June 2019 marks the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, a pivotal and monumental moment for the Allied Forces in WWII. Though not the end of the war, “Operation Overlord” certainly was the beginning of the end.
A quick overview:
During World War II (1939-1945), the Battle of Normandy, which lasted from June 1944 to August 1944, resulted in the Allied liberation of Western Europe from Nazi Germany’s control. Codenamed “Operation Overlord,” the battle began on June 6, 1944, also known as D-Day, when some 156,000 American, British and Canadian forces landed on five beaches along a 50-mile stretch of the heavily fortified coast of France’s Normandy region.
The invasion was one of the largest amphibious military assaults (“Operation Neptune”) in history and required extensive planning. Prior to D-Day, the Allies conducted a large-scale deception campaign designed to mislead the Germans about the intended invasion target. By late August 1944, all of northern France had been liberated, and by the following spring the Allies had defeated the Germans. The Normandy landings have been called the beginning of the end of war in Europe.
Allied leaders Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill knew from the start of the war that a massive invasion of mainland Europe would be critical to relieve pressure from the Soviet army fighting the Nazis in the east. Initially, a plan called “Operation Sledgehammer” called for an Allied invasion of ports in northwest France as early as 1943, but Roosevelt and Churchill decided to invade Northern Africa first and attack Europe’s “soft underbelly” through Italy.
The idea behind the ruse was to trick the Nazis into thinking that the invasion would occur at Pas-de-Calais, the closest French coastline to England. The Allies used fake radio transmissions, double agents, and even a “phantom army,” commanded by American General George Patton, to throw Germany off the scent.
Anticipating an Allied invasion somewhere along the French coast, Adolf Hitler charged Field Marshal Erwin Rommel with fortifying Nazi defenses in France. In 1943, Rommel completed construction of the “Atlantic Wall,” Germany’s 2,400-mile line of bunkers, landmines and beach and water obstacles. It’s estimated that the Nazis planted 4 million landmines along Normandy’s beaches.
Since Operation Overlord was launched from England, the U.S. military had to ship 7 million tons of supplies to the staging area, including 450,000 tons of ammunition.
Troops and supplies were in place by May, but bad weather delayed the launch date of the invasion. On June 5, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander in charge of Operation Overlord, decided that the invasion would happen the next day, in part because the weather was still rough and Nazi planes were grounded. That same day, 1,000 British bombers dropped 5,000 tons of munitions on Nazi gun batteries along the Normandy coast to cripple Germany’s defenses before the imminent invasion.
The enormity of that task and the cost in lives surpasses the breadth of our modern, ease-filled imaginations. And we all, as free Americans, owe it to that Greatest Generation to remember their sacrifice, to honor their valor, and to teach the young generations of the high cost of liberty and the true greatness of America.
At ROBAR, we hope to do just that.
“The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.” — Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s message to the troops before the invasion, 1944
Take a moment to honor and remember the sacrifices of those who stormed the beaches that day. The D-Day landings of June 6, 1944, ultimately resulted in the liberation of Europe from NAZI (National Socialist) oppression.
In honor of the 75th Anniversary of Operation Overlord/Flag Day/Father’s Day – 10% Discount on NP3 Plus, NP3, Roguard, and PolyT2 on all complete metal finishes for rifles and shotguns ordered within the month of June.
#GreatestGeneration #SemperVinco #NeverForgotten