The War Heritage Institute remembers D-Day
On June 6, 1944 a major event was to mark a turning-point in the Second World War in Western Europe: D-Day or the Normandy Landing.
The Western Allies indeed organized a maritime landing supported by violent aerial or naval bombings and by airborne forces. Objective: to open a new front with the aim of putting an end to the German occupation of Europe. Three airborne divisions were dropped overnight and at daybreak some 156,000 allied soldiers landed on the 5 Normandy beaches selected for the operation. They had to face nearly 40,000 entrenched German soldiers defending the sector. Success came at a price: more than 4,400 allied fighters lost their lives for the establishment of a bridge-head that would lead to the liberation of France, Belgium and The Netherlands in the following months, before marching on Germany. Between 5,000 and 9,000 German soldiers also died. In the two weeks following the landing the Allies paid a heavy tribute (over 40,000 military casualties) in order to progress 10 km, as resistance was fierce.
Today the War Heritage Institute commemorates all casualties, be they civilian or military. They fell on this terrible day and in the following weeks and months in order to protect democracy, peace and liberty in Europe and in the world against Nazi barbarism.