D-Day: 75th Anniversary

Normandy by the Numbers

The Normandy Invasion consisted of 5,333 Allied ships and landing craft embarking nearly 175,000 men. The British and Canadians put 75,215 troops ashore, and the Americans 57,500, for a total of 132,715, of whom about 3,400 were killed or missing, in contrast to some estimates of ten thousand.


The foregoing figures exclude approximately 20,000 Allied airborne troopers. Extensive planning was required to move all these troops.

The U.S. VII Corps sustained 22,119 casualties from 6 June to 1 July, including 2,811 killed, 13,564 wounded, 5,665 missing, and seventy-nine captured.

American personnel in Britain included 1,931,885 land, 659,554 air, and 285,000 naval—a total of 2,876,439 officers and men. While in Britain they were housed in 1,108 bases and camps.

The Allied forces for Operation Overlord comprised twenty-three infantry divisions (thirteen U.S., eight British, two Canadian); twelve armored (five U.S., four British, one each Canadian, French, and Polish); and four airborne (two each U.S. and British)—for a total of twenty American divisions, fourteen British, three Canadian, and one each French and Polish. However, the assault forces on 6 June involved two U.S., two British, and one Canadian division.

Air assets included 3,958 heavy bombers (3,455 operational), 1,234 medium and light bombers (989 operational), and 4,709 fighters (3,824 operational), for 9,901 total and 8,268 operational. Allowing for aircrews, 7,774 U.S. and British Commonwealth planes were available for operations on 6 June, but these figures do not include transports and gliders.

Of the 850,000 German troops awaiting the invasion, many were Eastern European conscripts; there were even some Koreans. There were sixty infantry divisions in France and ten panzer divisions, possessing 1,552 tanks, but not all were combat ready. In Normandy itself the Germans had deployed eighty thousand troops, but only one panzer division.

Approximately fifteen thousand French civilians died in the Normandy campaign, partly from Allied bombing and partly from combat actions of Allied and German ground forces.



*This article on D-Day statistics is from the book D-Day Encyclopedia, © 2014 by Barrett Tillman. 

10 thoughts on “D-Day: 75th Anniversary

  1. Dad was there. Along with kids who lied to enlist and were only 16-17 yrs old. I was so humbled when I went with dad to one of his last reunions. The stories they told.
    One of my nephews married a girl from France. Her parents were underground in the resistance. She was well grounded in real history from home, school, and parents. Pretty much worshipped dad. So few are left. It’s important to hear their stories, to remember so they can be told.
    Thanks for the post.

    1. My dad was a doctor — ob/gyn. Not much call for that on the front so he was assigned to set up and run an army hospital in Carlisle Barracks, PA.

      I’ve been marveling all week that I was born a year before D-Day. I don’t remember it, of course, but the fact that it happened in my lifetime keeps it from being relegated to the “ancient history” bin. All the tv shows about it this week have been fascinating. And very sobering.

      I lift my glass to those young men and women, truly the Greatest Generation. We owe them everything.

        1. I’ve learned a lot from all the tv coverage, especially the National Geographic channel. All my history classes either ended before the two world wars or started up after them.

  2. My first encounter with Americans, never to be fore gotten, was on a train rushing through the night for London. Where they boarded we’ll never know but there were several hundreds all bound for the south of England and embarkation for the European front, it was around October 1944. They were all such young soldier, much older than my brother 11 and me 9 ,of course but they were young compared to my dad, and they were friendly and shared their chewing gum with us, Chewing gum was strictly rationed 2 oz per month per person.
    I’ve often wondered if they ever survived what they were going into I never can know, but it is a happy memory of sorts, they were good young men, and probably very nervous but they treated my brother and me as pals.

    1. I’d like to think most Americans abroad were and are like those young men, but I have my doubts. Likely none of them could begin to imagine what they were about to get into, but bless ’em all. We owe them so much.

... and that's my two cents