Five Beaches, Three Allies (top left)
Because of the terrain and tide differences, American troops bound for Utah and Omaha Beaches arrived there at 6:30 a.m. A little later Canadian volunteers landed at Juno, and British troops reached Gold and Sword Beaches (where French commandos had already landed). Allied troops loaded into landing craft several miles offshore. Told of the invasion at 10 a.m., Hitler insisted it was merely a diversion for the real attack, which he thought would occur at Calais. The Germans had fallen for an elaborate Allied hoax.
The Allies and the Axis
Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party took over Germany and, in 1939, started war in Europe by attacking Poland. They conquered Norway, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, and the Balkans. England stood alone. In 1940 Germany, Italy, and Japan formed the Axis. Then in 1941 Germany invaded the Soviet Union. The Russians were on the offensive by 1944. With D-Day, Hitler was forced to fight in the west as well as in the east and in Italy: The Allies had taken Rome on June 4.