The D-Day invasion — 156,000 U.S., British and Canadian forces storming five beaches along 50 miles of the Normandy region of France — took place 72 years ago on Monday. Many lives were lost that day, including an estimated 2,000 Americans on Omaha Beach (aka Bloody Omaha) alone. Celebrations will take place throughout Normandy in honor of their sacrifice and heroism. You can mark the anniversary in your own home by watching Band of Brothers (HBO Go) or reading or watching The Longest Day.
US troops on the Esplanade in Weymouth, England, on their way to embark on ships bound for Omaha Beach for the D-Day landings in Normandy in June of 1944.
Boats full of United States troops waiting to leave Weymouth, Southern England, to take part in Operation Overlord in Normandy, June 1944.
D-Day, the invasion of France, June 6, 1944. American craft of all styles at Omaha Beach, Normandy, during the first stages of the Allied invasion.
Place Du Marche
The body of a dead German soldier lies in the main square of Place Du Marche after the town was taken by U.S. troops who landed at nearby Omaha Beach in Trevieres, France, June 15, 1944.
A crashed U.S. fighter plane on the waterfront some time after Canadian forces came ashore on a Juno Beach D-Day landing zone in Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer, France, in June 1944.
‘Nan Red’ Beach, JUNO Area
The British 2nd Army: Royal Marine Commandos of Headquarters, 4th Special Service Brigade, making their way from their landing craft onto ‘Nan Red’ Beach, JUNO Area, at St Aubin-sur-Mer at about 9 am on, 6 June 1944.
Troops of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division landing at Juno Beach on the outskirts of Bernieres-sur-Mer on D-Day, June 6, 1944. 14,000 Canadian soldiers were put ashore and 340 lost their lives in the battles for the beachhead.
American troops stand by with stores on Omaha Beach after the D-day landings. Click to see this view of Omaha Beach on May 6, 2014, near Vierville sur Mer, France.
Members of an American landing party assist troops whose landing craft was sunk by enemy fire off Omaha beach, near Colleville sur Mer, on June 6, 1944.
Queen Red’ Beach, SWORD Area
The British 2nd Army, Commandos of 1st Special Service Brigade land on ‘Queen Red’ Beach, SWORD Area, at la Breche, at approximately 8:40 am, on June 6, 1944.
Juno Beach (Bernieres Sector)
A large number of German prisoners are gathered on the beach of Bernieres-sur-Mer in June of 1944. They are guarded by British soldiers from the 2nd Army on Juno Beach (Bernieres sector), Normandy, France.
The Cliffs of Pointe du Hoc
After the assault at the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc by the 2nd Ranger Battalion (D, E and F Company) Colonel James E. Rudder establishes a Post Commando in June of 1944. German prisoners are gathered and an American flag is deployed for signaling. Omaha Beach, Normandy, France.
St Mere Eglise
A French armored column passes through the small French town of St Mere Eglise during the Allied invasion of Normandy, getting a warm welcome from the inhabitants.
Greenham Common Airfield in England
Allied forces Supreme Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower speaks with U.S. Army paratroopers of Easy Company, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment (Strike) of the 101st Airborne Division, at Greenham Common Airfield in England, on June 5, 1944.
A view of a town square, stockpiled with supplies and ammunition earmarked for the impending D-Day invasion of France, Moreton-in-Marsh, England, May 1944.
The Church of Saint Georges de Basly
Three soldiers of the 23rd Field Ambulance, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, place flowers on graves in June of 1944. In the background is the church of Saint Georges de Basly. In the four temporary graves are a Scottish, a Canadian and two French civilians, in Saint Georges de Basly, Normandy, France.
United States Army trucks and jeeps drive through the ruins of Saint-Lo in July of 1944. A group of American soldiers is walking along the street. The town was almost totally destroyed by 2,000 Allied bombers when they attacked German troops stationed there during Operation Overlord.
A group of American soldiers stand at the village fountain on June 12, 1944. A woman is walking away with two pitchers while three children are watching the scene, and an old man is fetching water next to a GI expected to wash his bowls. Sainte-Marie-du-Mont was liberated by a group of paratroopers of the 501st and 506th Regiments of the 101st Airborne Division.
Notre-Dame Nativity Church, in Bernieres-sur-Mer
A Canadian soldier directs traffic in front of the Notre-Dame Nativity church, in Bernieres-sur-Mer, on June 6, 1944.