NWe are not going to play the old idiots by repeating that the youth of the past knew how to offer their lives to just causes. Another time, other customs. Nevertheless, let us not moderate our admiration for all these young people from deep America or Australia who voluntarily chose to take up arms to save old Europe. This morning of June 6, 1944, they are a little more than 152,000 to face the German bullets, including 213 French! All heroes.
Be careful not to confuse Operation Neptune with Operation Overlord. The first designates the actual landing, while the second concerns the entire Battle of Normandy. This being said, the allied forces took action ten minutes after midnight when the first American scouts jumped on the Cotentin to mark out the parachuting zones to follow. Six minutes later, a first glider, then a second and finally a third, packed with British commandos, landed near the Bénouville bridge, the capture of which was crucial. This is the first land fight.
In Berlin, Hitler goes to bed after listening to Wagner.
In the process, bombers attacked the German battery of Merville, then 110 others attacked batteries in the region of Caen. Paratroopers are raining from the sky, including 36 French nationals. At 1:55 a.m., 1,198 bombers took off in England. The paratroopers started the fight. The ships position themselves in front of their targets, about 24 km from the coast. Gliders continue to dump troops ashore. At 4 a.m., Sainte-Mère-l’Eglise was liberated, while the bombers continued their destruction. In Berlin, Hitler goes to bed after listening to Wagner. At 5.10 am, the first naval artillery fire on the German positions. The first Allied soldiers land on Utah Beach. Four minutes later, it was Omaha Beach’s turn to be taken by storm. At 7:32 am, honors to the French soldiers of the Kieffer commando who set foot in Colleville-Montgomery. At 9 a.m. Hitler was finally awake.
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In total, more than 130,000 soldiers landed on the Normandy beaches and 22,000 others fell from the sky. The bombers dropped 4,000 tonnes of bombs that day. Exactly 6,939 ships were engaged in Operation Neptune, only 4,126 directly participated in the assault. As for the French, including those of the Kieffer commando, they were a little more than 3000 to fight, either as aviators (277 pilots), or as sailors.
On the evening of D-Day, the Allies estimate to have lost 10,600 men (killed, wounded or missing, mainly Americans). That is to say much less than the 25,000 victims predicted by the Allied General Staff.