D-Day 80 Years Later

Today marks one of the largest military achievements in modern history. 80 years ago Operation Overlord, the Allied plan to establish a foothold in occupied Europe, began. Thousands of naval ships launched one of the largest amphibious assaults on the beaches of Normandy, France. For months leading up to the invasion, disinformation was leaked out about the upcoming invasion to fool the German Army into thinking the allies would be landing in Calais. A complex series of fake vehicles made of rubber were even made to fool aerial reconnaissance and German Spies. Britain was the staging ground for it all and was one packed island before it was over.

This invasion gave the Allies a foothold in France that allowed them to push back against German-occupied Europe. Beachheads, Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha, and Utah were the designated landing spots heavily fortified by the Germans. Omaha Beach was the deadliest with the high cliffs and heavy fortifications. The original plan for the Allies was to link up the beaches by the end of the first day but due to heavy resistance, it wasn’t until 8 days later that they were secure. Many brave men from multiple nations helped secure this victory without which the war would’ve been much different.

The C-47, or C-53 based on its use, was used to drop paratroopers behind enemy lines and push the Germans out of the beach areas and nearby towns and villages. It was the largest airborne drop in history. The planes were marked with black and white stripes so they wouldn’t be shot by friendly ground fire. It was a massively complex operation with many variables that could go wrong; however, without the efforts of D-Day, the events and longevity of WWII could have been much different.



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