Time Label: June: Normandy Landings Begin

2100, 4 June 1944

Allied forecasters predict a 36-hour improvement in the weather. It will not be perfect but should be good enough to allow air, airborne and naval operations to take place. It…

1300, 4 June 1944

An Associated Press report mistakenly announces that the invasion has begun. A teletype operator is practising and doesn’t realise the machine is connected. The news is then broadcast around the…

0600, 4 June 1944

Erwin Rommel, the German commander in Normandy, goes to Germany for his wife’s birthday which is on 6 June. He plans to return to France on 8 June, and believes…

0415, 4 June 1944

The Allied commanders meet again to consider the weather forecast, and decide to postpone the invasion, which would otherwise take place the next day. Ships already at sea are recalled.

0415, 5 June 1944

The Allied commanders meet one final time to hear the weather forecast. The forecast is good, and D-Day will definitely take place on 6 June. A few hours later, Allied…

0000, 6 June 1944

The Allied fleet makes its way across the English Channel. Leading the way are the minesweepers, which clear a safe route for the other ships. Will the Germans detect that…

2300, 5 June 1944

Around this time the British and American airborne troops begin taking off from bases in England. They will be the first Allied soldiers to land in Normandy, by glider and…

2030, 5 June 1944

General Eisenhower visits the US 101st Airborne Division near Newbury, only hours before they leave for France.

0600, 5 June 1944

Around now the first Allied troop convoys begin to leave England’s south coast ports. This is about 24 hours before the first Allied troops will land in Normandy from the…

1 June 1944

In the evening, the first part of a poem by Paul Verlaine is broadcast by the BBC: ‘Les sanglots lourds/Des violons de l’automne…’ (‘The heavy sobs of autumn’s violins…’). This…

2 June 1944

There is a security scare when, for the fifth time in a month, one of the D-Day codenames appears as a crossword clue in the Daily Telegraph – in this…

3 June 1944

Early in the morning, the chief Allied weather forecaster, Group Captain James Stagg, predicts bad weather for D-Day – at this point, the chosen date is still 5 June. The…

2 June 1944

The first part of the invasion fleet sets off for Normandy: two Royal Navy X-craft (mini-submarines). They arrive off the Normandy coast the next day, and will stay there submerged…

1 June 1944

Eisenhower moves his Advance Command Post (codenamed Sharpener) to a wood near Southwick House, just north of Portsmouth. This is a base for him when he is working in that…