June 6, 1944.

  • 180,000 Allied troops.
  • 50 miles of beaches, with tall cliffs, and heavily fortified positions.
  • 5,000 ships
  • 13,000 aircraft
  • Focused on the goal of gaining a toehold in Northern Europe, liberating the continent, and defeating Nazi Germany.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which “we will accept nothing less than full victory.”

To most of you those facts are just numbers.  Try and put them in perspective for a momement.  The entire USMC during the ending days of the cold war had an active duty strength of 183,000 Marines.  Today, finding 5,000 ships to sortie those forces across the English channel would be a serious challenge.  Basing and supporting the crews for 13,000 tactical, strategic, and transport aircraft on an island the size of Britian very difficult.  Doing it all in absolute secrecy???  Impossible.


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