On this anniversary of the Greatest Generation's invasion into Normandy, we've selected a few incredible photos and some facts about the landings that you may not know. God bless the men who stormed those beaches. May they and their courage never be forgotten or taken for granted.
Until the very last minute, the location of the invasion, Normandy, was the most heavily guarded secret on the planet.
Of the supplies shipped for the landings, 448,000 tons were of ammunition. 448,000 TONS.
In the American cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, there are 9,386 graves. Each grave faces west, toward America. (If only the French still treated us with such respect.)
307 of the American graves at Colleville-sur-Mer contain the remains of unknown soldiers.
There were 195,000 naval personnel in 6,939 naval vessels (including 1,200 warships and 15 hospital ships). Unreal numbers.
"Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Forces:
You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.
Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.
But this is the year 1944. Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned. The free men of the world are marching together to victory.
I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory.
Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking."
- President Dwight D. Eisenhower