Research Starters: D-Day

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.

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 Invasion by John McManu