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Last Updated: Thursday June 03 2004 10:46 GMT

How fierce was the fighting?

Soldiers at D-Day in 1944

It depended where you landed, and at what time. Some units suffered terrible casualties. Others were luckier.

There were five main landing beaches:

  • Juno
  • Gold
  • Omaha
  • Sword
  • Utah

The heaviest fighting was on Omaha beach. Overall the allies suffered about 10,000 casualties (dead or wounded) on D-Day itself.

It's not known how many German soldiers were killed or wounded on June 6, but it's been estimated at between 4,000 and 9,000.

Thousands of aircrew were also killed in the months before the landings as they flew missions that contributed to the success of the invasion force.