Medical Tuesday Blog

The 75th Anniversary of “D” Day: June 6, 1944

Jul 17

Written by: Del Meyer
07/17/2019 11:59 PM 

D-Day: Veterans and world leaders mark 75th anniversary

The Battle of Normandy: June 6, 1944 to August 1944

The French maintain the D means “disembarkation,” still others say “debarkation,” and the more poetic insist D-Day is short for “day of decision.” When someone wrote to General Eisenhower in 1964 asking for an explanation, his executive assistant Brigadier General Robert Schultz answered: “General Eisenhower asked me to respond to your letter. Be advised that any amphibious operation has a ‘departed date’; therefore the shortened term ‘D-Day’ is used.”  

Whether “D” stood for “day,” “disembarkation” or another word, the Allied invasion of Normandy was not the only D-Day in World War II. In fact, every amphibious assault had its D-Day. “There were D-Days all through WWII where we performed that operation, where we landed on the beaches in Morocco and in North Africa in 1942, we landed on the beaches in Sicily in 1943,” says the National WWII Museum’s Huxen.

So why when we say D-Day today, do we mean one particular day: June 6, 1944?

Among those landings, Normandy’s D-Day was the one that began the end of Nazi Germany’s control. It mattered so much that it kept a name that had originally been purposefully flexible. It signifies the day that the invasion will launch and puts all the timetables into play,” says Keith Huxen, Senior Director of Research and History at the National WWII Museum. The term H-Hour worked similarly, with “H” referring to the time on D-Day when the Allied troops hit the beaches. (H-Hour was 6:30 a.m.)  Had the Allied troops failed, Huxen says, “democracy would’ve been completely stamped out and crushed across continental Europe.”

During World War II (1939-1945), the Battle of Normandy, which lasted from June 1944 to August 1944, resulted in the Allied liberation of Western Europe from Nazi Germany’s control. Codenamed Operation Overlord, the battle began on June 6, 1944, also known as D-Day, when some 156,000 American, British and Canadian forces landed on five beaches along a 50-mile stretch of the heavily fortified coast of France’s Normandy region. The invasion was one of the largest amphibious military assaults in history and required extensive planning. Prior to D-Day, the Allies conducted a large-scale deception campaign designed to mislead the Germans about the intended invasion target. By late August 1944, all of northern France had been liberated, and by the following spring the Allies had defeated the Germans. The Normandy landings have been called the beginning of the end of war in Europe.

Rundown of Events from Various Sources

Normandy invasion facts

In November 1943, President Roosevelt met with Churchill and Stalin. Churchill reluctantly agreed with Roosevelt and Stalin to a cross-channel invasion of Europe from Great Britain.

Austin Daily Herald

General Dwight D. Eisenhower was named commander, and plans were made to land in Normandy, France, west of where the German troops and artillery were built up.


On June 5, bad weather cancelled any potential action, but meteorologists predicted a reasonable weather window on June 6. General Eisenhower ordered the invasion to go ahead.

Toronto Sun

The Allied nations landed more than 130,000 troops on five beaches spread across a 50-mile stretch of coastline in Normandy.

Press Association on

Nearly 3,000 Americans were killed or wounded on Omaha Beach, most of them in the first few hours. However, soldiers rallied and pushed inland through ravines toward Colleville-sur-Mer.

National Geographic

By brilliantly coordinating their forces in the air, at sea, and on land, the Allies not only secured a foothold, they won the race to build up forces at the front. The result was overwhelming victory in Normandy 77 days later and a catastrophic defeat for Nazi Germany.

BBC History Magazine

Capa’s D-day shots reportedly inspired director Steven Spielberg’s wrenching, realistic take on the landings in “Saving Private Ryan.” To pierce Hitler’s Atlantic Wall, more than 16,000 Americans would die and 40,000 would be wounded by the end of July.

Had the Allied troops failed, not only would democracy have been stamped out and crushed across continental Europe, but America would have been next in line.
Sometimes war is the only language that socialists understand or to which they respond.

Another anniversary is that of the 30 years since the Tiananmen Square massacre in China. Yet commemorations took place in Hong Kong as the event remains widely unknown in mainland China.

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