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Main phases of D Day and the Battle of Normandy

The first phase of Operation Overlord consisted of a massive night-time aerial bombardment beyond the landing area. This served in part to distract the Germans and upset communications, and was supported by the actions of the French Resistance.

Meanwhile, landings by three divisions of paratroops and glider-borne infantry on the flanks of the future seaborne assault area were being carried out from shortly after midnight. At daybreak, naval bombardment against the coastal batteries followed, shifting from the beach assault areas just five minutes before touchdown. H-Hour began at 630 for seaborne troops: two armies, five beaches, six divisions by sea on Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword.

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