THE LONGEST DAY: SCENES S FROM THE ALLIES' INVASION.
The D-Day landings were called Operation Overlord by the Allied commanders, who were appointed at the end of 1943 to plan the invasion. US General Dwight D Eisenhower was in supreme command of the offensive.
The force which took part included 5,300 ships and craft, 150,000 men, 1,500 tanks and 12,000 planes. By June 12, 1944, more than 320,000 men were ashore with almost 55,000 vehicles and 105,000 tons of stores.
British and Commonwealth troolanded at the three beaches of GoJuno and Sword. US soldiers had task of getting ashore at the Utah Omaha beaches. Omaha was scensome of the bloodiest fighting.
The words "doom", "debarkation" and "deliverance" have all been suggested as meanings for the D in D-Day. But the letter is simply derived from the word "Day" and means the actual day on which a military operation begins.
The day before D-Day was known as D-1 and the day after was D+1. Using this simplified system meant that if the date for an operation changed, military top brass would not have to alter all the dates in their invasion plans.
In the build-up to the Allied invasion, code names and acronyms were vital to help maintain the blanket of secrecy around the operation. As well as D-Day, other code words included:
H-Hour: Invasion hour.
Bolero: Build-up in Britain.
Operation Overlord: The overall invasion plan.
Operation Neptune: The seaborne invasion.
Mulberry: Artificial harbours towed across the Channel.
MANY of these pictures are featured in D-Day: Before and After, published by The History Press, available now on Amazon and at all good bookshops.
12,000 Number of planes used to support the invasion by seaborne troops 1,500 Number of tanks that took part in the D-Day landings in 1944
OFF TO FREE EURO Packed landing craft OPE
allied might US men, machines and equipment make land
silent enemy Brit gliders in Normandy
push for victory American troops arrive
fight is on Troops storm ashore at Juno beach
courageous Royal Marines take part in D-Day exercise
ready for action British paratroopers
making history Mass invasion force lands in Normandy