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You are here -> HOME - RETROVILLE - 1944 - In the News - D-Day
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Welcome to Retroville! It's 1944! Franklin Delano Roosevelt - President - United States - Portrait of the President seated in the White House
On June 6, 1944, the world's largest invasion force began moving toward France. D-Day had arrived as Operation Overlord swung into action pitting Allied forces against the Nazi strongholds on the beaches of Normandy.
The United States had already been at war for three years.  The other Allied nations had been fighting much longer. Scores of Allied troops were dying and Nazi Germany continued its strangle-hold on Europe.

Rumours began to circulate throughout Europe that an invasion was in the works. As information reached Josef Stalin of the Soviet Union, he welcomed the news. He had been asking for several years for an invasion to create a second front to weaken the German forces that had been attacking his nation.

The Germans got wind of the plans, as well. Their information sources indicated that the invasion would come near Calais, so the Germans concentrated their forces in that region.  They strengthened beachfront fortifications, built new bunkers, directed their Panzer divisions to the area, and waited.

The weather reports for the weekend were grim--strong rains and high winds made the English Channel separating Europe and Great Britain incredibly choppy. The situation didn't look good for the Allied invasion forces. Eisenhower, in charge of the Allied invasion efforts, had to make a critical decision. He could put the invasion on hold and risk waiting several weeks, or he could set the plans in motion and risk failure due to the weather.

Suddendly, a window of calm weather opened and Eisenhower gave the word to "GO." Operation Overlord sprang into action. The largest invasion force in world history headed away from the British shores toward France.

The landings on the beaches at Normandy and the heroic actions of untold numbers of fighting men in the Allied forces allowed the Allies to pierce the German forces. The march toward the heart of Germany--and an end to the war--had begun!

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