted objectives have been achieved, the western Allies have achieved a foothold on the coast of France. The liberation of occupied Europe has begun.
Beyond June 6…
From the Normandy beachhead, the U.S. and its western Allies will go on to liberate France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, while pushing into Czechoslovakia and Germany. Along with Soviet forces advancing from the East, they will also uncover the mass atrocities taking place at Nazi concentration camps throughout Central and Eastern occupied Europe. There will be setbacks, and hundreds of thousands of Allied casualties in the battles to come, but DDay marks marks the beginning of the end for the barbaric Nazi regime…
Legacy and Remembrance
The Allies suffered between 10,000 15,000 casualties on June 6, 1944. Recent research estimates American deaths on DDay itself at nearly 2,500 most at Omaha Beach. From June 6 to August 30, the Allies suffered over 200,000 losses, of which over 125,000 were from U.S. ground forces.
9,380 U.S. soldiers remain buried on French soil at the Normandy American Cemetery, under the care of the American Battle Monuments Commission. The French people in the surrounding farms and villages remain grateful to their American liberators, even generations later.
Thank you for following the story of DDay with us. Search for the hashtag #dday75uwvc if you’ve missed any of our earlier posts, or if you want to view the entire story. Don’t forget to follow us to stay posted on our activities honoring and serving our veterans of all eras.