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June 6, 1944, was truly the longest day. The landing of Allied forces on the Normandy beaches in France was the beginning of the end for Nazi Germany. When the British forces and some French forces evacuated the beaches during the miracle of Dunkirk in 1940, many felt that the war was essentially over. Just a few weeks later, Hitler stood as master of all he surveyed in mainland Europe and only a demoralized, shattered, and isolated Britain remained opposing him.

D-Day Video

The 4 long years before then and D-Day had seen the unfolding of dramatic events which had spread the war throughout the world, brought the U.S. and the Soviet Union into the war as Britain's allies, witnessed an explosion of Japanese aggression and victories throughout Southeast Asian and the Pacific and the spread of Nazi occupied  Europe from the Caucasus to Calais and from the Arctic circle to the North African deserts. It had been a long four years for the Allies fighting off Rommel in Egypt, invading and taking Sicily and working their way of the boot of Italy. The long called for 2nd front in Western Europe was essential for the defeat of Hitler's Germany.

Operation Overlord, the invasion of France had been conceived of in some form, even as the British troops clambered off the fishing boat navy after Dunkirk and in 1942 the bloody lessons learned at Dieppe clarified how difficult the invasion was going to be. The was hinged on this day because if it failed, fortress Europe would have withstood the best the Allies could throw at her. The allies may have been tempted to negotiate terms rather then continue to call for unconditional surrender. The Germans may have been able to shift large numbers of troops to the Eastern Front and Italy. The war may have dragged on for many more years.

The invasion of North-West Europe marked the beginning of the final phase of the war with Germany and led, less than a year later, to the final German collapse. Canadian forces played an important part in the operation, which was tremendously complicated and carried out on a vast scale.

D-Day Assault German Defences Normandy to Scheldt



June 6th - July 12

Campaign:  France 1944 June 6th - September
War: World War II 1939 - 1945
Where: Normandy Peninsula
Western Front


Belligerents: Canada Germany
United States
Dwight Eisenhower - US
Bernard Montgomery - GB
Omar Bradley - US
Miles Dempsey - GB
Gerd von Rundstedt - Ger
Erwin Rommel - Ger
Friedrich Dollmann - Ger
Forces:  1,332,000 Men 380,000 Men

Allied Victory

Casualties: Canada, US, Britain, France & Allies Germany
Casualties - 120,000 Casualties - 113,059

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