Operation Overlord was the code name for the Battle of Normandy, the Allied operation that launched the successful invasion of German-occupied Western Europe during World War II. The operation was launched on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy landings (Operation Neptune, commonly known as D-Day). A 1,200-plane airborne assault preceded amphibious assault involving more than 5,000 vessels. Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on 6 June, and more than two million Allied troops were in France by the end of August.
The decision to undertake a cross-channel invasion in 1944 was taken at the Trident Conference in Washington in May 1943.General Dwight Delano “Ike” Eisenhower was appointed commander of Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) , and General Bernard “Monty” Montgomery was named as commander of the 21st Army Group , which comprised all the land forces involved in the invasion. The Normandy coast was chosen as the site of the invasion, with the Americans assigned to land at sectors codenamed Utah and Omaha, the British at Sword and Gold, and the Canadians at Juno . To meet the conditions expected on the Normandy beachhead, special technology was developed, including two artificial ports called Mulberry harbours and an array of specialised tanks nicknamed Hobart;s Funnie’s.
In the months leading up to the invasion, the Allies conducted a substantial military deception, Operation Bodyguard, using both electronic and visual misinformation.
Operation Bodyguard was the code name for a World War II deception plan employed by the Allied states before the 1944 invasion of north-west Europe. The plan was intended to mislead the German high command as to the time and place of the invasion. The plan contained several operations, which culminated in the tactical surprise of the Germans during the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944 (also known as D-Day) and delayed German reinforcements to the region for some time afterwards.
This misled the Germans as to the date and location of the main Allied landings. Adolf Hitler placed German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in charge of developing fortifications all along the Atlantic Wall in anticipation of an invasion.
The Allies failed to accomplish their objectives for the first day, but gained a tenuous foothold that they gradually expanded when they captured the port at Cherbourg on 26 June and the city of Caen on 21 July. A failed counterattack by German forces on 8 August left 50,000 soldiers of the 7th Army under command of SS Oberstgruppenführer en Generaloberst Paul “Papa” Hausser, trapped in the Falaise pocket . The Allies launched an invasion of southern France (code-named Operation Dragoon) on 15 August, and the Liberation of Paris followed on 25 August. German forces retreated across the Seine on 30 August 1944, marking the close of Operation Overlord.
Operation Dragoon (initially Operation Anvil) was the code name for the Allied invasion of Southern France on 15 August 1944. The operation was initially planned to be executed in conjunction with Operation Overlord, the Allied landing in the Normandy, but the lack of available resources led to a cancellation of the second landing.
On June 6, 1944, 160.000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the Normandy beaches. The attack was a major turning point in the war. More than 5000 ships and 13.000 aircraft supported the invasion, in which more than 9.000 Allied soldiers were killed or wounded, with 4.414 confirmed dead..
German casualties on D-Day have been estimated at 4.000 to 9.000 men.