(Image found at: http://www.normandy-france.net/D-Day/D-day.12.jpg , accessed 25/6/11.)
6th June 1944 witnessed the biggest invasion fleet in history. Soldiers, marines, sailors all landed by sea, glider and parachute in Normandy, France. I never cease at the enormity of the task that the Allied forces undertook to free mainland Europe from the Axis powers,primarily the Germans. Perhaps more accurately, troops wearing German uniforms, as the Germans had recruited Ukrainians, Turks, Poles and Georgians to name but a few.
The first troops to land in Normandy were glider borne soldiers of the British 6th Airborne, led by Major John Howard. Their task was to land by the Orne and Dives rivers, then capture and hold 2 bridges to protect the West flank of the invasion. They were closely followed by paratroopers of the British airborne who would capture and put out of action a battery of guns at Merville. The American and Canadian paratroopers also landed on the Contentin Peninsular and in the area near Juno beach.
What can't be beaten is a good read, try these:
Ambrose, S.E, D-Day June 6th, 1944 The Battle For The Normandy Beaches. (2002).
Beevor, A, D-Day The Battle For Normandy, (2009).
Hastings, M, Overlord, (1999).
Neillands, R & De Normann, R, D-Day 1944 Voices From Normandy, (1994).