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 WAYNE, Pa., July 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The turbulent waters of the English Channel broke gently upon the sands, while out on the murky horizon loomed an ominous and intimidating sight.
 An eerie pall blanketed the 70-plus-mile periphery, as an enormous fleet of 5,000 Allied warships thundered headstrong toward the adeptly defended beaches of Normandy. It was to be the largest amphibious assault in world history. At 4:30 on the morning of June 6, 1944, the first wave of U.S. Rangers landed at Pointe du Hoc, for what would become historically known as "D-Day," the beginning of the end of World War II.
 Within hours of the initial onslaught, forces comprised of American, Canadian and British soldiers, equaling 60 divisions, had landed at Normandy to establish an Allied stronghold, and initiate an intense, vicious and punishing 11-month campaign against Hitler's tempered and mighty Nazi forces. Operation "Over-Lord" was under way. It would prove to be one of the most successful military campaigns ever waged in modern history.
 In all, five beach fronts were stormed. Under the command of Gen. Omar Bradley, the U.S. took Omaha and Utah beaches, while Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery led British and Canadian troops to the beaches of Gold, Juno and Sword. By the eighth day, the Allies had fully secured the Normandy beachheads and had reached a maximum penetration of 20 miles. By the end of June, nearly 1.5 million Allied troops had landed in Normandy, crossed the beaches and entered into the bitter and bloody fields of action. By summer's end, the Germans had suffered more than 25,000 fatalities, and almost 102,000 prisoners were captured since the initial breakthrough operation. These awesome effects proved to be decisive in leading to the overwhelming success in the battle of France.
 Nearly 50 years have passed since that momentous day in 1944, when thousands of brave young men marched into history, giving of their time, effort, emotion and lives, in an incredible and courageous struggle to free a war-torn nation and her people from tyranny and strife. Today, most of them are well into their 70s, and even though they have lost a step or two, the passion still burns and the memories are just as vivid.
 June 6, 1994, will be the 50th anniversary of the Normandy Invasion, and many WWII vets will once again storm the beaches. But, this time they will arrive the same way they left -- as heroes! Special events commemorating the historic actions of D-Day are now being planned. For information on special 50th anniversary tours and celebrations, contact Operation Friendly Invasion at 800-523-7287.
 -0- 7/2/93
 /CONTACT: Daniel Patrick Scott of Galaxy Tours, 215-964-8010, or 800-523-7287/

CO: Galaxy Tours, Inc. ST: Pennsylvania IN: LEI SU:

CC-MK -- PHFNS1 -- 8026 07/02/93 07:31 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 2, 1993

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