On June, 6th of 1944, 5 million men faced each other in five beautiful and huge sandy beaches. One year later, a war finished in Europe. In every landing craft fitted 80 soldiers, 450kg in guns, 1500kg in ammunition; it is difficult to think of the weight of all the hands, mainly the hands.
There must not be such beautiful beaches where half a million men had died.
Sunday afternoon meteorologists observe some improvement in the weather, with permissible conditions for Tuesday 6th.
At night, winds moved to the northeast at 5 knots. At quarter past four in the morning on Monday 5th, six battleships, 23 cruisers, 122 destroyers, and 360 torpedo boats appeared along the coast of Normandy, setting into motion the largest amphibian operation in History.
The objective was to cover the beachfronts, known by the code words Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword.
Few of the 17,000 American and 4,255 British troops in the airborne division would touch ground in their expected locations; many made their descent, and their landing became so chaotic that the German command posts received news of paratroopers and gliders falling everywhere.
The silence of that night had given way to an incredible thunder of confusion.
Once on sand, the men stumbled into a hell of landmines and crossfire that made for a confusion of casualties, vehicles, arms, explosives, debris, and shrapnel of all kinds. In the first four hours, 3,000 men were lost at Omaha.
After the first counterattacks failed, von Rundstedt and Rommel knew that they had lost the battle on the coast. This day was dubbed “D-Day,” the “longest day.