:eek: Facts about the 1944 Normandy landings D Day Landings Factbox

PARIS, June 6 Reuters - Some facts about the Allies’ D-Day landings in Normandy on June 6, 1944. The assault eventually won back control of France from German forces and was a decisive stage in the liberation of Europe in World War II.

Ahead of D-Day, the Allies staged Operation Fortitude, which persuaded the Germans the landings were to take place not in Normandy but in Pas-de-Calais, to the east. Dummy tanks, landing craft and planes were set up in eastern England.

D-Day began in full on June 6, 1944, and was the assault phase of the Allied invasion of mainland Europe, or Operation Overlord. The Allied Supreme Commander was US General Dwight Eisenhower. It should have started a day earlier but was postponed by 24 hours due to bad weather.

23,400 British and American paratroopers were dropped inland. More than 132,000 troops were then landed on Normandy beaches code named Utah, Omaha, Gold,Juno and Sword.

Total Allied casualties on D-Day are estimated at 10,000, of whom 2,500 were killed. German casualties are unknown but are estimated at between 4,000 and 9,000.

Soldiers participating in the Normandy landings came from the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada, Belgium, Norway, Poland, Luxembourg, Greece,Czechoslovakia and New Zealand. Some 177 French commandos also took part.

The landings, and associated operations, were code named Neptune and aimed to establish beachheads in north-west France.

Nearly 7,000 ships and landing craft deployed in Neptune - of which 1,213 were naval warships - attacked German land and naval positions, landing troops and creating two huge artificial harbours which were towed across the Channel.

Neptune officially ceased on June 30, 1944, by which time 850,279 men, 148,803 vehicles and 570,505 tonnes of supplies had been landed.

LONDON, June 6 Reuters - France today marked the 60th anniversary of the Allied D-Day landings in Europe leading to the end of World War II on the continent 11 months later.

Here is a short chronology of the last year of the warfrom D-Day to Berlin and the destruction of the Nazi regime in Germany.

June 6 - Allied invasion of Europe.

July 20 - Adolf Hitler escapes assassination attempt spearheaded by a group of army officers. He is lightly wounded by a bomb. Bloody purge of opponents follows.

August 25 - General Dietrich von Choltitz, German commander in Paris, surrenders to Lieutenant Henri Karcher of the French 2nd Armoured division, the first Allied unit to enter the city.

Sept 17-25 - Ill-fated Allied airborne assault on Arnhem in the Netherlands.

Dec 16 - The Battle of the Bulge. German troops counter-attack through the Ardennes forest to try to split Allied forces and re-capture the Belgian port of Antwerp.


Jan 16 - German advance in Ardennes beaten back, US troops press their advance.

Jan 17 - Soviet troops take Polish capital Warsaw.

Jan 27 - Red Army troops liberate Auschwitz concentration camp in southern Poland.

Feb 4-11 - Wartime conference at Yalta in the Crimea. Soviet leader Josef Stalin, US President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill agree on post-war division of Germany.

Feb 13 - Budapest falls to the Red Army after a bloody 50-day siege.

April 9 - Koenigsburg, stronghold of Germany’s Baltic defences, falls to the Red Army after a 59-day siege. A quarter of the city’s population dies.

April 25 - US and Soviet forces link up at German city of Torgau on the River Elbe.

March 7 - US 1st Army crosses Rhine River, the main geographical barrier on the way to the German heartland, at the railway bridge in Remagen.

April 30 - Hitler commits suicide in bunker in Berlin.

April 30 - Soviet soldiers raise Red Flag over shattered German Reichstag (parliament) building.

May 2 - End of large-scale fighting in Berlin. Marshal Georgy Zhukov takes surrender after battle that cost 70,000 Soviet dead, 150,000 Germans.

May 4 - All German forces in north-west Europe surrender.

May 7 - German forces sign capitulation at General US Dwight Eisenhower’s headquarters in Rheims in France.

May 8 - Capitulation proclaimed on Victory in Europe Day (VE Day).