On 22 June 1940 just six weeks following Hitler’s initial assault, France had been humiliated and its fall from power was complete, Germany had succeeded in devastating the balance of power in Europe. For the next four years of WWII Germany had established their own government in occupied France, leading the remainder of the western allies (Britain and America) to devise a plan in the hope of preventing further domination. This plan culminated in the Normandy landings, otherwise known as D-Day.
The Normandy landings themselves took place on 6 June 1944, almost four years after France’s initial fall and are often noted as the largest seaborne invasion in history. The operation’s intention was to liberate France from Germany and heavily contributed to the Allied victory on the western Front.
The D-Day battle began when over 150,000 western military forces landed across five beaches, spanning 50 miles of France’s heavily fortified coast. Despite achieving great success in overcoming German resistance across three beaches (Codenamed: Gold, Juno, Sword) on the first day, over 4,000 soldiers lost their lives with many more being injured or missing.
What the Germans didn’t know was that while the Normandy Landings were occurring, Britain had co-ordinated with French resistance forces to hit back against their German invaders. These resistance plans to be executed on D-Day ranged from sabotaging the French rail system, destroying electrical systems and cutting underground phone wires.
By the end of August 1944, the Western soldiers had successfully fought their way to Paris’ famous River Seine, going on to end the battle of Normandy and successfully liberate North western France from German occupation. This accomplishment was only made possible due to the overwhelming success of the Normandy landings.