THE BE­GIN­NING OF THE END

The Jerusalem Post - The Jerusalem Post Magazine - - COVER - – Jerusalem Post staff

D-Day, June 6, 1944, was a turn­ing point in World War II. The Al­lies opened up a cru­cial new front against the Nazis by land­ing a large in­va­sion force on five beaches in Nor­mandy in Nazi-oc­cu­pied France, lo­cated across the nar­row English Chan­nel from south­ern Eng­land and Lon­don. The in­va­sion re­sulted in a fiercely fought but de­ci­sive vic­tory on the West­ern Euro­pean front for the Al­lies that paved the way for the lib­er­a­tion of France and even­tu­ally the rest of Europe.

Metic­u­lously planned for over a year, D-Day, con­sid­ered the largest am­phibi­ous in­va­sion in world his­tory, pit­ted tens of thou­sands of US, Bri­tish and Cana­dian troops (but­tressed by soldiers from other coun­tries) against the heav­ily en­trenched Ger­man forces. There was also sig­nif­i­cant air sup­port.

Within a week, the beaches were fully se­cured and more than 300,000 troops, 50,000 ve­hi­cles and some 100,000 tons of equip­ment had landed.

Fight­ing in the area con­tin­ued un­til Au­gust, when north­ern France was com­pletely lib­er­ated. Both sides suf­fered thou­sands of ca­su­al­ties.

As a re­sult of D-Day, the Nazi mo­men­tum was halted and Ger­man troop morale plum­meted. They were re­lent­lessly driven back to­ward their bor­ders. Within a year, Hitler com­mit­ted sui­cide and Ger­many sur­ren­dered.

In­ter­est­ing fact: The “D” in D-Day ac­tu­ally did not stand for any­thing. The Al­lies so named it in order to mask the ac­tual date and time – dubbed H-Hour – from Axis forces. Fake com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rected at the Nazis con­fused them into think­ing the ac­tual land­ing would be some­where else, caus­ing the Ger­mans to be less pre­pared and slower to re­spond.

(Wikimedia Com­mons)

BRI­TISH FORCES dur­ing the D-Day in­va­sion of Nor­mandy on June 6, 1944: Troops of the 3rd In­fantry Di­vi­sion on Queen Red Beach.

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