On Tuesday 6 June 1944 the largest seaborne invasion force in history landed on an 80 km stretch of the Normandy coast in France.
Codenamed Operation Neptune, it was part of Operation Overlord, the liberation of German-
221 destroyers, frigates, corvettes
187 mine sweepers
495 smaller vessels
58 submarine chasers
4,000 landing craft of all types
441 auxiliary Naval craft and small boats
864 Merchant Navy ships
Over 300 other small craft
112,824 British sailors
52,889 American sailors
4,998 other Allied servicemen
25,000 Merchant navy
31,000 (not including airborne troops or their aircrews)
20,000 (including over 1,000 tanks)
Men landed on the beaches
American sector -
British sector -
Troops parachuted or landed by glider
Total land forces deployed
Dwight D. Eisenhower
NOT THE REAL THING: A dummy tank is moved into place. An entire phantom army was created in order to deceive the Germans into thinking the invasion would be at Calais.
HITTING THE BEACHES: American troops come ashore from one of the landing craft. By the evening of the first day more than 150,000 troops had been landed on the five beaches.