"…You are about to embark upon the great crusade toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you...I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle…”
~ General Eisenhower, just before the D-Day Invasion
Operation Overlord, 06 June 1944
Today marks the 69th Aniversary of Operation Overlord, aka "D-Day", the date of the Allied amphibious invasion of Nazi-occupied France at Normandy.
It was a staggeringly large and complex affair, moving inconceivable tons of equippment and over 150,000 personnel across the unpredictable English Channel. It required hundreds of ships and aircraft, coordination between several nations' armies and navies and air forces, and an unprecidented logistical challange.
It cost tens of thousands their lives but ultimately broke through the formidible "Atlantic Wall" and opened a second front in Europe, releaving the hard-pressed Soviet military which had so far borne the brunt of the European ground war for years. It marked the beginning of the final act of the Nazi Gotterdammerung, whose eventual doom had likely been sewn at Stalingrad two years earlier.
The sacrifices of the brave men, who helped ensure the freedom of millions for generations, still has resonance and relevancy today.
Lest we forget...