June 6, 1944 changed the world and spelled the end for Adolf Hitler the German leader and Benito Mussolini the Italian leader. Mussolini died ten months later on April 28, 1945 and Hitler would die two days later on April 30,1945.
Only those soldiers who participated in the invasion 66 years ago can understand what it was like for them to step off landing crafts into the water seeing their fellow soldiers gunned down in front of them as they made their way to the beach.
It was the same for the paratroopers as they exited the aircraft to uncertain futures as they were like targets in a shooting gallery for any German soldiers in the area and were at risk of being captured.
We will never know the fear that those participating in the Normandy invasion felt that day as they started their journey across the French countryside on their way to a date with destiny as they were almost certain to face German troops armed with tanks.
A lot of boys became men that day as they saw for the first time the horrors of being on a battlefield. D-Day was only the start of the European theater for the 156,000 Allied troops that landed in Normandy that day.
There may never be an accurate count of the deaths during the Battle of Normandy but it is estimated that 2,499 Americans died at Normandy on D-Day.
The following 56 photos from the Denver Post tell the story of D-Day better than the written word: