D-Day by the numbers: Here's what it took 75 years ago to pull off the biggest amphibious invasion in history

Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty ImagesUS Troops wading through water after reaching Normandy and landing Omaha beach on D Day, 1944.
  • The scale of the Allied invasion was unlike anything the world had seen before or will most likely ever see again.
  • By that summer, the Allies had managed to slow the forward march of the powerful German war machine, which was also struggling against Russian forces on the eastern front.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

The Allied invasion of Normandy, France on June 6, 1944 was the largest amphibious invasion in history. The scale of the assault was unlike anything the world had seen before or will most likely ever see again.

By that summer, the Allies had managed to slow the forward march of the powerful German war machine. The invasion was an opportunity to begin driving the Nazis back.

The invasion is unquestionably one of the greatest undertakings in military history. By the numbers, here’s what it took to pull this off.

Around 7 million tons of supplies, including 450,000 tons of ammunition, were brought into Britain from the US in preparation for the invasion.

David E. Scherman/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty ImagesD-Day invasion preparations

Source: The D-Day Center

War planners laying out the spearhead into continental Europe created around 17 million maps to support the operation.

Getty ImagesMap detailing the Allied invasion of Normandy

Source: US European Command

Training for D-Day was brutal and, in some cases, deadly. During a live-fire rehearsal exercise in late April 1944, German fast attack craft ambushed Allied forces, killing 749 American troops.

United States Library of CongressAmerican troops landing on beach in England during Exercise Tiger, a rehearsal for the invasion of Nazi-occupied France.

Source: NBC News

D-Day began just after midnight with Allied air operations. 11,590 Allied aircraft flew 14,674 sorties during the invasion, delivering airborne troops to drop points and bombing enemy positions.

Getty ImagesA view of some of the air assets involved in the invasion of Normandy.

Source: Seattle Times

15,500 American and 7,900 British airborne troops jumped into France behind enemy lines before Allied forces stormed the beaches.

Source: The New York Times

6,939 naval vessels, including 1,213 naval combat ships, 4,126 landing ships, 736 ancillary craft and 864 merchant vessels, manned by 195,700 sailors took part in the beach assault.

Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty ImagesAllied landing craft underway to the beaches of Normandy.

Source: Department of Defence

132,715 Allied troops, among which were 57,500 Americans and 75,215 British and Canadian forces, landed at five beaches in Normandy.

Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty ImagesPhotograph of American troops approaching Omaha Beach, Normandy, on D-Day

Source: Department of Defence

23,250 US troops fought their way ashore at Utah Beach as 34,250 additional American forces stormed Omaha Beach. 53,815 British troops battled their way onto Gold and Sword beaches while 21,400 Canadian troops took Juno Beach.

Mondadori Portfolio via Getty ImagesUS troops landing at Omaha Beach

Source: The Telegraph

The US casualties for D-Day were 2,499 dead, 3,184 wounded, 1,928 missing, and 26 captured. British forces suffered about 2,700 casualties while the Canadian troops had 946.

Mondadori Portfolio via Getty ImagesA group of U.S. wounded soldiers sheltering behind a wall after the Normandy landing at Omaha Beach.

Source: The Telegraph

Total casualties for both sides in the Battle of Normandy (June 6 – 25, 1944) were approximately 425,000.

Fox Photos/Getty ImagesThe bodies of American soldiers lie on the ground in Normandy, France, awaiting burial in the aftermath of the D-Day Allied invasion.

Source: Seattle Times

By the end of June 11 (D+5), 326,547 troops, 54,186 vehicles and 104,428 tons of supplies had been unloaded in France. By the end of the war, those figures would increase to 2.5 million men, 500,000 vehicles, and 4 million tons of additional supplies.

Underwood Archives/Getty ImagesWith ships and supply vehicles below them, American troops march up from Omaha Beach during the invasion of Normandy, on June 18, 1944.

Source: US European Command

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