Seventy years ago, more than 150,000 Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy in an operation that, as President Obama said today, "In the annals of history, the world had never seen anything like it."
Operation Overlord was the largest seaborne invasion in military history and proved critical to the eventual defeat of the Third Reich.
Soldiers in the operation made up six divisions -- three American, two British and one Canadian.
Here, army troops are shown on board a transport ship, ready to ride across the English Channel to France. Some of the men wear 101st Airborne Division insignia. As part of the Operation Overlord battle plan, three divisions of paratroopers (two American, one British) had already been dropped inland the night before the invasion.
Army troops wade ashore on Omaha Beach during the D-Day landings, June 6, 1944. Troops invading the five-mile-long Omaha Beach faced the most intense enemy fire, leading to some 2,000 U.S. soldier deaths.
Landing craft are shown putting troops ashore on Omaha Beach. Along the beach, a strong current flowed parallel to the coast from west to east at speeds as strong as 5 miles per hour. This caused nearly every team to land further to the east than anticipated.
U.S. Army Rangers rest atop the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc, which they stormed in support of the Omaha Beach landings.
Pointe du Hoc was the highest point between Utah Beach to the west and Omaha Beach to the east. The German army had fortified the area with concrete casements and gun pits.
On D-Day, U.S. Army Rangers assaulted and captured Pointe du Hoc after scaling the cliffs.
Wounded men of the 3rd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, receive cigarettes and food after they had stormed Omaha beach.
While soldiers invading Omaha beach faced the most fire, U.S., British and Canadian divisions stormed ashore in four other main landing areas, named Utah, Gold, Juno and Sword.
Here, Canadian troops storm Juno beach.
U.S. Soldiers of the 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, move out over the seawall on Utah Beach, after coming ashore. Other troops are shown resting behind the concrete wall.
Landing ships putting cargo ashore on one of the invasion beaches, at low tide during the first days of the operation.
On the morning of the June 6, 1944 attacks, German forces, who had been tricked into expecting an attack on Calais, woke to see nearly 7,000 ships filling the sea along 50 miles of Normandy coastline.
The Normandy coast today. Beachcombers still find bits of metal in the sand from the battles 70 years ago.
An American graveyard in Normandy. Allied casualties from the decisive invasions numbered at least 10,000.
President Obama, speaking in Normandy on Friday, remembered the fallen soldiers upon whom, as he said, "hung more than the fate of a war, but the course of human history."