78 years since the Normandy Landing.  How American soldiers were encouraged by a future American president

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, American troops landed simultaneously with British and Canadian troops in five separate areas on the beaches of Normandy, France, then occupied by Nazi Germany.

The aim of the Allies was to liberate France and put an end to the Nazi Reich, which had been terrorizing Europe for 5 years.

The operation began with an air raid with 1,200 planes bombing German defensive positions, followed by an amphibious assault involving more than 5,000 ships.

By the dawn of June 6, thousands of paratroopers were already on the ground behind enemy lines, securing bridges and retreating roads.

Amphibious landings began at 6:30 p.m. The British and Canadians captured the beaches codenamed Gold, Juno and Sword.

The Americans easily captured Utah Beach, but faced strong resistance on Omaha Beach, where more than 2,000 Americans were killed by Nazi machine gun bullets.

By the end of the day, about 156,000 Anglo-American soldiers had successfully occupied the beaches of Normandy. An estimated 4,000 Allied troops lost their lives in the Z-Day invasion, with thousands more wounded or missing.

More than two million Allied soldiers were in France by the end of August.

By the end of August 1944, the whole of northern France had been liberated, and in the spring of the following year the Nazi regime capitulated, overwhelmed by Anglo-American forces from the west and Soviet forces from the east.

So bloody, but impressive was the landing that it was played in movies (Saving Private Ryan, The Longest Day) and video games (Company of Heroes, Medal of Honor Allied Assault, Call of Duty WW2).

Below is the message from US Allied Expeditionary General Dwight Eisenhower (future President of the United States from 1953-1961) in which he encouraged Allied soldiers before heading for enemy fire on the Normandy beaches to liberate Europe. .

“Allied Expeditionary Soldiers, Sailors and Aviators!

You are about to embark on the Great Crusade, which we have been striving for for many months. The eyes of the world are on you. The hope and prayers of people who love freedom everywhere march with you. In the company of our brave allies and brothers-in-arms on other fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over oppressed peoples in Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be easy. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and hardened in battle. He will fight wildly.

But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations has inflicted heavy human-to-human defeats on the Germans. Our air offensive has severely reduced their air force and their ability to wage war on the ground. Our internal fronts have given us overwhelming superiority in terms of weapons and ammunition of war and provided us with large reserves of trained fighters. The wave is back! The free people of the world march together to Victory!

I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in fighting. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!

Good luck! And let us implore the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble enterprise. “

A parade was held in a French commune, Sainte-Mère-Église, on the occasion of the 78th anniversary of the liberation of France.

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