This photograph from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park, New York, shows American soldiers landing in Normandy, France, on the morning of June 6, 1944, the beginning of the long-awaited invasion to liberate continental Europe from Nazi Germany. Most of the troops that came ashore were from the United States, Great Britain and Canada, with smaller contingents from France, Poland, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece and the Netherlands. German defenses included thousands of soldiers dug into bunkers, artillery, mines, barbed wire, machine guns and hazards to prevent landing craft from coming ashore. Allied casualties (killed, wounded, missing in action and taken prisoner) on June 6 totaled over 10,000 — 6,603 U.S., about 2,700 British and 946 Canadian — of which 2,500 were killed.
- Describe what is happening in the photo.
- What dangers are ahead for these soldiers?
- Describe the vulnerability of the soldiers are as they unload and head toward the beach.
Sargent, Robert F., "Into the Jaws of Death - U.S. Troops Wading Through Water and Nazi Gunfire," 6 June 1944. Courtesy of Library of Congress