On June 6, 1944, Allied forces under the overall command of General Dwight D. Eisenhower–shown here paying an eleventh-hour visit to the men of the U.S. 101st Airborne Division–landed on five beachheads in Normandy, France. In addition, U.S. and British airborne forces landed behind the German lines and U.S. Army Rangers scaled the cliffs at Pointe de Hoc. By the end of the day, the Allies had established a tenuous beachhead that would lead to an offensive that pinned Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich between two pincers–the Western Allies and the already advancing Soviets–accelerating the end of World War II.
Photo: National Archives
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