Normandy Invasion - LET'S GO!

Paratroopers Leave England World War II

Allied paratroopers, about ready to leave England, get final instructions before their departure. Image number RG-208-MO-10H, National Archives.


Years before Eisenhower gave the "Let's go" order, Allied commanders had secretly worked to plot every battle-plan detail.

While British and American generals thought through specifics, Air force personnel practiced bombing runs. As Churchill and Roosevelt fretted over the progress of the war, men trained for the invasion in England.

Training for D-Day was sometimes hard to justify when troops were desperately needed elsewhere. How could one afford to pull men from the Mediterranean, for example, to practice for a beach assault in England? Even so, nearly all U.S. troops involved in the Overlord assault were trained for the mission - using live ammo - in Woolacombe, England.

Enemy artillery and land mines along the French coast would be deadly, but Allied planners were sure that "V Bombs" (German pilotless aircraft launched from the Pas-de-Calais area into southern Britain, including London) would not be a factor during the invasion.

Anti-landing obstacles on the beaches, however, were something else. They (plus devices such as the "Belgian Gate") were intended to ensnare assault troops who, like prey in a spider's web, could be pounced on and easily killed.

With their training complete, Allied personnel from all branches of military service (like these paratroopers marching to the airfield on June 5th) awaited orders to ship out of southern England.

Details of where the invasion would actually take place were kept secret until the last possible moment.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5197stories and lessons created

Original Release: May 01, 2004

Updated Last Revision: Jun 06, 2019

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"LET'S GO!" AwesomeStories.com. May 01, 2004. Jul 08, 2020.
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