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Last Updated: Tuesday May 26 2009 11:28 GMT

What happened?

A photo of D-Day taken in 1945

1. The attack began when allied planes and warships bombarded German positions along the coastline. This was to damage the defences making it easier for the troops to get ashore.

2. At the same time planes and gliders dropped tens of thousands of allied soldiers behind the German defences. They took control of important roads and bridges. This made it harder for the German army to rush extra men towards areas where the troops were landing.

3. Thousands of ships set out from the south coast of England, in all over 6,000 vessels joined the attack. They were supported by over 11,000 planes. The naval force crossed the channel overnight.

4. At 6.30am on 6 June troops started to land on the beaches of Normandy.

5. By the end of D-Day the allies had put 156,000 troops ashore in Normandy.