The Western Allies of World War II launched the largest amphibious invasion in history when they attacked German positions at Normandy, located on the northern coast of France, on 6 June 1944. The invaders were able to establish a beachhead as part of Operation Overlord after a successful "D-Day", the first day of the invasion. Allied land forces came from the United States, Britain and Free French forces. In the weeks following the invasion, Polish forces and contingents from Belgium, Czechoslovakia and the Netherlands participated in the ground campaign; the Normandy invasion began with overnight parachute and glider landings, massive air attacks and naval bombardments. In the early morning, amphibious landings commenced on five beaches codenamed Sword, Gold and Utah, with troops from the United States landing on Omaha and Utah, Britain landing on Gold and Sword, Canada landing on Juno. During the evening the remaining elements of the airborne divisions landed. Land forces used on D-Day sailed from bases along the south coast of England, the most important of these being Portsmouth.
Allied forces rehearsed their D-Day roles for months before the invasion. On 28 April 1944, in south Devon on the English coast, 749 U. S. soldiers and sailors were killed when German torpedo boats surprised one of these landing exercises, Exercise Tiger. In the months leading up to the invasion, the Allied forces conducted a deception operation, Operation Fortitude, aimed at misleading the Germans with respect to the date and place of the invasion. There were several leaks prior to or on D-Day. Through the Cicero affair, the Germans obtained documents containing references to Overlord, but these documents lacked all detail. Double Cross agents, such as the Spaniard Juan Pujol, played an important role in convincing the German High Command that Normandy was at best a diversionary attack. U. S. Major General Henry Miller, chief supply officer of the US 9th Air Force, during a party at Claridge's Hotel in London complained to guests of the supply problems he was having but that after the invasion, which he told them would be before 15 June, supply would be easier.
After being told, Allied Expeditionary Force Supreme Commander Dwight Eisenhower reduced Miller to lieutenant colonel and sent him back to the U. S. where he retired. Another such leak was General Charles de Gaulle's radio message after D-Day. He, unlike all the other leaders, stated; this had the potential to ruin the Allied deceptions Fortitude South. In contrast, Eisenhower referred to the landings as the initial invasion. Only ten days each month were suitable for launching the operation: a day near the full moon was needed both for illumination during the hours of darkness and for the spring tide, the former to illuminate navigational landmarks for the crews of aircraft and landing craft, the latter to expose defensive obstacles placed by the German forces in the surf on the seaward approaches to the beaches. A full moon occurred on 6 June. Eisenhower had tentatively selected 5 June as the date for the assault; the weather deteriorated in early June. On 4 June, conditions were unsuitable for a landing.
The Allied troop convoys at sea were forced to take shelter in bays and inlets on the south coast of Britain for the night. It seemed possible that everything would have to be cancelled and the troops returned to their embarkation camps; the next full moon period would be nearly a month away. At a vital meeting on 5 June, Eisenhower's chief meteorologist forecast a brief improvement for 6 June. Commander of all land forces for the invasion General Bernard Montgomery and Eisenhower's Chief of Staff General Walter Bedell Smith wished to proceed with the invasion. Commander of the Allied Air Forces Air Chief Marshal Leigh Mallory was doubtful, but Allied Naval Commander-in-Chief Admiral Bertram Ramsay believed that conditions would be marginally favorable. On the strength of Stagg's forecast, Eisenhower ordered the invasion to proceed; as a result, prevailing overcast skies limited Allied air support, no serious damage would be done to the beach defences on Omaha and Juno. The Germans meanwhile took comfort from the existing poor conditions, which were worse over Northern France than over the English Channel itself, believed no invasion would be possible for several days.
Some troops stood down and many senior officers were away for the weekend. Field Marshal Erwin Rommel took a few days' leave to celebrate his wife's birthday, while dozens of division and battalion commanders were away from their posts conducting war games just prior to the invasion; the Allies assigned codenames to the various operations involved in the invasion. Overlord was the name assigned to the establishment of a large-scale lodgement on the northern portion of the Continent; the first phase, the establishment of a secure foothold, was codenamed Neptune. According to the D-Day Museum: The armed forces use codenames to refer to the planning and execution of specific military operations. Operation Overlord was the codename for the Allied invasion of northwest Europe; the assault phase of Operation Overlord was known as Operation Neptune. Operation Neptune began on D-Day and ended on 30 June 19
Bocchetto Sessera or Bocchetto di Sessera is a mountain pass across the Alpi Biellesi. It connects Valsessera, both in the province of Biella. In the local dialect bochet means mountain pass, while Sessera is the name of the river which flows in the Sessera Valley; the pass is located between monte Marca. It belongs to the water divide between the drainage basins of Sessera. Bocchetto di Sassera can be accessed by car from Campiglia Cervo or from Trivero by the former national road Strada statale 232 Panoramica Zegna. From the pass start some forestry roads which deserve the middle section of Sessera Valley; some of these dirt roads by winter are used as cross-country skiing paths. Italian official cartography.
The vast majority of people in Tokelau are Christians and Christianity plays a significant role in the Tokelauan way of life. Missionaries preached Christianity in Tokelau from 1845 to the 1860s. French Roman Catholic missionaries on Wallis Island and missionaries of the Protestant London Missionary Society in Samoa used native teachers to convert the Tokelauans. Atafu was converted to Protestantism by the London Missionary Society, Nukunonu was converted to Catholicism and Fakaofo was converted to both denominations. Since 1992 the Roman Catholic Mission Sui Iuris of Tokelau has represented the Catholic church in Tokelau. In 2006, all people who answered the religion question on the Tokelauan census gave one of the major Christian denominations as their religion. In 2011, 58.5% of respondents belonged to the Congregational Christian denomination and over one-third of respondents belonged to the Roman Catholic denomination. Of the remaining 4.7%, 1.8% were Presbyterian, 0.1% belonged to Spiritual and New Age religions, 2.8% belonged to other Christian denominations.
The majority of Tokelau's resident population living on Atafu and Fakaofo in 2011 were Congregational Christians. Congregational Christian has remained the major denomination on Atafu and Fakaofo since the 2006 Census, but the proportion of residents who report belonging has decreased. In 2006, 95.4% of residents on Atafu and 70.7% on Fakaofo were Congregational Christians. Roman Catholic has remained the major denomination of Nukunonu residents since the 2006 Census. In 2011, 93.9% of usual residents were Roman Catholics, compared with 96.9% in 2006. Since the 2006 Census, the proportion of Congregational Christians on Nukunonu has increased markedly, from 2.1% in 2006 to 4.5% in 2011. On Atafu, the proportion of Roman Catholics had a notable increase, from 0.2% in 2006 to 2.4% in 2011. On Fakaofo, there was an increase in its second-largest religious denomination. In 2011, 25.9% of Fakaofo residents were Roman Catholics, compared with 22.2% in 2006. This article contains content derived from the 2011 Tokelau Census, produced by Statistics New Zealand, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand License.
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