Timeline: How D-Day unfolded 70 years ago | June 6, 1944

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Timeline: How D-Day unfolded 70 years ago

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Army troops wade ashore on Omaha Beach (U.S. Coast Guard Collection) Army troops wade ashore on Omaha Beach (U.S. Coast Guard Collection)
It's been 70 years since the D-Day invasion on the beaches of Normandy, France. On June 6, 1944, over 150,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches to free Europe from the hold of Nazi Germany. More than 5,000 ships and 11,000 aircraft supported the invasion, and by the end of the day, the Allies had gained a foothold on the coast of France.

More than 100,000 soldiers began the march across Europe to eventually defeat Adolf Hitler.

The cost was high, however; more than 12,000 Allied soldiers were killed or wounded.

In their own words:
 
  
Here's a timeline of how the D-Day invasion unfolded, starting at midnight local time:


0000: First American & British airborne troops begin to land.

0100: First Navy hands ordered to man battle stations. Landing craft begin to be lowered into the water. Newly landed paratroopers cut phone lines and knock down telephone poles.

0200: First bombers take off from England to attack targets around the beachhead.

0300: Gliders begin to reinforce paratroops behind enemy lines.

0309: German radar detects Allied invasion fleet. Admiral Krancke orders shore batteries to prepare for invasion.

0330: Assault troops begin boarding landing craft.

0348: German E-boat flotillas and two armed trawlers get under way.

0430: First P-47s take off.

0520: Sunrise. Bombers drop first bombs on German targets.

0535: German shore batteries open fire; Allied naval forces return fire.

0537: E-boats commanded by Adm. Kranche fire torpedoes at Allied destroyers.

0600: LCT launch their dual-drive tanks; many sink in the rough seas.

0620: Allied landing craft approach the beach.

0630: H-Hour on Utah, Omaha Beach; LCT 535 lands the first tanks on Omaha; 116th and 16th Infantry land at Omaha; Higgins boats near the beach; 8th Infantry Regiment lands at Utah Beach.

0641: USS Corry forced to abandon ship due to heavy gunfire and mine damage.

0645: Rangers assault Point-du-Hoc; 70th Tank Battalion begins to land at Utah.

0725: H-Hour for Sword Beach; British 3rd Division begins to land.

0735: British UDT and Royal Engineers land at Gold Beach, followed by Infantry from the 50th Division.

0800: 3rd Canadian Division lands at Juno Beach.

0830: LCM, LCT and LSTs land armor at Omaha.

0900: 2nd Ranger Battalion soldiers take Point-du-Hoc and defend it for the rest of the day.

0930: The world's press is officially informed of the landings underway.

0950: Destroyers engage the enemy at Omaha under orders of Adm. C.F. Bryant; 18th Infantry goes ashore at Omaha.

1015: Rommel, back in Germany, learns of the invasion and departs for France.

1030: 115th Infantry lands at Omaha; 12th Infantry lands at Utah.

1045: Utah fairly secure, reserve battalions coming ashore.

1100: 18th Infantry begins to land at Omaha.

1110: 101st and 4th divisions linkup on Utah securing the first exit from the beach.

1300: Troops at Omaha begin to secure the beach.

1600: Hitler finally gives approval to release reserve Panzer divisions.

1800: Elements of the 3rd Canadian Div, North Nova Scotia Highlanders reach five kilometers inland. 1st Hussar tanks cross the Caen-Bayeux railway, fifteen kilometers inland. Canadian Scottish link up with the 50th Division at Creully.

1900: 1st Division commander, General Huebner sets up command post on Omaha.

2000: Allies secure Colleville-sur-Med.

Information from Military.com and ArmchairGeneral.com.
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