Remembering the valor of unsung heroes fought at battle Normandy

Remembering the valor of unsung heroes fought at battle Normandy

The allied forces of the United States, Canada, and Britain stormed in Normandy to liberate from German troops. (Photo | Smith Collection/ Gado)
The Allied forces launched a counter-attack to liberate Western Europe from Nazi control

World War II (1939-1945) witnessed many great battles but few of them has left an imprint on the mind of people. It is believed the battle fought at northern France’s Normandy region to liberate against the massive Nazi control. The operation was called by the allied forces of the United States, Britain, and Canada. 6 June 2020, marks the 76 anniversary of the operation D-Day or Normandy invasion. It is said ‘the beginning of the end of World War II’ came on 6 June 1944. The allied forces with 156,000 troops which include paratroopers, glider infantry launch an operation codenamed Overload, which began on 6 June 1944. The invasion is believed to be one of the largest military amphibious assaults on the enemy.

The mission success charge was given to General Dwight Eisenhower who was appointed as a Commander of Operation Overload in January 1944. Before the battle began on the eve of 5 June 2020, the commander has a message for all his men who are going to invade France:

Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force: You are about to embark upon the great crusade, towards which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hope and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped, and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944! The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to victory. I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory! Good luck! And let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking. 

– Gen. Dwight Eisenhower

The day finally arrived for the soldiers to show their bravery against the massive Nazi’s Germany troops. By the dawn on 6 June,  all the allied forces along with paratrooper were behind the enemy’s line. The invasion to liberate Normandy started at 6:30 am. In order to transport more artillery to secure northern France, the allied forces have to clear the five beaches from the Nazi soldiers. The codenamed of beaches were Omaha, Utah, Gold, Juno, and Sword. The war continued for six days resulting in the win of allied forces (Canada, United States, Britain) on 11 June. It is estimated around 4,000 troops lost their lives in order to liberate Normandy and thousands remain wounded. The Normandy defeat was a big blow to Hitler’s Germany. Less than a week later the reinforcement troops around 326,000 with 50,000 vehicles and 100,000 tons of equipment landed at Normandy. 

The US infantry Army men approaching Omaha beach at Normandy, France on 6 June, 1944. (Photo |Galerie Bilderwelt)

The march that started under the command of General Dwight Eisenhower moves forward and deep in France to liberate more cities from Nazi control. By the end of June, the allied forces seized vital ports of Cherbourg. About a quarter-million troops were on the ground which started from Normandy with 156,000 troops. By August, the allied forces with the help of the Soviet Union liberated Paris, concluding the battle Overload and restoring northwestern France from the control of German’s. The win of allied forces over Paris was a significant psychological blow for Hitler’s dream of capturing the world. The war ended with German troop’s unconditional surrender and Hitler’s suicide on 30 April. 

The battle of Normandy is one of the few battles that turned the momentum of the war. There were many heroes who sacrificed their lives for liberating us. The D-Day is considered to be America’s one of the best battles. According to some estimates, about half of the casualties were from the American side. Today, for the first time since June 1944, due to the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic the celebration of D-Day will be not the same. But still remembering the valor of the soldiers, we can celebrate their bravery with which they fought the battle of Normandy for freeing up against the Nazi’s.

There were many heroes in the battle of Normandy, but remembering few of them who were awarded the ‘Medal of Honor’.

  • PVT Carlton W. Barrett
  • 1LT Jimmie W. Monteith Jr.
  • T/5 John J. Pinder Jr.
  • BG Theodore Rossevelt Jr.
  • PFC Charles N. DeGlopper
  • T/SGT Frank D. Peregory
  • PVT Joe Gandara
  • SSG Walter D. Ehlers
  • SSG Arthur F. Defranzo
  • LTC Robert G. Cole
  • 2LT John E. Butts
  • CPL John D. kelly
  • 1LT Carlos C. Ogden
  • SGT Hulon B. Washington
  • SGT Hohn D. Hawk
  • Matt Urban


Saket Singh

Saket Singh

Journalism student at IIMC. Ex- Automobile engineer.

Saket Singh

Journalism student at IIMC. Ex- Automobile engineer.

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