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.

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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.

13 PHOTOS
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 is controversial to this day.

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.

AP
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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 loy-flying aircraft, float overhead.

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.

U.S. Navy - Naval Historical Center
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Troops on a landing craft approach a Normandy beach.

Approaching the beach

Troops on a landing craft approach a Normandy beach.

U.S. Navy - Naval Historical Center
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Coast Guardsmen rescue two survivors after their vessel was hit off Normandy on June 6, 1944.

Rescue at sea

Coast Guardsmen rescue two survivors after their vessel was hit off Normandy on June 6, 1944.

U.S. Navy - Naval Historical Center
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U.S. Navy PT boats cross the English Channel as B-1s, known as Flying Fortresses, fly overhead.

PT boats

U.S. Navy patrol torpedo boats cross the English Channel as B-1s, known as Flying Fortresses, fly overhead.

U.S. Navy - Naval Historical Center
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Forward guns of the USS Nevada (BB-36) fire on shoreline positions during the landings on Utah Beach.

Forward guns

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. 

Naval Historical Center / U.S. Navy
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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.

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.

U.S. Army via AP
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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.

Utah Beach

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.

U.S. Army via AP
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U.S. soldiers of the 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, move over the Utah Beach seawall during the invasion.

Over the seawall

U.S. soldiers of the 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, move over the Utah Beach seawall during the invasion.

U.S. Navy - Naval Historical Center
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Sitting in the cover of their foxholes, American soldiers of the Allied Expeditionary Force 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.

Foxholes

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.

Weston Hayes / Office of War Information
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Prisoners of war sit inside a specially constructed enclosure on Utah Beach.

POWs

Prisoners of war sit inside a specially constructed enclosure on Utah Beach.

U.S. Navy - Naval Historical Center
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Army wounded 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 wounded

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.

U.S. Navy - Naval Historical Center
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Image: 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

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.

Photos: Normandy ceremonies honor D-Day soldiers

Time Life Pictures / Getty file
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