June 6, 1944

  •  United Kingdom
  •  United States
  •  Canada
  •  Australia
  • Belgium
  • Czechoslovakia
  •  Denmark
  •  Free France
  • Greece
  • Netherlands
  •  New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland

Commander, SHAEF: General Dwight D. Eisenhower
Commander, 21st Army Group: General Bernard Montgomery[72]

American zones

Commander, First Army (United States): Lieutenant General Omar Bradley[72]

The First Army contingent totalled approximately 73,000 men, including 15,600 from the airborne divisions.[13]

Utah Beach
Omaha Beach

British and Canadian zones

Royal Marine Commandos attached to 3rd Infantry Division move inland from Sword Beach, 6 June 1944

Commander, Second Army (Britain and Canada): Lieutenant General Sir Miles Dempsey[72]

Overall, the Second Army contingent consisted of 83,115 men, 61,715 of them British.[13] The nominally British air and naval support units included a large number of personnel from Allied nations, including several RAF squadrons manned almost exclusively by overseas air crew. For example, the Australian contribution to the operation included a regular Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) squadron, nine Article XV squadrons, and hundreds of personnel posted to RAF units and RN warships.[76] The RAF supplied two-thirds of the aircraft involved in the invasion.[77]

Gold Beach
Juno Beach
Sword Beach

79th armoured division badge.jpg 79th Armoured Division: Major General Percy Hobart[81] provided specialized armored vehicles which supported the landings on all beaches in Second Army’s sector.

“…Allied figures for D-Day casualties are contradictory, and German figures will necessarily remain inexact. Historian Stephen Ambrose cites 4,900 Allied troops killed, missing, and wounded.

  • The First U.S. Army, accounting for the first twenty-four hours in Normandy, tabulated 1,465 killed, 1,928 missing, and 6,603 wounded. The after-action report of U.S. VII Corps (ending 1 July) showed 22,119 casualties including 2,811 killed, 5,665 missing, 79 prisoners, and 13,564 wounded, including paratroopers.
  • Canadian forces at Juno Beach sustained 946 casualties, of whom 335 were listed as killed.
  • Surprisingly, no British figures were published, but Cornelius Ryan cites estimates of 2,500 to 3,000 killed, wounded, and missing, including 650 from the Sixth Airborne Division.
  • German sources vary between four thousand and nine thousand D-Day casualties on 6 June—a range of 125 percent. Field Marshal Erwin Rommel’s report for all of June cited killed, wounded, and missing of some 250,000 men, including twenty-eight generals.

By early July the Allied armies had captured 41,000 German troops while sustaining 60,771 casualties, including 8,975 dead. French losses in the Normandy campaign have been calculated at fifteen thousand civilian dead.

The total number of casualties that occurred during Operation Overlord, from June 6 (the date of D-Day) to August 30 (when German forces retreated across the Seine) was over 425,000 Allied and German troops. This figure includes over 209,000 Allied casualties:

  • Nearly 37,000 dead amongst the ground forces
  • 16,714 deaths amongst the Allied air forces.
  • Of the Allied casualties, 83,045 were from 21st Army Group (British, Canadian and Polish ground forces)
  • 125,847 from the US ground forces….”