The greatest and most significant amphibious assault in the history of the world occurred on the beaches of Normandy, France. There are few events in the world's history that more completely merit the label "hinge of history" than the successful landings of the Allies that day.
This doesn't look like my idea of fun
This is an event so famous that it almost seems like it was pre-ordained somehow. It wasn't. The DBD is not the space to hash out all the endless squabbles between the Allies leading up to this landing, but suffice it to say there many. Stalin (legitimately) felt like the Russian people were taking on 90% of the heavy lifting in the war, even if America was supplying them (when our ships weren't being sunk by U-boats) with many of their supplies, they were actually doing the fighting and dying. Churchill, haunted by the British experience in World War I, was never keen on this invasion until it looked like the Germans were about to collapse, and favored attacking the Balkans, or continuing to attack the Germans up the entire length of Italy and then over the Alps.
Ultimately, the American view prevailed, and the Allies committed to attack in May 1944, which was bumped back due to never ending supply issues. Planning started soon after the end of the Sicily invasion, and the lead planner Eisenhower removed himself from the Mediterranean theater to work on these plans for over a year. Intelligence planed false rumors that the invasion would be at nearer Calais. The Germans had spent the past year & half defending the entire coast (Fortress Europa), they knew we would coming, we knew they knew we would be coming.
But we came anyway, and before we get too jingoistic, it was an Allied attack, with Americans, British and Canadians in the first wave, with some Polish and Free French later on. Maybe the Americans drew the short straw, as Omaha beach had the highest cliffs, but those are the fortunes of war. Men die to win wars, and they also die losing them too.
map doesn't show airborne landings by the 82nd and 101 airborne divisions behind enemy lines.
Every year this date comes, and I can't forget it's significance. At the end on day, Allied forces were down, and in control of a small sliver of France, but now it was up to the Germans to try to throw us off of these beaches. They did try, they threw everything they had against us, but it was not enough, we prevailed. We, and not just us, but the whole world owes a debt to everyone involved, those that died, those that fucked up, those that lived to fight on to Germany, because together they shaped human events for the better. Remember them, and this date.