Our long months of preparation and planning for the greatest amphibious operation in history ended on D-Day, June 6, 1944. During the preceding night the great armadas of convoys and their escorts sailed, unknown to the enemy, along the swept channels from the Isle of Wight to the Normandy coast. Heavy bombers of the Royal Air Force attacked enemy coast-defence guns in their concrete emplacements, dropping 5200 tons of bombs. When the dawn broke, the United States Air Force came on the scene to deal with other shore defences, followed by medium and fighter bombers. In the twenty-four hours of June 6 the Allies flew over 14,600 sorties. So great was our superiority in the air that all the enemy could put up during daylight over the invasion beaches was a mere hundred sorties. From midnight three airborne divisions were alighting, the British 6th Airborne Division northeast of Caen to seize bridgeheads over the river between the town and the sea, and two American airborne divisions north of Carentan to assist the seaborne assault on the beaches, and to check the movement of enemy reserves into the Cotentin peninsula. Although in places the airborne divisions were more widely scattered than had been intended, the object was in every case achieved.
-Winston Churchill, Triumph and Tragedy