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D-Day's Legacy: Remnants of invasion linger in beach sands | EARTH Magazine - Before dawn on June 6, 1944, more than 160,000 Allied troops began storming the shores of Normandy, France, in what would be the turning point of World War II. Troops poured out of planes and off ships along an 80-kilometer stretch of coastline. More than 5,000 ships and 13,000 airplanes supported the ground troops. The battles were bloody and brutal, but by day’s end, the Allies had established a beachhead. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower said the operation was a crusade in which “we will accept nothing less than full victory.” Less than a year later, the Germans surrendered, and the Western Front of World War II came to an end.
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