75 D-Day fact file

“We must not repeat history, and remind ourselves what was built on the basis of the war.” Emmanuel Macron.

Today marks the 75th anniversary of D–Day. On this day in 1944, Allied forces battled their way onto the beaches of Normandy, driving back the defenders of Hitler’s ‘Atlantic wall,’ and securing beach heads for the push into occupied France. The Commander of all Allied Ground Forces on D Day was General Bernard Law Montgomery. He came from strong Ulster-Scots stock.

It took two years of meticulous planning, espionage and the analysis of millions of three-dimensional aerial photographs for the Allied forces to gain a foothold in northern France.

On this day 156,000 Allied troops landed along a 50 mile stretch of occupied France’s coastline to fight Nazi Germany. Many times that number where to be involved in the ensuing campaign over the next few months. The ambitious air and sea assault was dependent on a number of factors; the weather, tidal conditions and SURPRISE! Storms forced Supreme Allied Commander Gen Dwight Eisenhower to put it back 24 hours. Finally, the weather improved and he gave the command. A total of 6,000 ships and landing craft were involved, delivering troops to five beaches along a carefully selected stretch of the Normandy coast.

Photo: Are these British Red Cross nurses in Normandy who provided vital medical aid to soldiers?

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