The Allied invasion of Hitler’s “Fortress Europe” began in the early morning hours of June 6, 1944 when American and British paratroops dropped behind the intended invasion beaches to disrupt German communications. At dawn, the sea invasion began as an Allied Armada disgorged thousands of troops at five beaches along France’s Normandy coast.
By the end of the day, the Allies had achieved a tenuous toehold that would be laboriously expanded over the next weeks and would lead ultimately to the Nazi defeat in the West.
German casualties on D-Day have been estimated at 4,000 to 9,000 men. Allied casualties were at least 10,000, with 4,414 confirmed dead.
Museums, memorials, and war cemeteries in the area now host many visitors each year.