Allied troops came in enormous proportions to overpower enemy defenses nestled in the beaches of Normandy. Platoons of soldiers were relayed from smaller landing crafts to larger ones, a sequence that would give them better cover as they stormed onto the beach by the thousands.
It would seem like a suicide mission, but luckily, paratroopers would distract defenses by attacking them from behind enemy lines. These special forces would glide down covertly and confuse the enemy, securing bridges, and exit roads for the amphibious invasion. All in all, around 10,000 soldiers lost their lives in their first major attack; a price they would pay to successfully overrun the beaches of Normandy.
Waiting For The Go-Ahead
It took some time to complete their first objective of loading all their equipment into Landing Ship Tanks. Once they were through, the waiting game would begin. Here, a group of American soldiers await their orders to begin the massive invasion across the English Channel, on June 5, 1944.
They look full of life, bursting with energy and conversing about the war. It was supposed to begin on June 4th, however, the top dogs decided to move it due to bad weather. They would not take a risk after all the work they’d done, and eventually the order would be announced on June 5th to deploy 156,000 soldiers across the English Channel. The actual battles started on the morning of June 6th.
Ready To Fight
It was difficult to size up just how strong particular enemy defenses were. The lack of high-tech equipment at the time was compensated for with military strategies designed to lure the enemy into making mistakes in positioning before battles started. Gen. Eisenhower, commander of D-Day Operation Overlord, made it look like the Allied Forces were coming in through the Pas-de-Calais, the narrowest point between England and France.
He misled the Germans with the use of fake equipment, posturing a ghost army close to the narrow pass, and sending fake radio transmissions. Meanwhile, this photograph shows US soldiers fitted with life vests while on their way to the French Coast. They were ready for war, and their success was highly dependent on the covertness of the operation.
Reminiscing in Normandy
The Allied victory at the beaches of Normandy was a major turning point in the Second World War. The outcome of the operation resulted in the beaches being secured, and this is where they would roll out the troops with 50,000 vehicles, and more than 100,000 tons of equipment. They now had a major geographical advantage against the enemy.
There was so much more to be done. More lives would be lost in the name of freedom. However, for this brief moment, three soldiers from the First Engineer Special Brigade are shown in this picture, allowing themselves a taste of home. They show each other photos as they reminisce, and long for a time when the fighting would be over.
Normandy Was Conquered
The beaches of Normandy were critical to their plan to push the tactical invasion through France. It served as their base, and from there they would relentlessly launch countryside attacks in the hope of sweeping the land clean. They fought in towns, followed meandering tracks, ambushed, and clashed in close quarters.
Soon enough, the Allied forces would increase their presence in the area. They secured the port of Cherbourg, the infusion of 850,000 troops and 150,000 vehicles followed. This picture shows the influx of US soldiers, military trucks, and jeeps driving into town after a hard battle.