Codenamed Operation Neptune (better known as D-Day), it was the largest seaborne invasion in history.
The Allies surprised the Germans by landing in Normandy on D-Day on June 6, 1944. They carried out a successful deception exercise, codenamed Operation Fortitude, as a cover. General George Patten’s army was used as the decoy during the Normandy invasion.
The German forces, indecisive about where the attack would land, we’re unable to defend their locations. D-Day began the liberation of German-occupied France and ultimately resulted in German defeat.
The planning for the fateful D-Day began a year in advance (1943). The Allies conducted several military deceptions to mislead the German forces as to the date and location of the main Allied landings.
On the Day, Hitler ordered that German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel command the forces and also take charge of developing the fortifications in anticipation of the invasion.
Even though the landings were protected by extensive bombardment, both sides suffered heavy casualties that day.
General Eisenhower had been informed by a top military strategist ahead of time that the paratrooper casualties might go up to seventy percent. Desperate for the war to end, he took the plunge anyway. The U.S. Forces suffered terrible losses during the seaborne landings as well, particularly on the Omaha beach. In the first 24 hours alone, 1,465 soldiers had been killed, 1,928 were missing and 6,603 had been wounded during the battle.
The exact number of German casualties is unknown, deliberately hidden by the German top command at the time.
Most figures put it between 4,000 and 9,000 on the single day of June 6. General Erwin Rommel reported upwards of 250,000 Germans who were killed, wounded, or missing in action throughout Operation Overlord.
This count also included 28 generals. Roughly, the German forces lost over 200,000 troops. A further 200,000 German prisoners of war were captured by the Allies.
The exact figures for Allied casualties on D-Day are contested. Historians are still trying to determine the exact number of Allies casualties resulting on that day. More than 300,000 soldiers from the United States, Britain, and Canada took part in the attack.
According to historian Stephen Ambrose, 4900 Allied troops were killed, wounded – and some even went missing – in the fighting following the Normandy invasion.
The total number of Allied casualties during Operation Overlord (the code name for the Battle of Normandy) amount to 209,000 soldiers. These included nearly 37,000 soldiers dead among the ground forces and 16,714 deaths among the air forces.
The battles following the storming of Normandy’s beaches were bloody and chaotic. This was because of the stiff German resistance and the bad weather. The first wave of Allied troops to land on the beach suffered massive casualties.
D-Day was the last decisive victory of the Allied powers over Germany. It was also the one event in which the Allies suffered the worst casualties during the entire Second World War.
Even though numerous war memorials and museums host millions of visitors each year to commemorate the courage and valor of the soldiers on that day, historians have yet to determine the exact number of casualties suffered by both sides during the Normandy invasion.