75th anniversary coins of allies landing in France, june 6th 1944
- June 02, 2019
Neptune, Overlord, D-Day, three names often heard during the commemorations of the Normandy landings that should not be confused.
Operation Neptune is the landing and establishment of a coastal bridgehead within the largest operation Overlord. The aim was to establish a larger-scale bridgehead in north-western Europe.
D-Day refers to June 6th 1944, the date on which the Allied landing in Normandy began and which has been the subject of many films, including “The longest day” (1962) and “Private Ryan” (1998). In this last film there is a very realistic sequence of the landing on Omaha Beach (American troops).
“The longest Day” trailer – 1962
Short overview of the landing operations in Normandy, June the 6th 1944
Operation Overlord was first delayed on June 4th 1944 due to bad weather, and was scheduled for June 6th by General Eisenhower, Commander-in-Chief of the allied troops.
At dawn, warships appeared off the Normandy coast, an armada of 4,266 transport ships and 722 warships. It extends over a 35-kilometre front and carries 156,115 soldiers, most of them American, Canadian and British.
Their mission is to drive in the fortifications of the famous “Atlantic Wall”, built by the TODT organization, to prevent any landing over 6,000 km, from Norway to the Pyrenees mountains in the south of France.
Costal defense built by german TODT organization – part of Atlantic Wall
Preparations for this landing of Allied troops in Normandy began in complete secrecy at the end of year 1943. It was then decided that the landing would be from England. Hundreds of convoys crossed the Atlantic from the United States, carrying soldiers and equipments. England as a whole has turned into a huge military camp: construction of landing craft and artificial habour (MULLBERY project); construction of an oil pipeline; concentration and training of troops; development of an extremely complex and timed plan; destruction by aviation of railways, bridges and canals; arming of the French Interior Forces (french inner rebel forces) and intensification of “intelligence”.
During the night of June 5th-6th, frogmen sheared the barbed wire laid in the sea by the Germans. At 2 a.m., 11,500 aircraft, including 3,000 bombers, took off. At 3:00 a. m. the aerial bombardment begins. At 6:30 am, the first assault troops and tanks landed on five beaches (code names: Utah Beach, Omaha Beach, Gold Beach, Juno Beach and Sword Beach) located between La Madeleine (in the Cotentin region) and Ouistreham (in Calvados).
Ohama beach, also known as “Bloody Omaha” is the beach where the assault was the most deadly. This sector is the responsibility of General Gerow’s 5th American Corps. It is located between Utah Beach and Gold Beach.
OMAHA BEACH Memorial
COLLEVILLE american cimetery
The price of conquering these few kilometres of beach is appalling: 1,000 dead, 2,000 wounded and missing American soldiers.
At no time is Normandy considered as the place of landing by the German army, which planned it in the Pas-de-Calais (the shortest way for a landing from UK). The objective for the Allied troops was to set up a bridgehead on these beaches, then to seize the deep-water port of Cherbourg, at the tip of the Cotentin, in order to intensify the landing. Then began the Battle of Normandy, the largest naval aeronautical battle in history.
At the end of this “longest day” on June 6th 1944, the number of killed, wounded, missing, allied prisoners was 10,500, the number of German casualties was over 10,000 men.
Canadian tank landed on Juno Beach and progressing threw countryside in Normandy
The different coins issues troughout the world
celebrating 75th anniversary of the landing
Specific mintmark of belgian D DAY coin
JUNO BEACH coin (landing beach of canadian troops)
Canadian 2 dollars coin dedicated to june 6th 1944 landing
Annual proof set BE with special D DAY one dollar coin
2019 One dollar proof coin – D DAY
Sources: Mémorial de Caen, Site défense.gouv, SIRPA armée de Terre et NUMISMAG.