World War Two: D-Day, The Invasion of Normandy

The D-Day operation of June 6, 1944 brought together the land, air and sea forces of the allied armies in what became known as the largest invasion force in human history. The operation, given the code name OVERLORD, delivered five naval assault divisions to the beaches of Normandy, France. The beaches were given the code names UTAH, OMAHA, GOLD, JUNO and SWORD. The invasion force included 7,000 ships and landing craft manned by over 195,000 naval personnel from eight allied countries. Almost 133,000 troops from England, Canada and the United States landed on D-Day. Casualties from the three countries during the landing numbered 10,300. By June 30th, over 850,000 men, 148,000 vehicles, and 570-000-tons of supplies had landed on the Normandy shores. Fighting by the brave soldiers, sailors and airmen of the allied forces western front, and Russian forces on the eastern front, led to the defeat of German Nazi forces. On May 7, 1945, German General Alfred Jodl signed an unconditional surrender at Reims, France.
  1. Documents
  2. Photographs
  3. Additional Information

Order of the Day, June 6, 1944


General Eisenhower's determination that operation OVERLORD (the invasion of France) would bring a quick end to the war is obvious in this message to the troops of the Allied Expeditionary Forces on June 6, 1944, the morning of the invasion.

"Order of the Day" - Statement as Issued to the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force on June 6, 1944 (PDF) [Museum Manuscripts transferred to the Library FY69, Box 1; NAID Number 12000995]

"Order of the Day" - Draft of Statement (PDF) [Ray W Barker Papers, 1942-46, Box 1, Papers Pertaining to COSSAC and SHAEF, 1942-1945 (1); NAID Number 12010107]

In Case of Failure of the D-Day Operation


Following the decision for the cross channel invasion, General Eisenhower wrote a press release on a pad of paper, to be used if necessary. The handwritten message by General Eisenhower, the "In Case of Failure message," is mistakenly dated "July" 5 instead of "June" 5.

In Case of Failure Message (PDF) [Eisenhower's Pre-Presidential Papers, Principal File, Box 168, Butcher Diary June 28 - July 14, 1944 (2); NAID Number 186470]


Prelude to Operation Overlord


The Trident Conference, May 1943 (PDF) [Combined Chiefs of Staff: Conference Proceedings, Box 2, Trident Conference May 1943 Papers and Minutes of Meetings; NAID Number 12005142]

The Quadrant Conference, August 1943 (PDF) [Combined Chiefs of Staff: Conference Proceedings, Box 2, Quadrant Conference August 1943 Papers and Minutes of Meetings; NAID Number 12005143]

Harry Butcher, Naval Aide to General Eisenhower, Diary Entry, October 5, 1943 (PDF) [Eisenhower's Pre-Presidential Papers, Principal File, Box 167, Diary-Butcher October 1 - December 30 1943 (1); NAID Number 12004922]

The Sextant and Eureka Conferences, November-December 1943 (PDF) [Combined Chiefs of Staff: Conference Proceedings, Box 2, Sextant Conference November-December 1943 Papers and Minutes of Meetings; NAID Number 12005144]

Handwritten Note From President Roosevelt to Marshal Stalin Appointing General Eisenhower to Command Operation Overlord. General George Marshall Added a Note to Eisenhower on December 7, 1943 (PDF) [Copy on display in Eisenhower Museum]

Overlord - Anvil Papers, December 1943 - April 1944 Part 1 (PDF) [Walter Bedell Smith Collection of World War II Documents, Box 21, Overlord-Anvil 1; NAID Number 12009137]

Overlord - Anvil Papers, December 1943 - April 1944 Part 2 (PDF) [Walter Bedell Smith Collection of World War II Documents, Box 21, Overlord-Anvil 6; NAID Number 12005073]

Operation Policy Memoranda, January 29, 1944 (PDF) [DDE's Pre-Presidential Papers, Box 136, Conferences Supreme Commanders (Jan-June 1944); NAID Number 12005223]

British Assault Area - Naval Operation Orders, May 15, 1944 (PDF) [Walter Bedell Smith Collection of World War II Documents, Box 48, British Assault Area - Naval Operation Orders Operation 1; NAID Number 12004565]

Minutes of the SCAEF 21st Meeting, June 2, 1944 (PDF)
[DDE's Pre-Presidential Papers, Box 136, Conferences Supreme Commanders (Jan-June 1944); NAID Number 12004923]

Conditions in Normandy, June 3, 1944 (PDF) [DDE's Pre-Presidential Papers, Box 137, Crusade In Europe (Documents) (3); NAID Number 12005079]

Reports


Report of the 8th Air Force, Normandy Invasion, June 2-17, 1944 (PDF) [Walter Bedell Smith Collection of World War II Documents, Box 48, Eight Air Force Tactical Operations in Support of Allied Landings in Normandy June February 17, 1944 (1); NAID Number 12005069]

Report of the Amphibious Operations, Invasion of Northern France, Western Task Force, United States Fleet, June 1944 (PDF) [Walter Bedell Smith Collection of World War II Documents, Box 48, Amphibious Operations Invasion of Northern France - Western Task Force June 1944; NAID Number 12005066]

Report of the 82nd Airborne Division, "Operation Neptune" at Normandy, June 6 - July 8, 1944 (PDF) [U.S. Army Unit Records, Box 6, 82nd Airborne Division in Normandy France - Operation Neptune; NAID Number 12004816]

After Action Report, 115th Infantry, June 1944 (PDF) [U.S. Army Unit Records, Box 867, 115th Infantry Regiment After Action Report June 1944; NAID Number 12004462]

After Action Report, Headquarters, 22nd Infantry, July 21, 1944 (PDF) [U.S. Army Unit Records, Box 791, HQ 22nd Infantry Regiment After Action Report June 1944; NAID Number 12004463]

SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces) Messages


SHAEF Incoming Message from General Eisenhower to General Marshall concerning the first reports of the Normandy landing, June 6, 1944 (PDF) [DDE's Pre-Presidential Papers, Box 133, Cables Official (GCM/DDE February 19 - October 18, 1944) (4); NAID Number 594652]

SHAEF Message from General Eisenhower reporting on the D-Day landing area, June 8, 1944 (PDF) [DDE's Pre-Presidential Papers, Box 130, Cables-(C.C.S. October 1943 - July 1945) (2); NAID Number 12009139]

Journal Entries


Journal Entries From the 16th Infantry Regiment Journal, June 6-17, 1944 (PDF) [U.S. Army Unit Records, Box 1264, 16th Infantry Regiment Journal June June 17, 1944; NAID Number 12004868]