The Battle of Normandy, codenamed Operation Overlord, lasted from June 1944 to August 1944 and began with what was known as D-Day.
D-Day, also known as the Normandy landings, occurred on June 6, 1944, in World War II. The Allied forces of Great Britain, the United States, Canada, and France attacked Germany forces by invading Normandy in northern France. The Battle of Normandy would result in the Allied liberation of Western Europe from Nazi Germany’s control.
Before D-Day, the Allies mislead Germany about the intended invasion target by carrying out a large-scale deception campaign. General Dwight Eisenhower was appointed commander of Operation Overlord. In the time leading up the invasion, the Allies carried out their deception operation to make the Germans think that the main invasion would occur at Pas-de-Calais. The Allies used fraudulent radio transmissions, fake equipment, and a ghost army stationed in England across from Pas-de-Calais.
The Allies had a force of over 150,000 soldiers. By dawn on June 6th, thousands of troops were already on the ground behind lines. The amphibious invasions began at 6:30 in the morning.
By the end of August 1994, the Allied troops had worked their way to the Seine River and liberated France. Germany had been successfully removed from northwestern France, concluding the Battle of Normandy.
The D-Day invasion was the largest seaborne invasion in history and was the turning point for the Allies again the Nazis. The invasion had no only a psychological blow to the Nazis but also prevented Germany from sending troops to build a front against the Soviets. The following spring, the Allies formally accepted the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany on May 8, 1945.
On D-Day, there were an estimated 10,000 casualties including those who were killed, wounded, missing in action, and prisoners of war. There is no “official” casualty number for D-Day; however, research efforts have come to conclude estimates.
From this research, there were about 1,465 American deaths, 3,184 wounded, 1,928 missing, and 26 captured. Of the total U.S. figure, about 2,499 casualties were from the airborne troops. Germany is estimated to have lost anywhere between 4,000 and 9,000 men on D-Day.
The British lost around 3,300 men. About 1,000 casualties were estimated on Gold Beach and Sword Beach each. Additionally, there were about 1200 casualties amongst the British airborne troops and about 100 glider pilots. Canada lost just fewer than 1,000 men. About 340 were killed, 574 wounded, and 47 were taken prisoner.
Throughout the entire Battle of Normandy, over 425,000 Allied troops and German troops were killed, wounded, missing, or taken as prisoners. This includes over 209,000 Allied casualties, 125,847 were U.S. ground troops and 83,045 were 21st Army Group men (British, Canadian, and Polish ground forces). Germany had about 200,000 casualties who were killed or wounded and about 200,000 who were captured as prisoners of war.