On June 6th, 1944, Allied forces1 began landing along the coast2 of Normandy, in France. The event is known as3 D-Day. It was the beginning4 of a campaign by the United States and its allies5 to end the German occupation of Europe. D-Day was a turning point6 in World War II7.
By the end of 1943, the German military had suffered defeats8 and was weakened9. But it was still powerful10 enough11 to control France, Belgium12, and much of the rest of Western Europe13.
The time had come14 for the United States and its Allies to liberate the continent. The Supreme Allied Commander, American General Dwight Eisenhower, used radio to speak to the troops preparing to land on Normandy.
“Soldiers, sailors15 and airmen16 of the Allied Expeditionary Force: you are about to embark upon17 the great crusade, toward which18 we have striven19 these many months.
In company with our brave20 allies and brothers in arms on other fronts, you will bring about21 the destruction of the German war machine22, the elimination of Nazi tyranny23 over24 the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.”
The German leader Adolf Hitler had known25 an invasion was coming. But he did not know where the Allied force would strike26. Most27 Germans expected the Allies would attack at Calais, in northern28 France. But they were wrong29. General Eisenhower planned to attack Normandy, across30 the English Channel.
Eisenhower had 150,000 men and 12,000 airplanes for the attack. But most importantly31, he had surprise on his side32. Even after33 the invasion began34, General Erwin Rommel and other German military leaders could not believe35 that the Allies had really attacked at Normandy. But attack they did. On the night of June 5th, tens of thousands36 of Allied soldiers parachuted37 behind German lines38.
Then, Allied planes began dropping bombs39 on German defenses. And in the morning, thousands of ships approached the coastline40, carrying41 men and supplies42.
The battle43 quickly became44 fierce and bloody45. American, British and other Allied forces moved on five beaches46 from their landing craft47. The Germans had strong defenses. They were better-protected than48 the Allied troops on the open beaches. But the Allies had more troops.
On all but one49 of those areas, German resistance was lighter than expected50. At Omaha Beach, two American divisions were slowed by51 the rising tide52 and heavy German gunfire53. It was the fiercest and bloodiest battle54 of D-Day.
Slowly55, the Allied soldiers moved forward56 on one part of the Normandy coast, then another. The Allies continued to build up57 their forces in France. Within one week58 they had brought nearly59 90,000 vehicles and 600,000 men into France. And they pushed60 forward.
A total of 3,000 American soldiers died61 on Omaha Beach alone 70 years ago. On the first day of the invasion, almost62 10,000 Allied troops were killed or wounded63.
The Battle of Normandy continued through64 August, as Allied troops fought65 the Germans through France. In less than66 four months, General Eisenhower and the Allied forces had regained67 almost all of France. More than 400,000 Allied and German troops were wounded, killed or missing in action68.
- Allied forces = forças aliadas
- began landing along the coast = começou a desembarcar ao longo da costa
- known as = conhecido como
- beginning = inicio
- allies = aliados
- turning point = ponto de virada
- World War II = Segunda Guerra Mundial
- had suffered defeats = tinha sofrido derrotas
- was weakened = estava enfraquecido(a)
- it was still powerful = ainda era poderosa
- enough = o bastante
- Belgium = Bélgica
- Western Europe = Europa Ocidental
- The time had come = A hora tinha chegado
- sailors = marinheiros
- airmen = aviadores
- you are about to embark upon = voces estão prestes a embarcar em direção a
- toward which = para a qual
- we have striven = nós temos nos esforçado
- brave = valente, corajoso
- bring about = ocasionar, acarretar
- war machine = máquina de guerra
- Nazi tyranny = tirania nazista
- over = sobre
- had known = tinha sabido
- would strike = atacaria
- Most = a maioria
- northern = região norte
- wrong = errados
- across = do outro lado
- most importantly = o mais importante
- on his side = do lado dele
- Even after = mesmo após
- began = começou
- could not believe = não conseguiam acreditar
- tens of thousands = dezenas de milhares
- parachuted = pularam de para quedas
- behind German lines = atrás das linhas alemãs
- dropping bombs = jogar bombas
- approached the coastline = aproximaram-se do litoral
- carrying = transportando
- supplies = suprimentos
- battle = batalha
- quickly became = rapidamente tornou-se
- fierce and bloody = feroz e sangrenta
- beaches = praias
- landing craft = embarcações de desembarque
- better-protected than = melhor protegidos do que
- On all but one = em todas menos em uma
- lighter than expected = mais leve do que o esperado
- were slowed by = foram retardados por
- rising tide = maré crescente
- heavy German gunfire = pesado fogo de artilharia alemã
- the fiercest and bloodiest battle = a batalha mais feroz e sangrenta
- Slowly = lentamente
- moved forward = moveram-se para a frente
- build up = acumular
- Within one week = dentro de uma semana
- had brought nearly = tinham trazido quase
- pushed = empurraram
- died = morreram
- almost = quase
- killed or wounded = mortos ou feridos
- through = através, ao longo de
- fought = lutaram
- less than = menos de
- regained = reconquistar
- missing in action = desaparecido em ação