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D-Day: Anniversary of the Allied Invasion of Normandy -- PICTURES D-Day: Anniversary of the Allied Invasion of Normandy -- PICTURES

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Defense

D-Day: Anniversary of the Allied Invasion of Normandy -- PICTURES

photo of Kenneth Chamberlain
June 6, 2012

Sixty-eight years after June 6, 1944, D-Day is still spoken of with reverence and awe. Perhaps no single day of the Second World War was more important in turning the tide against Nazi Germany. And it was done at great cost to American and Allied troops in an operation that some called a near suicide mission.

(RELATED: First Wave at Omaha Beach)

More than 3,000 American servicemen died that day trying to take just one beach, dubbed Omaha, and many more died nearby. ­Altogether, more than 9,300 American servicemen and -women are buried in the Normandy American Cemetery on the cliff overlooking the beach, according to the American Battle Monuments Commission.

Below are some scenes from that day, and the days before and after.

American assault troops of the 16th Infantry Regiment, injured while storming Omaha Beach during the Allied invasion of Normandy, wait by the chalk cliffs at Collville-sur-Mer for evacuation to a field hospital for further treatment on June 6.(AP Photo)

The month before, on May 9, Canadian snipers get some last-minute training in England as they await the D-Day invasion. From left to right are J.J. Showers, Montreal; C.H.Gerrard, Tottenham, Ontario; W.G. Bettridge, Brampton, Ontario; W.A. Lyons, Toronto; and L.H. Oddy, Toronto.(AP Photo)

The sight of a low-flying Allied plane sends German soldiers rushing for shelter on a beach in France in the days before D-Day. Their fears were premature; the fliers were taking photos of German coastal barriers in preparation for the invasion.(AP Photo)

 

Supreme Commander (and later President) Dwight Eisenhower visits paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division at the Royal Air Force base in Greenham Common, England, three hours before the men boarded their planes to participate in the first assault wave of D-Day.(AP Photo)

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 during the initial invasion.(AP Photo)

Some of the first assault troops to hit the Normandy beachhead take cover behind enemy obstacles to fire on German forces, as others follow the first tanks plunging through the water toward the German-held shore.(AP Photo)

 

While Allied troops landed on the Normandy beach, naval forces, such as the British ship HMS Warspite, shelled German coastal positions.(AP Photo)

Under the cover of naval shell fire, American infantrymen wade ashore from their landing craft during the initial invasion.(AP Photo/Peter Carroll)

Members of an American landing unit help their exhausted comrades ashore during the invasion. The men reached Utah Beach on a life raft after their landing craft was hit and sunk by German coastal defenses.(AP Photo)

 

Amphibious trucks and a half-track follow foot troops ashore during the invasion.(AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard)

Troops on Utah Beach take shelter behind a sea wall while awaiting orders to move inland.(AP Photo)

German prisoners of war are led away by Allied forces from Utah Beach on June 6.(AP Photo)

 

On June 10, four days after the initial Allied invasion, U.S. troops and equipment are on the move inland from an established beachhead at Omaha Beach.(AP Photo/Jack Rice)

About a year after the invasion, on June 3, 1945, destroyed American and German tanks rest side by side off Utah Beach on Normandy.(AP Photo/Peter J. Carroll)

The wreckage of Allied planes fills a scrap dump off Utah Beach on the Normandy coast, about one year after the D-Day invasion. The wreckage was turned over to the French for scrap.(AP Photo/Peter J. Carroll)

 

An American C-130 flies over the U.S. military cemetery in Colleville sur Mer, in western France on June 6, 2011.(AP Photo/Vincent Michel)

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