Eisenhower's chief of staff was Lt. General Walter Bedell Smith, an American. Most of his principal commanders were British:
Once the troops were ashore, Lt. Gen. Omar N. Bradley (known as the "G.I's General") would lead the Americans (the First U.S. Army) while General Sir Miles Dempsey would lead the Second British Army (which included Canadians and some French troops).
Lt. Gen. George S. Patton, Jr., head of the Third U.S. Army, would join the battle after the Allies had achieved a secure foothold on the Continent.
The plan, which would give Allied Forces a chance to break the Nazi's hold on Western Europe, was called "Operation Overlord." Fraught with danger, it anticipated huge casualties as the men tried to secure Normandy's beachheads.
For paratroopers, including members of the 101st Airborne (called the "Screaming Eagles" whom General Eisenhower encouraged before they left England on June 5) and the 82nd Airborne ("All American") Divisions, the likelihood of death was seventy percent.