D-Day June 6, 1944, Let us never forget our history


What is D-Day?

It was the largest invasion ever assembled, before or since, 156,000 Allied troops landed by sea and air on five beachheads in Normandy, France.

D-Day was the start of Allied operations which would ultimately liberate Western Europe, defeat Nazi Germany and end the Second World War.

Why is the term ‘D-Day’ used? When a military operation is being planned, its actual date and time is not always known. The term ‘D-Day’ was therefore used to mean the date on which operations would begin, whatever date that was. The day before D-Day was known as ‘D-1’ while the day after D-Day was ‘D+1’ and so on. This meant that if the date changed all other dates in the plan did not have to be corrected.

What does the ‘D’ stand for? The ‘D’ does not stand for ‘Deliverance,’ ‘Doom,’ ‘Debarkation’ or similar words. In fact, it does not stand for anything. The ‘D’ is derived from the word ‘day.’ ‘D-Day’ means the day on which a military operation begins.

What Allied nations took part in the fighting? The majority of troops who landed on the D-Day beaches were from the United Kingdom, Canada and the US. However, troops from many other countries participated in D-Day and the Battle of Normandy: Australia, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, France, Greece, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Poland.

How many Allied troops were involved in D-Day? On D-Day, the Allies landed around 156,000 troops in Normandy: 73,000 American (23,250 on Utah Beach, 34,250 on Omaha Beach and 15,500 airborne troops), 83,115 British and Canadian (61,715 of them British) with 24,970 on Gold Beach, 21,400 on Juno Beach, 28,845 on Sword Beach and 7,900 airborne troops.

What was the Battle of Normandy and when did it take place? The Battle of Normandy is the name given to the fighting in Normandy from D-Day until the end of August 1944. The liberation of Paris on August 25, 1944, is sometimes used as the end point of the Battle of Normandy.

How many people were killed on D-Day and in the Battle of Normandy? The number of people killed in the fighting is not known exactly. Accurate recordkeeping was very difficult under the circumstances. However, research by the US National D-Day Memorial Foundation has uncovered a more accurate figure of 4,414 Allied personnel killed on D-Day. These include 2,501 from the USA, 1,449 British dead, 391 Canadians and 73 from other Allied countries. Total German losses on D-Day (not just deaths, but also wounded and prisoners of war) are estimated as being between 4,000 and 9,000. Over 100,000 Allied and German troops were killed during the whole of the Battle of Normandy, as well as around 20,000 French civilians, many as a result of Allied bombing.

In Verdi: Every Tuesday Bible study at the Verdi Community Center at 7 p.m.

TTFN (ta ta for now), -Gina Huizar

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