June 6th 1944 was truly one of the most momentous days in history, certainly in modern history, and every minute was packed.
The entire armada was underway June 5 and the first pathfinders, paratroops dropped first to mark the landing zones, were on the ground at midnight. The British began their coup de main on Pegasus Bridge just at midnight and by 1 a.m. three divisions of Allied paratroops were landing and already engaged.
With first light came landings on Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha and Utah beaches. Not to mention shore bombardment and aerial assault. All or part of eight infantry and airborne divisions landed, not to mention Rangers and Commandos. Five thousand ships and five thousand planes took part in the assault.
Some of the beaches were easily taken, Omaha hung in the balance through the morning. Stephen Ambrose says that 90 percent of the first wave onto Omaha was killed or wounded and there was some consideration given to diverting to other beaches. But American troops got off that beach.
Yes, a day to remember, a day that probably saved millions of lives at the cost of thousands. A day that saved Europe. A day to remember.