History Series: D-Day

History of D-Day: 80 Years Ago

The Battle that turned the tide of World War II

Bill Petro
ILLUMINATION
Published in
7 min readJun 5, 2024

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Normandy Invasion, Omaha Beach. Image: Wikipedia

Why has D-Day captured the imagination of American consciousness for over three-quarters of a century?

Eighty years ago, on June 6, 1944, the Allies launched an offensive on the Normandy coast of France to liberate continental Europe from the Nazi German occupation. On Twitter/X, the hashtag is #DDay80

D-Day was the largest invasion by sea in history, literally turning the tide. It was the beginning of the end of the War. General Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of Allied Forces, sent the troops out that day:

“You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle.”

Progress of D-Day Campaign

Within two months, the 77-day Normandy campaign led to the liberation of France and, in less than a year, to the defeat of the Nazi forces and the end of World War II in Europe. Between these two events, my father visited Paris while his US Army division was moving through France toward the Battle of the Bulge and the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp in Germany.

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Bill Petro
ILLUMINATION

Writer, historian, technologist. Former Silicon Valley tech exec. Author of fascinating articles on history, tech, pop culture, & travel. https://billpetro.com