D-Day, 80 years on

1 min read
American troops land on Omaha Beach, 6 June 1944. Image: Alamy.

In the last issue of MHM, in the first of two special editions to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day on 6 June 1944, we looked at some of the factors which would determine the operation’s success — from the brilliant Allied deception plan, which left Hitler unsure where an attack would come, to the flawed ‘Atlantic Wall’, which left German troops poorly placed to resist the greatest amphibious invasion force in history.

This time, we look in more detail at the landings themselves. First, we examine Allied preparations to deposit around 150,000 troops along a 50-mile stretch of Normandy coastline. David Porter reveals the mind-boggling feat of logistics required to dovetail land, sea, and air forces, and to keep an army that would soon swell to more than two million men fed, fuelled, armed, and equipped on the road to Paris.

Next, we focus in more closely, to understand what it was like for the ordinary soldiers who took part in Operation Overlord. In the second part of our special for this issue, Patrick Mercer reads diaries and personal accounts written by members of three British units — some of whom would be among the thousands to die during the initial landings or amid the meadows and hedges of northern France.

Finally, we look at what happened next. In the first of a regular new series of infographics, Calum Henderson traces the extraordinary events and hard-fought battles that would take the Allies from the beaches of Normandy to the liberation of Paris.

This is an extract from a special feature on D-Day from the June/July 2024 issue of Military History Matters magazine.

Read the full article online on The Past, or in the print magazine: find out more about subscriptions to Military History Matters here.

1 Comment

  1. always a good read
    I started reading this magazine in 2014 and I used to get the magazine every month
    followed world war 1 and never stopped

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.