• For Teachers & Students
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D-Day Invasion
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D-Day: The Allied Invasion of Normandy

The Allied invasion of Western Europe was code named Operation Overlord. It required two years of planning, training, and supplying by the United States and Great Britain, and was one of the most heavily guarded secrets of the war. On the morning of June 5, 1944, U.S. General Dwight Eisenhower announced “O.K. We’ll go.” Within hours an armada of 3,000 landing craft, 2,500 ships, and 500 naval vessels departed English ports to cross the narrow strip of sea to German-controlled Normandy, France. That night 822 aircraft, carrying parachutists and gliders, deployed troops over landing zones in Normandy. Intended to be the vanguard of the whole operation, the Airborne troops’ landings were a tremendous success. Seaborne units then began to land on the beaches of Normandy at 6:30 on the following morning, June 6—D-Day. Although caught by surprise, the Germans fought fiercely, particularly on a stretch of beach code-named Omaha by the Allies. After suffering many casualties, the troops successfully landed and began to advance inland. There would be eleven more months of hard fighting in Europe before the Nazis were defeated, but the D-Day invasion gave the Allies the success they needed to start that fight.

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Secondary Sources

Middle School:

Remember D-Day: Both Sides Tell Their Stories by Ronald J. Drez

D-Day: The Allies Strike Back During World War II by Terry Miller

High School:

D-Day, June 6, 1944: the Climactic Battle of World War II by Stephen E. Ambrose

Crusade in Europe by Dwight Eisenhower

D-Day Normandy: The Story and Photographs by Donald Goldstein

The Americans at D-Day: The American Experience at the Normandy Invasionby John McManus

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Primary Source Gallery:

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Other Museum Sources about D-Day

D-Day at a Glance: More details and images from the invasion

The "D" in D-Day: Answering one of the most common questions about D-Day

Focus On D-Day Sky Soldiers: Artifacts, video, images and more from the Museum's Collection

Oral History: On the Museum's YouTube channel, Major Jack Bradley gives an interview following his D-Day missions, complete with footage

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Student Travel – WWII Educational Tours
High school and college students, learn the leadership principles that helped win WWII on a trip to France or during a weeklong residential program in New Orleans. College credit is available, and space is limited.

See You Next Year! HS Yearbooks from WWII
Collected from across the United States, the words and pictures of these yearbooks present a new opportunity to experience the many challenges, setbacks and triumphs of the war through the eyes of America’s youth.

The Victory Gardens of WWII
Visit the Classroom Victory Garden Project website to learn about food production during WWII, find lesson plans and activities for elementary students, get tips for starting your own garden and try out simple Victory Garden recipes!

The Science and Technology of WWII
Visit our new interactive website to learn about wartime technical and scientific advances that forever changed our world. Incorporates STEM principles to use in the classroom.

Kids Corner: Fun and Games!
Make your own propaganda posters, test your memory, solve puzzles and more! Learn about World War II and have fun at the same time.

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