Thursday, June 6, 2019

D-Day: The Largest Seaborne Invasion In World History

If you've followed this blog for any amount of time, you know I love infographics. I found a very appropriate one that helps put June 6, 1944, D-Day, the invasion of Normandy into perspective.

I found this infographic on The Sitrep and it came from a BBC guide to D-Day.

Stephen Green gives another perspective on the numbers involved.
I want you to imagine picking up every resident of a medium-sized city, everything they'll need to eat and drink and rest for a few days, any vehicles they might need, gasoline, of course, plus lots of guns and ammo -- did I mention this was a hunting trip? -- and then moving them all in a few short hours a distance of anywhere from 30 to 125 miles or so.

Now imagine you have to move all those people and all that stuff partly by air, but mostly across heavy seas in foul weather.

Under enemy fire.

I should also mention that if you messed up any of the big details, a lot of your people are going to die, and then you're going to have to figure out how to move them all back without getting too many more of them killed.

And all that is just the beginning. Because once you've done all that, those men on that "hunting trip" are going to have to take and widen a beachhead big enough and secure enough that you can rebuild (or build from scratch!) the ports and roads necessary to bring another million men over... plus all the additional stuff all those additional men will need.


  1. Torch in November, 1942 (except in the air part) was just as big and most of that invasion force traveled across the Atlantic Ocean. Most of the US Army sailed from the US east coast. And the rest, with the UK troops, sailed from the UK. The main difference being Torch went to North Africa and is largely forgotten today.

    1. Rick Atkinson's The Army at Dawn has a great discussion of it.

  2. Operation Neptune was the Navy contribution, plus more than a few 'independent' actions by various cox'n and Destroyer COs to help the guys on shore. Flat firing 5" guns DO work a number on a pillbox.