“We will accept nothing less than full victory.” The words, the solemn promise gave bedrock grounding to General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s speech at the onset of the invasion of Normandy, June 6, 1944. The German Third Reich had overrun continental Europe enslaving millions under a fascist regime that undermined the very foundation of Western Civilization. At minimum Nazi despotism held the majority of the European people under suffocating tyranny, while at its most extreme was conducting genocide of officially designated unfit peoples by the thousands each day.
The stakes were never higher for the Allied Forces, indeed the World. The lengthy planning and monumental execution made D-Day the largest amphibious invasion in history. And the invasion became a turning point in World War Two to free the European Continent from the most enslaving and brutal tyranny it had experienced since barbarians ruled its ancient lands.
The assault was conducted in two phases: an airborne assault landing of 24,000 British, American, Canadian and Free French airborne troops shortly after midnight, and an amphibious landing of Allied infantry and armoured divisions on the coast of France commencing at 6:30 AM. There were also decoy operations mounted under the codenames Operation Glimmer and Operation Taxable to distract the German forces from the real landing areas.
The operation was the largest amphibious invasion in world history, with over 160,000 troops landing on 6 June 1944. 195,700 Allied naval and merchant navy personnel in over 5,000 ships were involved. The invasion required the transport of soldiers and material from the United Kingdom by troop-laden aircraft and ships, the assault landings, air support, naval interdiction of the English Channel and naval fire-support. The landings took place along a 50-mile (80 km) stretch of the Normandy coast divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. —Wikipedia
May we never forget the valiant efforts made by all the Allied Forces this day sixty-seven years ago, and always honor them with our respect and gratitude as we maintain the national freedoms and legacy they fought and sacrificed for.
Two United States President’s speeches regarding D-Day, one before he became president and before the event, the other 40 years later on the bluffs of Normandy.
General Eisenhower’s speech on the D-Day and the landing at Normandy
President Reagan’s Address at the Ceremony Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion, D-day at Point-du-Hoc – 6/6/84
From the United States Army D-Day website for descriptions of the event, photographs, news stories and resources.