Operation Overlord
(1944)

Died aged 0

Operation Overlord was the code name for the Battle of Normandy, the Allied operation that launched the successful invasion of German-occupied Western Europe during World War II. The operation was launched on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy landings (Operation Neptune, commonly known as D-Day). A 1,200-plane airborne assault preceded an amphibious assault involving more than 5,000 vessels. Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on 6 June, and more than two million Allied troops were in France by the end of August. The decision to undertake a cross-channel invasion in 1944 was taken at the Trident Conference in Washington in May 1943. General Dwight D. Eisenhower was appointed commander of Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), and General Bernard Montgomery was named as commander of the 21st Army Group, which comprised all the land forces involved in the invasion. The Normandy coast was chosen as the site of the invasion, with the Americans assigned to land at sectors codenamed Utah and Omaha, the British at Sword and Gold, and the Canadians at Juno. To meet the conditions expected on the Normandy beachhead, special technology was developed, including two artificial ports called Mulberry harbours and an array of specialised tanks nicknamed Hobart's Funnies. In the months leading up to the invasion, the Allies conducted a substantial military deception, Operation Bodyguard, using both electronic and visual misinformation. This misled the Germans as to the date and location of the main Allied landings. Adolf Hitler placed German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in charge of developing fortifications all along the Atlantic Wall in anticipation of an invasion. The Allies failed to accomplish their objectives for the first day, but gained a tenuous foothold that they gradually expanded when they captured the port at Cherbourg on 26 June and the city of Caen on 21 July. A failed counterattack by German forces on 8 August left 50,000 soldiers of the 7th Army trapped in the Falaise pocket. The Allies launched an invasion of southern France (code-named Operation Dragoon) on 15 August, and the Liberation of Paris followed on 25 August. German forces retreated across the Seine on 30 August 1944, marking the close of Operation Overlord.

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Commemorated on 3 plaques

Nick Harrison on Flickr
Jaggery on Geograph
Chris Downer on Geograph

The United States of America recognises the selfless service and manifold contributions of General Dwight David Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander, 1944-1945. At this site General Eisenhower, on behalf of freedom loving peoples throughout the world, directed the Allied Expeditionary Forces against Fortress Europe, 6 June 1944. This plaque was dedicated by a United States Department of Defense delegation and the Eisenhower family on 4 June 1990 during the Centennial year of his birth and the 46th Anniversary of Operation OVERLORD.

Norfolk House, 31 St James's Square, SW1Y 4JJ, London, United Kingdom where it is commemorated

In Memory Of The Allied Invasion Of Europe On 6th June 1944. This Plaque Was Erected By The People Of Newport On 6th June 1994 To Commemorate The 50th Anniversary Of The D-Day Landings By The Allied Forces In Normandy During World War II. Among Those Who Landed In The Vicinity Of Asnelles On That Part Of The Normandy Coastline Code-Named Gold Beach, Was The 2nd Battalion The South Wales Borderers. The Brave Actions Of All Those Who Participated In Operation Overlord Including The Men And Women Of Newport Will Never Be Forgotten.

High Street, Newport, Gwent, United Kingdom where it is commemorated

OPERATION OVERLORD On the 5th June 1944 over 300 craft left the quays of Poole for the Normandy Landings

Custom House, The Quay, Poole, United Kingdom where it over 300 craft left the quays of Poole for the Normandy Landings (1944)