D-Day: Operation Neptune
Despite months of meticulous planning and the careful use of military deception to confuse German defensive units, the D-Day landings of 6th June 1944 would still be an extremely high risk operation. Attacking five landing beaches across 50 miles of the Normandy coastline, the largest amphibious force in the history of warfare would be heading for the most heavily fortified defensive network in the world and some of the most battle hardened troops the Wehrmacht had available. As the landing craft approached the beaches and German machine gun bullets rattled against the loading ramp, it was clear that this would be a day for brave men and a great many heroes.
As over 130,000 Allied troops poured onto the Normandy landing beaches on D-Day, it would be the actions of small units of heroic men who would eventually allow their comrades to finally make their way off the murderous sands. By the end of this historic day, the Allies had gained a foothold in German occupied Europe, with men and machines streaming from the beachhead and into the surrounding countryside. By late August, all of Northern France had been liberated and German forces were retreating towards their own borders – the successful Allied D-Day invasion had signified the beginning of the end of war in Europe.
D-Day 6th June 1944 Timeline
- 00:00 – First airborne troops land
- 06:20 – Allied landing craft approach the beach
- 06:30 – Landings start on Utah and Omaha Beach
- 06:45 – US Rangers attack Pointe du Hoc
- 07:25 – British 3rd Division land on Sword beach
- 07:35 – British 50th Division land on Gold beach
- 08:00 – Canadian 3rd Division land on Juno Beach