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10 Facts You Didn't Know About D-Day
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10 Facts You Didn't Know About D-Day

On June 6, 1944, the biggest seaborn armada in military history was launched to invade Normandy, France, and libera...

10 Facts You Didn't Know About D-Day

On June 6, 1944, the biggest seaborn armada in military history was launched to invade Normandy, France, and liberate conquered Europe from the Nazis. In less than one day, nearly 200,000 men – half of them American troops – along with thousands of tanks, armoured vehicles, 11,000 planes and over 5,000 ships and landing craft, crossed the English channel and stormed the beaches of Normandy. The Allies had to fight and overcome the “Atlantic Wall” – or constructions of fortifications and bunkers, tangles of barbed wire, booby traps and land mines. All of the goals the Allies set to achieve on the first day failed, resulting in great numbers of casualties, but they succeeded in gaining a foothold because of individual soldiers' bravery in combat. Eleven months later, Germany surrendered.

 

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1. The code name of the invasion was Operation Overlord.

 

2. It took 288 days of planning and lasted 85 days.

 

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3. Around 3,200 reconnaissance missions were undertaken prior to the landing.

 

 

4. An early copy of the invasion plans blew out of the window from a house in London. A man that was passing by handed them over, complaining that his sight was too bad to read anything.

 

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5. The invasion’s original date was set for June the 5th, but it had to be postponed due to bad weather.

 

6. Enormous armies of dummy planes, tanks and camps were constructed in places such as Kent and Essex in order to fool the Germans that the invasion would be at Calais.

 

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7. New devices had to be constructed for the invasion, such as the “swimming tank,” the flame-throwing tank” and collapsible motorbikes.

 

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8. There were many speculations about what D stood for  –  “doom,” “debarkation” or “deliverance,” for example. Later, it was revealed that it meant “Day.” It denoted the day on which the invasion commenced.

 

9. The fortifications and defences on the beaches, which were planned by General Rommel, included anti-tank obstacles, concrete gun emplacements, mines, barbed wire and around 50,000 Germans opposing the landing forces.

 

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10. Nazi Germany's leader, Adolf Hitler, was asleep when the information about the invasion arrived and no one was brave enough to wake up the fuhrer. History says that because of that, vital time was lost in sending reinforcements.

 

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