D-Day: On June 6, 1944 the Allies launched Operation Overlord. This was the largest amphibious invasion in history. It began with the landing overnight of 18,000 British and American parachutists in occupied France. There were 4,000 ships, 11,000 warplanes, and 156,000 Allied troops involved. They landed on the Normandy beaches: the British and Canadians at Gold, Juno and Sword and the Americans at Utah and Omaha. The accepted number of Allied deaths on that day is 4,414.
Allies faced the German Atlantic Wall, a system of fortifications, obstacles and mines in the water and along the shore. But the Germans could not guard every place along the coast. They had troops in the East fighting the Russians and in Italy fighting the Allied troops. They had to guess where the Allies would land. They guessed wrong. For months there had been an elaborate campaign of disinformation and deception including dropping dummies, fake radio broadcasts, even an actor portraying Montgomery was “seen” in Algiers!
The library has a book display on the third floor commemorating D-Day. There are DVDs in our collection to borrow, such as The Longest Day or Overlord. From the comfort of home you can follow four veterans in a Library of Congress Story Map : Preston Earl Bagent, Army combat engineer; Robert “Bob: Harlan Horr, a glider pilot; Edward Duncan Cameron, a rifleman; and John William “Bill” Boehne, III, a sailor. Their stories make the momentous days very personal.
-posted by Brenda, Reference Services