In WW II, the invasion of northern France was one of the most significant and decisive events. Also known as the D-Day, this event marked the beginning of the end of the war. The exact date of D-Day was June 6, 1944. On this day, Allies launched seaborne and airborne landings on the Normandy coast of France to attack the German forces. The D-Day attack was part of a larger plan which became known as the ‘Operation Overlord’. The plan was developed over many years and involved strategists from many Allied nations including France, Britain and United States.
The attack on D-Day was the largest amphibious attack ever attempted until then. It involved the simultaneous landing of thousands of troops on five major beaches in Normandy due to which it is also known as the Battle of Normandy. The attack was originally planned on June 5, but due to bad weather it was delayed to June 6. Early on this date, the amphibious invasion began and by the end of the day almost 156,000 troops had stormed the Normandy beaches quite successfully. However, above 10,000 Allied troops lost their lives and thousands were found wounded or missing on this day.
Operation Overlord was essentially the codename of the larger plan to which the attack on D-day belonged. The planning of this operation began in 1943 in which the main focus was to penetrate the German defenses along the coasts of Continental Europe. These defenses stretched from northern Norway to Franco-Spanish frontier and were known as the ‘Atlantic wall’. The date of the start of Operation Overlord was selected carefully by considering many things including weather, tides and moonlight conditions. However, an awful storm delayed the operation for one whole day.
During the Operation Overlord, a key battle was the ‘Battle for Paris’ also known as the ‘Liberation of Paris’. In this battle between Allied and German forces, the German garrison surrendered the French capital. In its aftermath, France was liberated and Nazis were soon fighting for German mainland. According to a rough estimate, 800-1000 resistance fighters got killed while 1500 were wounded during the Battle for Paris.
The Soviet forces approached the command bunker of Hitler after heavy fighting. On April 30, 1945 Hitler committed suicide and soon after that Berlin was under control of the Soviets. The German representatives signed the unconditional surrender documents on May 7, 1945. This marked the effective end of the war. The success of D-Day and the subsequent events turned the war’s tide in the favor of the Allies and paved the way for Germanys defeat.