On June 6, 1944, in far less than ideal weather conditions, more than 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France.
Codenamed Operation Neptune, the Normandy landings were part of the Allied’s Operation Overland. D-Day, as the invasion is commonly referred to, was the largest seaborne invasion in history. The operation began the liberation of German-occupied France (and later Europe) from Nazi control, and crafted the foundation of the Allied victory on the western front of World War II. American General Dwight D. Eisenhower, in command of the overall Allied operation, reportedly stated, “we will accept nothing less than full victory.”
Plans for the invasion began in 1943. To aid their victory, in the months leading up to the invasion, Allies engaged in a military deception, codenamed Operation Bodyguard, to mislead Germans into thinking they were planning a different date and location for the Allied landings.
Those planning the invasion determined a set of conditions that had to be met, including the phase of the moon, the tides, and the time of day — leaving only a few days each month suitable for the operation which was tentatively planned by Eisenhower for June 5.
Unsuitable conditions for landing that included high winds and heavy seas forced the Allied troops to postpone the invasion a day.
However, on June 6, more than 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion. British, Canadian, and US troops were the first to touch French soil in the early hours of the morning, landing in the eastern and western flanks of the invasion area. The sun began to rise as an armada of ships disembarked its cargo of fighting men onto five beaches across the Normandy coastline which had been divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword.
By the day’s end, the Allies gained a foot-hold in Europe. But the victory came at a high price. More than 9,000 Allied soldiers were killed or wounded.
Today, we recall this historic event that helped secure the Allied’s victory in the war. We also want to remember and honor those who sacrificed so much to make that victory possible.
I’ve always loved history, but none that I’ve researched or studied has impacted me like the stories of the brave souls with courageous hearts who gave their all during World War II. Their losses and horrific experiences make my heart ache to its very depths while their triumphs bring me joy.
It’s because of how much I admire and respect those who served and sacrificed, that I decided to write my Hearts of the War series.
If you haven’t read them yet, I hope you’ll take a look.
Garden of Her Heart (winner of the 2018 Romantic Times Review Source Award) — Can forbidden love blossom even during the constraints of war?
Home of Her Heart (winner of the 2018 Readers’ Favorite Award for Christian Romance – Historical) — Rich with the history of the Doolittle Raid and packed with gripping emotion, this sweet romance takes readers on the journey of America entering World War II.
Dream of Her Heart — Step back in time to 1942 with a sweet, charming World War II romance full of history, heart, and a happily ever after.