The Normandy landings beginning on ‘D-Day’ made up the largest seaborne invasion in history and were the start of what was codenamed ‘Operation Overlord’. The successful Allied advance into German-occupied Western Europe under the command of US General Dwight D. Eisenhower comprised the mass-deployment of 3 million troops.
Here are 10 facts about D-Day and the Allied advance at Normandy.
1. 34,000 French civilian casualties were sustained in the build up to D-Day, including 15,000 deaths, as the Allies implemented their plan to block major road networks.
2. 130,000 Allied soldiers travelled by ship over the Channel to the Normandy coast on 6 June 1944.
They were joined by around 24,000 airborne troops.
3. Allied casualties on D-Day amounted to around 10,000, with German losses having been estimated at anywhere from 4,000 to 9,000 men.
4. Within a week over 325,000 Allied soldiers had crossed the English Channel. By the end of the month around 850,000 had entered Normandy.
5. The Allies sustained over 200,000 casualties in the Battle of Normandy, whilst German casualties totalled a similar amount but with a further 200,000 taken prisoner.
7. The Allies lost around 15,000 airborne troops in the unsuccessful Market Garden operation in September 1944.
8. The Allies crossed the Rhine at four points over the course of March 1945, paving the way for the final advance into the heart of Germany.
9. Up to 350,000 concentration camp prisoners are thought to have died in pointless death marches as the Allied advance accelerated.
10. Goebbels used news of the death of President Roosevelt on 12 April to encourage Hitler that they remained destined to win the war.