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Daks Over Normandy - D-Day '75

June 6th 1944: the war in Europe had turned in the favour of Allied forces in the five years since Neville Chamberlain announced that Britain and France would lead a second conflict against German led Axis forces after the invasion of Poland.

In little over a year National Socialist Germany (aka the Nazis) had swiftly used their "Blitzkrieg" tactics to invade France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, Poland and Norway, leaving the British fighting for survival.

After the Battle of Britain in 1940, Germany refocused efforts the following year on the Russian Front and defending their North African empire from British Special Force sabotage. At the end of 1941, the United States of America joined the war after the Japanese surprise attack of Pearl Harbour.

By 1944, Italy had fallen out of the war with the Fascist Government lead by Bunito Mussolini fighting a civil war with a growing Italian movement who felt the war wasn't going to help them after the Allies landed in Sicily in mid-1943. The German forces in Africa had been defeated by this time, leaving the Germans fending off advancing and vengeful Russian forces as they broke out of Russia and began charging through Poland, Latvia, Hungary and Czechoslovakia, and in June 1944, the once mighty Third Reich was facing attack by the Russians from the east and from the West, a combined allied attack on France was imminent.

Operation Overlord was confirmed for June 6th 1944, and was to be led by the Americans, British, French and Canadians. Other countries that provided various support roles in the Air and Sea for the invasion included: Poland, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway and Denmark.

Known since as the 'Longest Day', the invasion of France from the United Kingdom remains the largest military invasion for 100 years. The allies landed on five Normandy beaches: Omaha and Utah with the US Forces, Sword and Gold with British Forces (aided by Commonwealth nations) and the Canadians landed on Juno beach. The worst casualties were seen on a heavily defended Omaha beach. By the time the invasion ended officially on August 30th 1944 when the Allies liberated Paris, the mission had seen at the highest estimates around 39,000 people killed, including Allied, Axis and Civilian casualties.

75 years on, the D-Day landings and the subsequent battle for Normandy has been the subject of remembrance across the Allied countries and included extensive media coverage. However with the 75th Anniversary coming on June 6th 2019, this was considered to be the last time a suitable tribute to the sadly dwindling number of veterans could be mounted.