D-Day, June 6, 1944, was the beginning of the Allied invasion of western Europe. 156,000 Allied soldiers, of whom 73,000 were American, and 83,000 English and Canadian landed on five designated landing areas in the French province of Normandy. Although the Allies had already invaded mainland Europe through Italy, an invasion through France was considered to be the only way to get enough troops ashore to defeat Hitler.
The invasion was preceded by a massive buildup of troops, equipment, and ships in England as well as a major disinformation campaign intended to convince the Germans that the main Allied attack would come well to the east, in the area near Calais. After D-Day, the buildup of troops and equipment never stopped and the days of the Third Reich were numbered.