Air Dropping Of Beers And Eisenhower Almost Quitting | 7 Surprising Facts About The D-Day!

June 6, 1944, marked a key moment in World War II history known as D-Day. On this day, the largest amphibious invasion ever, involving over 130,000 troops from the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada, stormed the Normandy coast in France. Codenamed as ‘Operation Overlord,’ this event turned the tide of World War II, leading to the eventual defeat of Nazi Germany. This year marks the 80th anniversary of D-Day, a day that forever changed the course of history. Let’s learn 7 facts about D-Day that will leave you surprised.

The Preparation and Execution of D-Day

The careful planning for D-Day began in 1943. The Allies created Operation Bodyguard, a military deception strategy to mislead the Germans about the invasion date and location. Originally planned for June 5, 1944, the invasion was delayed by 24 hours due to bad weather. The success of D-Day relied on favorable moon phases, tides, and timing.

The invasion started with a massive aerial and naval bombardment, followed by the landing of 24,000 airborne troops. The Normandy coast was divided into five sectors Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword. As Allied forces landed, they faced fierce resistance. Especially at Omaha Beach, where high cliffs and heavy gunfire caused significant casualties.

Image source: Council on Foreign Relations

1. Eisenhower Almost Quitting Before D-Day

Just months before D-Day, Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower pushed to bomb French infrastructure to weaken German defenses. This plan met resistance from British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and RAF’s Bomber Harris. Frustrated, Eisenhower threatened to resign, which ultimately led to the approval of his plan. This strategic bombing played a key role in the success of the invasion.

Image source: Quora

2. Hitler’s Miscalculation and Wrong Focus of The Nazis

Adolf Hitler expected an Allied invasion but focused defenses on Calais rather than Normandy. The Germans built the Atlantic Wall, a 2,400-mile network of bunkers and obstacles. But their defenses were weakest at Normandy. Allied deception campaigns further misled the Nazis. This ensured that Normandy faced less opposition than anticipated.

Image source: The National WW2 Museum

3. Things Initially Didn’t Go As Planned

The invasion did not go as smoothly as planned. Poor weather and visibility caused bombers to miss key artillery positions at Omaha Beach. Many paratroopers were dropped off-target, and marine tanks sank in rough seas. Despite these setbacks, the determination of Allied forces allowed them to overcome initial failures and secure their objectives.

4. Landing Craft Ramps As Shields

The ramps of Allied landing crafts served as shields until they were lowered. Frank DeVita, a D-Day veteran, recalled the terror of dropping the ramp under heavy gunfire. As the ramp lowered, the first wave of soldiers faced devastating casualties. Despite the heavy losses, the bravery of these soldiers paved the way for subsequent waves to push forward.

5. Unsung Heroes: Waverly B. Woodson, Jr.

Waverly B. Woodson, Jr., an African-American medic, showed extraordinary bravery on Omaha Beach. Despite being wounded, Woodson set up a medical aid station, treating over 200 soldiers and saving several lives. Although highly commended, Woodson never received a medal. Efforts continue to award him a Medal of Honor posthumously.

6. Still Calculating The Deaths On The D-Day

D-Day resulted in high casualties. Initial estimates varied, but historians now believe around 4,414 Allied troops died on June 6, with 2,501 Americans among them. Efforts to accurately count the dead continue, highlighting the immense human cost of the invasion.

7. Airdropping Beer to Troops

In the chaos following D-Day, British troops in Normandy faced a surprising concern: a lack of beer. Enterprising RAF and USAAF pilots began flying beer into France using jettison tanks and bomb racks. Despite challenges, including attacks by American pilots who mistook the beer-laden planes for enemy aircraft, these “flying pubs” boosted troop morale until organized supplies could be established.

Image source: Thirsty Swagman


D-Day was a turning point in World War II, showcasing incredible bravery and strategic brilliance. As we commemorate the 80th anniversary, we remember the sacrifices of those who fought and the enduring impact of their actions on the course of history.

Also read,

Similar Posts