world war ii: operation overlord

German POWs are marched to a collection area on Sword Beach by British soldiers of the 13th/18th Royal Hussars (Queen Mary’s Own) on the afternoon of the successful Allied landings at Normandy (Operation Overlord). Lion-sur-Mer, Calvados, Normandy, France. 6 June 1944. Image taken by Sgt. J. Mapham, No. 5 Army Film & Photographic Unit.

The Planners of D-Day: Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force commanders at a conference in London, 2 January, 1944. From left to right: Lieutenant General Omar N. Bradley, Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, General Sir Bernard Montgomery, Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory and Lieutenant General Walter Bedell Smith.

I lay there on the beach in a pool of my own blood for 10 hours. They quickly took my radio and my sten gun and I saw my tank head up the beach without me. It was heart-breaking because I trained for D-Day for so long. So many people died liberating that tiny stretch of beach. Looking back, the fact that I was injured so early on probably saved my life.
—  Radio operator Bill Betts his end of Operation Overlord

Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with 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 the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened. He will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944 ! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground.

Our Home Fronts have given us an superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world marching together to Victory!

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

Good Luck! And let us all beseech blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.