It’s still staggering to consider the enormity and significance of Operation Overlord – D-Day.
It remains the largest air, land, and seaborne invasion in history, involving more than 150,000 troops and thousands of ships and aircraft.
The victory was costly. 9,000 of the Allied forces either lost their lives or were wounded. Consider how many of those troops were under 21 years of age. Thanks to the ultimate success of the Allied forces on those beaches in France, a foothold was established on the Continent and Western Europe would ultimately be liberated.
Such amazing courage.
Following is General Eisenhower’s Order of the Day for June 6th, 1944.
Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force:
You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months.
The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.
In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.
Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped, and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.
But this is the year 1944. Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned. The free men of the world are marching together to victory.
I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory.
Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.
May we never forget the sacrifices which were made during this operation.