June 6, 1944. The largest air, land, and sea operation ever undertaken. Over 150,000 men, 5,000 ships, and 11,000 planes. It was the beginning of the end for Hitler.

After years of meticulous planning and seemingly endless training, for the Allied Forces, it all came down to this: The boat ramp goes down, then jump, swim, run, and crawl to the cliffs. Many of the first young men (most not yet 20 years old) entered the surf carrying eighty pounds of equipment. They faced over 200 yards of beach before reaching the first natural feature offering any protection. Blanketed by small-arms fire and bracketed by artillery, they found themselves in hell.

When it was over, the Allied Forces had suffered nearly 10,000 casualties; more than 4,000 were dead. Yet somehow, due to planning and preparation, and due to the valor, fidelity, and sacrifice of the Allied Forces, Fortress Europe had been breached.

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d-day map

Google, on the other hand, has this logo up today:

velazquez

honoring artist Diego Velazquez, whose baptismal day was this date in 1599. His actual birthdate is unknown, but presumed to be shortly before the baptismal date. The painting is Las Meninas (1656, English: The Maids of Honour).

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