Allied Invaders Storm Germany's 'Atlantic Wall'

The War Illustrated, Volume 8, No. 183, Page 69, June 23, 1944.

Photo: Ensuring Food Supplies. Ensuring food supplies for our fighting men about to embark on the liberation of Europe, one of many field-kitchens goes aboard a landing ship. Photos, British and U.S. Official; Keystone.

Four years to the month after the B.E.F.'s fighting withdrawal from France, the forces of liberation have returned to that country, magnificently equipped for whatever battles lie ahead, form in the resolve to lift the Nazi yoke and to crush the aggressors for all time. Confronted now with the immediate prospect of war on four fronts, in Italy, in the Balkans, in Western Europe, and in Russia, the Germans may well hear the knell of doom.

On June 6, 1944, Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Forces, stated that opposition from the enemy coastal defences was not so serious as had been expected, a fact which gives the lie to the German boast of the impregnability of their "Atlantic Wall", which at one time they claimed would hold back any assault, no matter how massive. Air preparation before the landings was described as "a magnificent job". On the night before the invasion force went in, between midnight and dawn more than 5,00 tons of bombs were rained down on ten enemy coastal batteries in the greatest single bombing attack yet recorded. This terrific bombing was supported by 640 naval guns, ranging from 4-in. to 16-in. The bulk of the naval forces engaged were British and American, but ships of the Royal Canadian Navy, and the French, Norwegian, Dutch, Polish and Greek Navies also co-operated.