Today, June 6th, 2017, marks the 73rd anniversary of D-Day, the largest seaborne military operation the world has ever seen. The Allied forces, consisting of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Free France, Greece, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and Poland, launched “Operation Overlord”, an attack against Nazi Germany on mainland Europe. By August, Northern France had been liberated thanks to the thousands of troops who stormed the beaches on June 6th. Northern France had been occupied since 1940.
In military terminology, “D-Day” is the day on which any given combat operation begins. Therefore there has been more than one D-Day throughout history, but “Operation Overlord” is the most famous of these. The “D” in “D-Day” does not stand for anything.
In recent years, investigations into the casualties have increased the number of killed to over 4,400 on D-Day, including 2,600 American soldiers. More than 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion. The sacrifice of those men was recognized earlier this week at ceremonies held at Sainte-Mere Eglise, France.
In 1944, getting news from the war meant many Minnesotans were listening to the radio. Here’s what was heard that day on WCCO.