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France / Themed route

Along the D-day beaches

156.03 km


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6 June 1944 entered history under the now legendary name of D-Day, the Allied landings on the beaches of Normandy. It was the most dramatic part of Operation Overlord, that marked the beginning of the liberation of German-occupied Western Europe.

A fleet of over 6900 vessels was required to land the assault forces of more than 156000 men on five beaches, that received code names (from west to east) Utah and Omaha (U.S.), Gold (British), Juno (Canadian) and Sword (British). About 24000 airborne troops were also deployed in order to take control of strategic points and to prevent German attacks on the flanks of the assault forces ashore.

Despite poor weather conditions and fierce resistance from German units the operations were successful. On the evening of 6 June 1944, the Allies had gained a foothold on all five beaches.

The German defenders were uncertain how to respond. D-Day was mostly an Anglo-American effort: British, U.S. and Canadian troops made up most of the numbers, but no less than 17 Allied countries participated on the ground, the sea and in the air.

The landings of 6 June 1944 entered history under the now legendary name of D-Day.

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