D-Day (Normandy Landings)

“Into the Jaws of Death — U.S. Troops wading through water and Nazi gunfire,” by Robert F. Sargent

D-Day photo: “Into the Jaws of Death — U.S. Troops wading through water and Nazi gunfire,” by Robert F. Sargent

The Normandy landings of Operation Overlord during World War II—codenamed Operation Neptune but most commonly known as D-Day—took place on June 6, 1944. On this day, approximately 156,000 Allied troops crossed the English Channel in a massive amphibious military assault, breaking through the Germans’ extensively fortified Atlantic Wall to begin the invasion of German-occupied France.

Preparation

As early as 1942, the Allies were considering an invasion of northwestern France, which had been occupied by Germany since 1940. Aware of this threat, Adolf Hitler ordered the construction of the “Atlantic Wall,” which consisted of landmines, bunkers, and other obstacles to fortify 2,400 miles of French coast.

In mid-1943, the Allies made definite plans for an Allied invasion the following year, to be headed by American general Dwight Eisenhower. The highly secret invasion of Normandy was scheduled to begin June 5, but due to poor weather it was postponed until the following day.

Invasion

In the predawn hours before the beach landings, thousands of American, British, and Canadian paratroopers were dropped behind enemy lines on the eastern and western flanks of the landing zones. Their objective was to secure roads and bridges, which would both hinder the Germans’ ability to counterattack as well as facilitate the progress of the landing forces off the beaches.

The Allied landings on the beaches began at 6:30 a.m. American, British, and Canadian infantry divisions landed along a 50-mile stretch of Normandy coast on five beaches: Utah (assigned to the Americans), Omaha (Americans), Gold (British), Juno (Canadians), and Sword (British). Allied troops faced German resistance on all beaches, but the bloodiest fighting was on Omaha.

Aftermath

By the night of June 6, all five beaches had been captured, and the Allies had made progress in pushing their way inland. In total, about 156,000 infantrymen, 13,000 aircraft, and 6,000 ships participated in D-Day, and more than 4,000 Allied troops were killed.

Over the following 2 ½ months, the Allies fought their way through northern France. The Battle of Normandy was considered complete at the end of August, with the liberation of Paris and the retreat of German forces across the River Seine. The success of D-Day and the following Normandy campaign directly influenced the Allies ability to liberate Western Europe from German control.

Learn more about D-Day (Normandy Landings) through historical newspapers from our archives. Explore newspaper articles, headlines, images, and other primary sources below.


Articles and Clippings about D-Day (Normandy Landings)

Headlines from a United States newspaper about the Normandy Landings on D-Day, 1944Headlines from a United States newspaper about the Normandy Landings on D-Day, 1944 Tue, Jun 6, 1944 – 1 · Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Pinellas, Florida, United States of America) · Newspapers.comUnited States newspaper front page about the Allied D-Day invasion of France (including map)United States newspaper front page about the Allied D-Day invasion of France (including map) Tue, Jun 6, 1944 – 1 · The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States of America) · Newspapers.comHeadlines and articles from a Canada newspaper about D-Day on June 6, 1944Headlines and articles from a Canada newspaper about D-Day on June 6, 1944 Tue, Jun 6, 1944 – 1 · The Leader-Post (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada) · Newspapers.comNewspaper coverage from Australia of the Allies' D-Day invasion of Normandy beaches in France, 1944Newspaper coverage from Australia of the Allies' D-Day invasion of Normandy beaches in France, 1944 Wed, Jun 7, 1944 – Page 1 · The Age (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) · Newspapers.comHeadlines from a British paper about the Allied Normandy Landings in France during D-DayHeadlines from a British paper about the Allied Normandy Landings in France during D-Day Wed, Jun 7, 1944 – 5 · The Guardian (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comNewspaper headlines, photos, map, and articles from D-Day landings on June 6, 1944Newspaper headlines, photos, map, and articles from D-Day landings on June 6, 1944 Tue, Jun 6, 1944 – 1 · Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Montgomery, Ohio, United States of America) · Newspapers.comNewspaper articles report that the invasion of Normandy beaches is going smoothlyNewspaper articles report that the invasion of Normandy beaches is going smoothly Tue, Jun 6, 1944 – Page 1 · Battle Creek Enquirer (Battle Creek, Calhoun, Michigan, United States of America) · Newspapers.comArticle reports that 11,000 Allied airplanes were launched to bomb the beaches of Normandy in 1944Article reports that 11,000 Allied airplanes were launched to bomb the beaches of Normandy in 1944 Tue, Jun 6, 1944 – Page 1 · The News (Frederick, Frederick, Maryland) · Newspapers.comBritish editorial about the success of the D-Day invasion of France in 1944British editorial about the success of the D-Day invasion of France in 1944 Wed, Jun 7, 1944 – 4 · The Guardian (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comNormandy beaches were picked months prior as the area where the Americans would drive into FranceNormandy beaches were picked months prior as the area where the Americans would drive into France Wed, Jun 7, 1944 – Page 1 · The Mercury (Pottstown, Montgomery, Pennsylvania, United States of America) · Newspapers.com"Boldness of Allied invasion of Normandy apparently attained tactical surprise over Germans" Wed, Jun 7, 1944 – Page 7 · The Wilkes-Barre Record (Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.comFirst ground picture of the Normandy landings to reach the United States during Operation NeptuneFirst ground picture of the Normandy landings to reach the United States during Operation Neptune Wed, Jun 7, 1944 – 1 · The Evening Sun (Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America) · Newspapers.com"Bloody Normandy beaches mutely testify hell through which [Americans] had to fight" on D-Day Sat, Jun 10, 1944 – Page 3 · The Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio) · Newspapers.comThe British use the Hamilcar glider as their The British use the Hamilcar glider as their "secret weapon" during the Normandy landings Mon, Jun 12, 1944 – 1 · The Morning Call (Allentown, Lehigh, Pennsylvania, United States of America) · Newspapers.comNewspaper account of American Army Rangers at Pointe-du-Hoc during D-Day Normandy Landings, 1944Newspaper account of American Army Rangers at Pointe-du-Hoc during D-Day Normandy Landings, 1944 Mon, Jun 12, 1944 – Page 3 · The San Bernardino County Sun (San Bernardino, San Bernardino, California) · Newspapers.comPhoto of one of the places on the Normandy beaches where Rangers scaled the Pointe-du-Hoc cliffsPhoto of one of the places on the Normandy beaches where Rangers scaled the Pointe-du-Hoc cliffs Wed, Jun 14, 1944 – Page 1 · Bradford Evening Star and The Bradford Daily Record (Bradford, McKean, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.comEvidence reportedly shows Nazis tortured American paratroopers during the 1944 Normandy landingsEvidence reportedly shows Nazis tortured American paratroopers during the 1944 Normandy landings Wed, Jun 14, 1944 – Page 5 · The Bakersfield Californian (Bakersfield, Kern, California) · Newspapers.comPhoto of American paratroopers passing fellow paratroopers killed by Nazi snipers in NormandyPhoto of American paratroopers passing fellow paratroopers killed by Nazi snipers in Normandy Thu, Jun 15, 1944 – 2 · The Evening Sun (Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America) · Newspapers.comBritain's King George visits the Normandy beaches after the D-Day invasion of FranceBritain's King George visits the Normandy beaches after the D-Day invasion of France Sat, Jun 17, 1944 – 1 · The Ottawa Citizen (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) · Newspapers.comNewspaper correspondent writes a description of Normandy beaches after the D-Day invasionNewspaper correspondent writes a description of Normandy beaches after the D-Day invasion Sat, Jun 24, 1944 – Page 7 · Detroit Free Press (Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, United States of America) · Newspapers.comPhotos from World War II Europe around the time of the Normandy landings and invasion of FrancePhotos from World War II Europe around the time of the Normandy landings and invasion of France Sun, Jun 25, 1944 – 29 · Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Pinellas, Florida, United States of America) · Newspapers.comArticle says the Allies lost 15 ships during D-Day landings in France, including 6 destroyersArticle says the Allies lost 15 ships during D-Day landings in France, including 6 destroyers Thu, Jul 13, 1944 – 1 · The Manhattan Mercury (Manhattan, Riley, Kansas, United States of America) · Newspapers.comWounded member of Canadian rifle regiment gives first-hand account of the Normandy beaches on D-DayWounded member of Canadian rifle regiment gives first-hand account of the Normandy beaches on D-Day Thu, Oct 5, 1944 – 3 · The Leader-Post (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada) · Newspapers.comMissouri residents share memories of their D-Day experiences on the 50th anniversaryMissouri residents share memories of their D-Day experiences on the 50th anniversary Sun, Jun 5, 1994 – Page 79 · St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America) · Newspapers.comD-Day veterans visit Omaha Beach in Normandy in 1994 for 50th anniversaryD-Day veterans visit Omaha Beach in Normandy in 1994 for 50th anniversary Tue, Jun 7, 1994 – 13 · The Record (Hackensack, Bergen, New Jersey, United States of America) · Newspapers.comColumnist writes about Columnist writes about "African Americans and D-Day" Thu, Jun 16, 1994 – Page 13 · The Cincinnati Enquirer (Cincinnati, Ohio) · Newspapers.comNewspaper column discusses role of Comanche code talkers in the Normandy invasionNewspaper column discusses role of Comanche code talkers in the Normandy invasion Fri, Jun 7, 2002 – 15 · Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, New Mexico) · Newspapers.com
"D-Day (Normandy Landings)," Newspapers.com Topics (https://www.newspapers.com/topics/world-war2/d-day-normandy-landings/ : accessed June 17, 2019)