73 years ago to the day, Allied forces stormed five beaches combined with an air assault at Normandy, France.
The event was famously entitled 'D-Day'.
In light of one of the largest amphibious assaults in history, here are some facts about the invasion:
- The “D” in D-Day actually only stood for Day.
- D-Day was originally set to take place June 5, but was pushed back one day due to inclement weather
- The 4th Infantry Division, which at one point was stationed at Fort Hood (now at Fort Carson, CO), Texas, participated in the invasion at code name 'Utah Beach'. Nicknamed the "Ivy Division", 4th Infantry Division invaded the beach at 'H-Hour' (0630 hours).
- During the attack, condoms were issued by the soldiers to cover the end of their rifles to keep them dry.
- The heaviest losses occurred at 'Omaha Beach'. According to figures compiled by History.com, 2,000 American lives were claimed at Omaha Beach.
- D-Day has been depicted three separate times in cinematography -- appearing in films Saving Private Ryan and The Longest Day, as well as the HBO mini-series Band of Brothers.
- The Omaha Beach scene in Saving Private Ryan cost over $9 million to film and used 1,000 extras.
- Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was asleep when word of the invasion arrived. No one dared wake him and it’s said vital time was lost in sending reinforcements.
- The night before the invasion Eisenhower told troops: “You are about to embark upon a great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you."”
- It is estimated that nearly 4,000 Allied soldiers lost their lives in the attack, and thousands more were wounded or missing.
- D-Day only sparked the Battle of Normandy, which ended two months later in late August.