Seventy-four years ago today, American military forces, joined by their comrades in arms from Allied nations, began the final push to free Europe from Nazi oppression.
Known forever after as D-Day — June 6, 1944 — saw more than 160,000 Allied warfighters storm the beach of Normandy, France, under heavy fire. More than 9,000 were killed. Their sacrifice allowed the Allies to fight their way into Europe, liberating France in August and ultimately all of Europe less than one year later.
Although the United States would not create a combined joint quartermaster organization till after the war and the Defense Supply Agency would not exist until 1961, logistics were obviously a crucial aspect of delivering so many men and so much materiel by ocean into combat.
“D-Day: The Supplies” is an engaging and concise fact sheet on the logistics behind D-Day, created by U.S. European Command for the 70th anniversary of the invasion in 2014. The Army also hosts a web feature on the invasion, featuring an extensive collection of articles and photographs.
For an in-depth analysis of WWII logistics following D-Day, read "Seduction in Combat: Losing Sight of Logistics After D-Day," by Norman R. Denny, a U.S. Army Command and General Staff College master's thesis.