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N0KFQ  > TODAY    06.06.16 15:07l 71 Lines 3435 Bytes #999 (0) @ WW
BID : 95832_N0KFQ
Subj: Today in History - Jun 6
Sent: 160606/1405Z 95832@N0KFQ.#SWMO.MO.USA.NA BPQ1.4.65


Although the term D-Day is used routinely as military lingo for
the day an operation or event will take place, for many it is
also synonymous with June 6, 1944, the day the Allied powers
crossed the English Channel and landed on the beaches of
Normandy, France, beginning the liberation of Western Europe from
Nazi control during World War II. Within three months, the
northern part of France would be freed and the invasion force
would be preparing to enter Germany, where they would meet up
with Soviet forces moving in from the east.

With Hitler's armies in control of most of mainland Europe, the
Allies knew that a successful invasion of the continent was
central to winning the war. Hitler knew this too, and was
expecting an assault on northwestern Europe in the spring of
1944. He hoped to repel the Allies from the coast with a strong
counterattack that would delay future invasion attempts, giving
him time to throw the majority of his forces into defeating the
Soviet Union in the east. Once that was accomplished, he believed
an all-out victory would soon be his.

On the morning of June 5, 1944, U.S. General Dwight D.
Eisenhower, the supreme commander of Allied forces in Europe gave
the go-ahead for Operation Overlord, the largest amphibious
military operation in history. On his orders, 6,000 landing
craft, ships and other vessels carrying 176,000 troops began to
leave England for the trip to France. That night, 822 aircraft
filled with parachutists headed for drop zones in Normandy. An
additional 13,000 aircraft were mobilized to provide air cover
and support for the invasion.

By dawn on June 6, 18,000 parachutists were already on the
ground; the land invasions began at 6:30 a.m. The British and
Canadians overcame light opposition to capture Gold, Juno and
Sword beaches; so did the Americans at Utah. The task was much
tougher at Omaha beach, however, where 2,000 troops were lost and
it was only through the tenacity and quick-wittedness of troops
on the ground that the objective was achieved. By day's end,
155,000 Allied troops-Americans, British and Canadians-had
successfully stormed Normandy's beaches.

For their part, the Germans suffered from confusion in the ranks
and the absence of celebrated commander Field Marshal Erwin
Rommel, who was away on leave. At first, Hitler, believing that
the invasion was a feint designed to distract the Germans from a
coming attack north of the Seine River, refused to release nearby
divisions to join the counterattack and reinforcements had to be
called from further afield, causing delays. He also hesitated in
calling for armored divisions to help in the defense. In
addition, the Germans were hampered by effective Allied air
support, which took out many key bridges and forced the Germans
to take long detours, as well as efficient Allied naval support,
which helped protect advancing Allied troops.

Though it did not go off exactly as planned, as later claimed by
British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery-for example, the Allies
were able to land only fractions of the supplies and vehicles
they had intended in France-D-Day was a decided success. By the
end of June, the Allies had 850,000 men and 150,000 vehicles in
Normandy and were poised to continue their march across Europe.

73 - K.O., n0kfq 
Message timed: 08:54 on Jun 06, 2016
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