How Much Do You Know About the Normandy Landings?
by Torrance Grey
Chief Photographer's Mate (CPHOM) Robert F. Sargent, U.S. Coast Guard

It was a military initiative like few others in human history: the opening up of a Western front in Europe during the Second World War. What made it so challenging? The Normandy landings required a massive mobilization of troops and equipment -- yet all done in secrecy, so as not to tip off the Germans about the size and scale of the coming invasion. To that end, there was also a sizable misdirection effort, pointing the Nazis in the wrong direction. This required, in part, the efforts of a cadre of double agents, who risked their lives to pose as German assets and feed the Nazi leadership the wrong information.

All that's not to mention the human cost of the landings: about 10,000 estimated Allied deaths. Not all went off as planned, and soldiers from the United States, England and Canada were cut down as they advanced into German machine-gun fire, or, as paratroopers, were blown off course and drifted down into anti-aircraft fire. It was a bloody chapter in the war that cost more human lives than any other conflict in history ... but it slowly turned the tide of that war, and as a result, changed the course of history overall.

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