American landing ships move troops, equipment, and cargo ashore during the first days of the Normandy invasion.
The World War II Allied invasion of Normandy, France on 6 June 1944—codenamed Operation Overlord—was the largest military operation ever attempted. By the time the invasion was launched, the Nazis had occupied virtually every country in continental Europe. The Allies had to retake France if they were to be victorious. Following Operation Overlord, American forces launched Operation Cobra, pushing beyond the beaches of Normandy into the French mainland.