Images of D-Day

Images of D-Day Invasion of Europe

The largest amphibious assault ever conceived and executed, D-Day set records in terms of planning and training for such a massive assault and the number of troops, materiel and supplies moved across the English Channel overnight by the then-largest armada of ships and aircraft.

d-day-invasion-france

The Normandy landings, codenamed Operation Neptune, were the landing operations on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 termed D-Day of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II. The largest seaborne invasion in history, the operation began the liberation of German-occupied northwestern Europe from Nazi control, and contributed to the Allied victory on the Western Front.

Men of the 16th Infantry Regiment, U.S. 1st Infantry Division wade ashore on Omaha Beach on the morning of 6 June 1944.

Men of the 16th Infantry Regiment, U.S. 1st Infantry Division wade ashore on Omaha Beach on the morning of 6 June 1944.

Planning for the operation began in 1943. In the months leading up to the invasion, the Allies conducted a substantial military deception, codenamed Operation Bodyguard, to mislead the Germans as to the date and location of the main Allied landings. The weather on D-Day was far from ideal, but postponing would have meant a delay of at least two weeks, as the invasion planners had requirements for the phase of the moon, the tides, and the time of day that meant only a few days in each month were deemed suitable. Adolf Hitler placed German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in command of German forces and of developing fortifications along the Atlantic Wall in anticipation of an Allied invasion.

French Resistance members and Allied paratroopers discuss the situation during the Battle of Normandy in 1944

French Resistance members and Allied paratroopers discuss the situation during the Battle of Normandy in 1944



The amphibious landings were preceded by extensive aerial and naval bombardment and an airborne assault – the landing of 24,000 American, British, and Canadian airborne troops shortly after midnight. Allied infantry and armored divisions began landing on the coast of France at 06:30. The target 50-mile (80 km) stretch of the Normandy coast was divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword Beach. Strong winds blew the landing craft east of their intended positions, particularly at Utah and Omaha. The men landed under heavy fire from gun emplacements overlooking the beaches, and the shore was mined and covered with obstacles such as wooden stakes, metal tripods, and barbed wire, making the work of the beach clearing teams difficult and dangerous. Casualties were heaviest at Omaha, with its high cliffs. At Gold, Juno, and Sword, several fortified towns were cleared in house-to-house fighting, and two major gun emplacements at Gold were disabled using specialized tanks.

Large landing craft convoy crosses the English Channel on 6 June 1944.

Large landing craft convoy crosses the English Channel on 6 June 1944.

Gliders are delivered to the Cotentin Peninsula by Douglas C-47 Skytrains. 6 June 1944.

Gliders are delivered to the Cotentin Peninsula by Douglas C-47 Skytrains. 6 June 1944.

Carrying full equipment, American assault troops move onto Utah Beach. Landing craft can be seen in the background.

Carrying full equipment, American assault troops move onto Utah Beach. Landing craft can be seen in the background.

Assault troops in an LCVP landing craft approach Omaha Beach, 6 June 1944.

Assault troops in an LCVP landing craft approach Omaha Beach, 6 June 1944.

The Bény-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery

The Bény-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery

American Military Cemetery

American Military Cemetery


The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial is a World War II cemetery and memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France, that honours American troops who died in Europe during World War II.