Despite their surprise, Germans reacted very quickly to the landing and the fighting was of extreme harshness.
The operation was conducted in four phases :
- The dropping of 18 000 the paratroopers 5 June to dusk, before the moon rises, at both ends of the area provided for the
landing : around Sainte-Mère-Église and Bénouville (Pegasus
- In the middle of the night, the moon rose, aerial bombardment of
German coastal defenses (2 500 bombers) dump 8 000 tons
- The arrival of 137 warships 15 km offshore, at sunrise, towards
4 h 30 ; artillery duel between the two camps.
- The landing of men, gathered on 4 000 boats, give
the assault to the five designated beaches depending on the time of the tide : the
Americans at Omaha and Utah from 6 h 30, British Gold from 7 h 25, British and 177 French Kieffer Commando Sword from 7 h 30, and finally the Canadians at Juno from 7 h 55. Same scenario in waves on all beaches : the first wave arrives infantry, deminers tanks and bulldozers, the second leads reinforcements and engineering units, see the following waves arrive artillery units and vehicles.
(Source : Galilee : The long sobs of the violins © CNDP 1999)