Invasion of Normandy

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Social Studies
World War II

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Invasion of Normandy

Invasion of Normandy - 1944

D-Day, the day the Western Allies stormed the beaches at Normandy, France to push back the Axis forces.

Time Line



Canadian, British and American forces are concentrated on the south coast of England. The camps are sealed and no one can enter or leave without special authorization.

The main invasion force lands on five sectors or beaches codenamed (from west to east) Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. It is a five-division front spread over 80 kilometres along the Normandy coast. By day’s end, the Allies land more than 130,000 men and almost 6,000 vehicles by sea. Another 23,400 are landed by air. Total casualties are about half of the 20,000 feared.

Canadians fight their way into Falaise. Soon, most of the German forces in Normandy (between 150,000 and 200,000 men) are trapped in a pocket. Thousands of Germans manage to escape as the opening in the pocket is closed even tighter. In a few days the gap will be firmly shut and the enemy will be either defeated or on the run.

Allied bombers cause extensive damage to the city of Caen. British and Canadian troops get into the streets. The Germans retreat from the northern part of the city and set up defensive positions across the Orne River. Caen is soon liberated.

The plan to invade France is endorsed during the Quebec Conference attended by Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.


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