Until the very last minute, the place of invasion – Normandy- was the most heavily guarded secret on the planet.
Even the units conducting the initial assaults did not know the locations of their landings.
Surprise was crucial since Germany had 55 divisions in France – the Allies could transport no more than 8 divisions on D-Day morning.
It is estimated that nearly 2 million soldiers, sailors and airmen were involved in Operation Overlord, including S., British, and Canadians who were scheduled to fight after men on the ground secured a Normandy.
The United States contributed 73,000 troops, Britain 62,000 and Canada 21,000.
195,000 naval personnel manned 6,939 naval vessels (including 1,200 warships and 15 hospital ships).
About 17 million maps supported the mission. Training maps used fake names.
The United States shipped 7 million tons of supplies (that translates into 14 billion pounds of material).
Of those supplies, ammunition accounted for 448,000 tons.
Air-support operations – often overlooked in the success of D-Day – sustained significant losses: Between the 1st of April and the 5th of June, 1944, the Allies flew 14,000 missions losing 12,000 airmen and 2,000 aircraft.
127 more planes were lost on D-Day.
By the end of the Normandy campaign, 28,000 airmen were dead.
Of the 1,213 warships involved, 200 were American and 892 were British; of the 4,126 landing craft involved, 805 were American and 3,261 were British.
Instead of two days, it took Germany’s 2nd Waffen SS Division two weeks to reach the front. Allied air power, Eisenhower’s spies and French Resistance contacts all contributed to that result.
Losses to frontline troops were proportionally worse during the 77-day Normandy campaign than they were during the major battles along the Western Front during World War I.
There are 9,386 graves in the American cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer. Each grave faces west, toward America.
307 of those graves contain the remains of “unknown” soldiers.
1,557 names are listed in The Garden of the Missing for those who were never found.
4,868 British dead are buried in the Bayeux Cemetery.
1,837 British names are listed at Bayeux for those who were never found.
There were 946 Canadian casualties in the Normandy.
21,500 German dead are buried at La Cambe.
By the end of the Normandy campaign the Germans were hemorrhaging men and machines, with two armies all but destroyed.