70 years ago the Allies launched the Normandy invasion to retake Europe from Hitler’s 3rd Reich. This was the largest amphibious assault ever staged by modern armies. 130,000 Allied troops took part in the initial report. By 4 July1944 over 1,300,000 had been poured into Normandy.
They were opposed by over 380,000 German troops Allied losses were computed at 120,000 killed and wounded. German losses were calculated to be 113,059 killed and wounded.
The landing was in doubt for much of the first day. Assaulting units were stopped by heavy German fire. Entire units became non-functional due to casualties.
The numbers can only begin to detail the courage and determination of the men who made the long slog into the beaches in deep cold water, under continuous shelling and nearly solid walls of small arms fire from an enemy well dug in and protected by natural and man-made bunkers and shelters.
The courage it took for men to leave the meager shelter of their landing craft and begin the long walk to the beach head carrying 80 pounds of equipment in water neck deep or deeper is beyond measure.
The men who fought at Normandy and/or other amphibious assaults, are true American Heroes. It is unlikely we’ll see their match again.