In honor of the men who fought in the historic allied invasion of Normandy on June 6th, 1944, during World War II, we’re going to do a little D-Day fact finding and myth busting. D-Day was a huge battle and frankly, the largest amphibious invasion in human history. Even before the invasion itself, thousands of recon missions were launched and a great effort went into putting men on that beach. As with all legitimately incredible stories, there are a lot of facts that can get lost in the fray, and some tall tales told. After all, it is 2018, and 1944 is more than a little while ago. We’re going to spend some time and debunking a few falsehoods and sharing a fact or two.
Myth: The flat-bottomed landing crafts used in the invasion were specially built for D-DAY and Operation Overlord.
The truth of the matter is, that while the boats were slightly modified for military service, these boats were originally designed to rescue flood victims in Mississippi. It is, however, a fact that there were specialized landing crafts created for Operation Overlord. Some of them were pretty interesting, such as a swimming tank, and a flame throwing tank.
Myth: D-Day was an American Operation.
Fact: While there are many, many American films and TV spin-offs that can make it appear as if US soldiers were the only ones to participate in the invasion, this is not the case. While American Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower was the supreme Allied commander, his four key commanders were British. The overall plan of invasion also came from the Brits. It is also noteworthy to mention that the US and the British suffered relatively the exact same number of casualties on the beaches.
Fact: Ghost Army of Decoys
It is true that the Allies created an entire ghost army of rubber decoy tanks, plywood airplanes, and camps. The Allies even had dummy landing crafts waiting in coastal rivers at the decoy site. Allied forces placed this carefully constructed decoy army in Kent and in Essex. They even had inflatable trucks. This was done in effort to make the Germans think that the invasion would be at Calais. The effort itself was called Operation Fortitude.