Today is the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings at Normandy in France.
While the country — and indeed the world — is rightly busy commemorating this incredible event in our history, there have been some great tales of heroism emerging.
Here, the “Friend” takes a look at some of the stories that caught our eye over the past few days.
This anniversary has been an especially emotional one, with many veterans of the conflict expecting it will be their last. Some have chosen to defy their age and mark the event in a pretty spectacular way: by parachuting in!
But it wasn’t just combat troops that made the D-Day Landings possible. Here’s an intriguing story of how important weathermen were in the planning and execution of the operation.
Despite the bravery of everyone involved, we were interested to read that Sgt Major Stanley Elton Hollis was the only man awarded a Victoria Cross for his actions that day.
And finally, a local connection: here’s the story of Phyllis Henninger, a Dundee nurse who served in one of the first field hospitals established after the Allied victory.
D-Day In Numbers
D-Day was the largest military operation in human history. Just a few of the staggering numbers involved put it into perspective:
- 18,000 troops paratroopers dropped into the invasion area shortly after midnight on June 6, 1944
- Allied air forces flew more than 14,000 missions in support of the landings
- Nearly 7,000 naval vessels were involved, including everything from landing craft to battleships and destroyers
- More than 150,000 troops landed on the five designated beaches (Juno, Sword, Gold, Utah and Omaha)
- Troops from a number of countries took part (including the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia, Belgium, Czechoslovakia*, the Netherlands, France, Greece, New Zealand, Norway, Rhodesia** and Poland)
*Now the Czech Republic/Slovakia
Have you scrolled through our amazing interactive timeline? It picks out major historical events from all throughout our 150 years in print — including D-Day.