In the morning of June 6 an invasion fleet of some 7,000 ships landed American and British divisions on Normandy beaches. Airborne divisions dropped behind the German lines. In the air Allies had complete command. This invasion was decisive and the outcome of the war in Europe depended upon its success.
In the first week the Allies established beachheads between Cherbourg and the city of Caen along a 60-mile-wide strip. Within a week they drove about 20 miles inland. Casualties for the landing were about 15,000 out of some 150,000 engaged.
The British captured Caen on July 9. The Americans broke out of their beachhead positions on July 25. Armored columns headed inland, and Paris fell to the Allies on August 25.