75 years ago: Photos from the D-Day invasion
In the early hours of June 6, 1944, more than 150,000 allied troops set off to begin the assault on Normandy.
From the air...
U.S. paratroopers fix their static lines ahead of a pre-dawn jump over Normandy on D-Day.
The parachute troops were assigned one of the most difficult tasks of the initial operation -- a night jump behind enemy lines five hours before the coastal landings. The decision to launch the airborne attack in darkness instead of waiting for first light remains controversial.
From the sea...
A convoy of infantry transport ships head toward the Normandy beaches on June 6, 1944, as seen from the USS Ancon. Barrage balloons, which defend against attack from low-flying aircraft, float overhead.
The invasion, codenamed Operation Overlord and commanded by U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, remains the largest amphibious assault in history and involved almost 7,000 ships and landing craft along a 50-mile stretch of the French coast. It ultimately led to the liberation of western Europe from the Nazi regime.
Approaching the beach
Troops on a landing craft approach a Normandy beach.
Rescue at sea
Coast Guardsmen rescue two survivors after their vessel was hit off Normandy on June 6, 1944.
U.S. Navy patrol torpedo boats cross the English Channel as B-1s, known as Flying Fortresses, fly overhead.
The USS Nevada fires on shoreline positions during the landings on Utah Beach.
The Nevada was the only ship present at Pearl Harbor and the Normandy invasion.
Into the water
While under attack from heavy machine gun fire from the German coastal defense forces, American soldiers wade ashore off the ramp of a U.S. Coast Guard landing craft.
Members of an American landing unit help their exhausted comrades ashore.
The men reached the zone code-named Utah Beach, near Sainte-Mere-Eglise, on a life raft, after their landing craft was hit and sunk by German coastal defenses.
Over the seawall
U.S. soldiers of the 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, move over the Utah Beach seawall during the invasion.
American soldiers of the Allied Expeditionary Force sit in the cover of their foxholes as they secure a beachhead during the initial Normandy landing operations.
In the background, amphibious tanks and other equipment crowd the beach, while landing craft bring more troops and material ashore.
Prisoners of war sit inside a specially constructed enclosure on Utah Beach.
Injured soldiers are given cigarettes and food on Omaha Beach.
The U.S. 1st Infantry Division suffered 2,500 casualties on the first day of the invasion.
The next day
A massive landing and deployment of U.S. troops, supplies and equipment on the day after the victorious D-Day action on Omaha Beach, Arromanches-les-Bains, France.