‘A battle for life or death is in progress’: Read the first breaking news of D-Day as it was reported 70-years ago

Posted by on Jun 06, 2014 at 7:55 am
dday

Allied troops landed on the Normandy coast of France in tremendous strength by cloudy daylight today and stormed several miles inland with tanks and infantry in the grand assault which Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower called a crusade in which ‘we will accept nothing less than full victory.’

German broadcasts said the Allies penetrated several kilometers between Caen and Isigny, which are 35 miles apart and respectively nine and two miles from the sea.

Prime Minister Churchill told the House of Commons part of the record-shattering number of parachute and glider troops were fighting in Caen, and had seized a number of important bridges in the invasion area.

German opposition apparently was less effective than expected, although fierce in many respects, and the Germans said they were bringing reinforcements continuously up to the coast, where ‘a battle for life or death is in progress.’

The seaborne troops, led by Gen. Sir Bernard L. Montgomery, surged across the channel from England by 4,000 regular ships and additional thousands of smaller craft.

They were preceded by massed flights of parachute and glider forces who landed inland during the dark. Eleven thousand planes supported the attack.

The German radio said the landings were made from Cherbourg to Le Havre — a strip of coast roughly 100 miles long — and later said additional landings, were being made ‘west of Cherbourg,’ indicating the Allies intended to seize the Normandy peninsula with its ports and airdromes as the first base.

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