The first troops to land in Nazi occupied Europe on D-Day were the British airborne troops who assaulted what was soon to be known as ‘Pegasus Bridge’. Soon after the US 82nd and 101st Airborne landed around the St Mare Eglise area.
Around 07:00 on the June 6th 1944 the beaches of Normandy were assaulted in the largest combined operation to date. Operation Overlord, popularly called D-Day had begun. ( although every assault is actually a d-day).
In the largest combined operations landing ever, Allied troops were were brought ashore on the Normandy coast, at the beaches of Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha and Utah.
US Rangers climbed the cliffs at Pont Du Hoc tasked with disabling the German battery which threatened these beaches.
By a combination of surprise, partially caused by a campaign of deception carried out by the Allies, good planning and acts of individual heroism and determination the D-Day landings were successful, gaining the Allies a beachhead on in Normandy.
By August more than 3 Million troops had been brought ashore across the beaches of Normandy.
Approximately 54,000 of these troops were RAF Ground Personnel.
Much has been written about the RAF in the air during the Normandy Campaign; this section of my site recognises the RAF contribution to the campaign, on the GROUND.