Tuesday marks 79th anniversary of D-Day invasion of Normandy, France during World War II

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — Tuesday marks the 79th anniversary of the historic invasion of Normandy, France during World War II, otherwise known as D-Day.

Operation Overlord was the largest amphibious invasion in history, and the Allied attack would immediately turn the tide in World War II against Nazi Germany.

Despite difficult weather conditions and a cascade of missteps on the part of the Allies, the beaches of Normandy would eventually fall – but not without a steep price.

The invasion consisted of over 155,000 men landing on the beaches in the first 24 hours. The force was launched from the United Kingdom and would eventually create an overall assault force of 176,000.

American assault troops in a landing craft huddle behind the shield 06 June 1944 approaching Utah Beach while Allied forces are storming the Normandy beaches on D-Day. D-Day, 06 June 1944 is still one of the world’s most gut-wrenching and consequential battles, as the Allied landing in Normandy led to the liberation of France which marked the turning point in the Western theater of World War II. (Photo by – / US ARMY PHOTO / AFP) (Photo credit should read -/AFP via Getty Images)

In addition to the men dropped off by boats at heavily defended beaches in the Normandy region, thousands of additional troops were flown into France behind enemy lines and dropped in by parachute and gliders before sunrise.

Around 73,000 soldiers in the invasion force were from the United States, and the collective Allied response faced around 50,000 German soldiers.

In terms of casualties, more than 4,400 troops were killed on June 6, 1944, with just over 2,500 being Americans. The ensuing Battle of Normandy would take the lives of around 73,000 Allied personnel. Thousands of additional Allied troops were hurt or missing in action.

Historians believe around 20,000 French civilians were killed as a new battlefront was created in their backyard, and it’s estimated that 4,000 to 9,000 Germans were killed on D-Day.

Germany would surrender to Allied forces less than a year later as Berlin was surrounded by forces from the United States, Great Britain and Russia. World War II ended in Europe on May 8, 1945, also known as V-E Day.

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