June 6, 1944
Operation Neptune was a jointly planned strategy between the British, Canadian and American governments for establishing an allied foothold in continental Europe. The Allies carried out several espionage operations as part of Operation Bodyguard, intended to convince the Germans that allied attacks on Europe were being planned, but in the wrong places and at the wrong times. To accomplish these goals, allied troops faked attacks and invasions in several key locations across Europe. Operation Bodyguard had limited success; the Germans only responded to a few of the operations. On June 6, 1944, a little after midnight, Allied troops began implementation of Operation Overlord, which was the codename for the invasion of Normandy, the real Allies’ real intention. June 6, 1944 became popularly known as D-Day, after the military term for the day of an intended operation. The attack began with paratroopers landing behind German lines. Infantry and tanks then stormed the five targeted beaches along Normandy’s coast: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. The United States took beaches Utah and Omaha. At the end of the day, the Allies suffered 12,000 casualties while the Germans sustained casualties ranging anywhere from 4,000 to 9,000 troops. The Allies lost more soldiers because the tactic they used to storm the beaches mainly involved throwing wave after wave of foot soldiers at the German defenses until they broke through.