The Western Allies of World War II launched the largest amphibious invasion in history when they assaulted 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, Allied land forces came from the United States, Britain, Canada, and Free French forces. The Normandy invasion began with overnight parachute and glider landings, massive air attacks, the invasion began and 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, 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 an operation, Operation Fortitude, aimed at misleading the Germans with respect to the date. 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. After being told, Eisenhower reduced Miller to lieutenant colonel and sent him back to the U. S. where he retired, another such leak was General Charles de Gaulles radio message after D-Day. He, unlike all the leaders, stated that this invasion was the real invasion. This had the potential to ruin the Allied deceptions Fortitude North, in contrast, Gen. Eisenhower referred to the landings as the initial invasion. A full moon occurred on 6 June, Allied Expeditionary Force Supreme Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower had tentatively selected 5 June as the date for the assault. The weather was fine during most of May, but deteriorated in early June, the Allied troop convoys already 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 returned to their embarkation camps. The next full moon period would be nearly a month away, at a vital meeting on 5 June, Eisenhowers chief meteorologist forecast a brief improvement for 6 June. Commander of all forces for the invasion General Bernard Montgomery. Commander of the Allied Air Forces Air Chief Marshal Leigh Mallory was doubtful, on the strength of Staggs forecast, Eisenhower ordered the invasion to proceed. As a result, prevailing overcast skies limited Allied air support, some troops stood down and many senior officers were away for the weekend
Image: Into the Jaws of Death 23 0455M edit
U.S. soldiers march through Weymouth, Dorset en route to board landing ships for the invasion of France.
D-day assault routes into Normandy.
Off Omaha Beach, American Liberty ships – 'Corn Cobs' were scuttled to provide a makeshift breakwater during the early days of the invasion.