D-Day, June 6, 1944
From D-Day June 6, 1944 - The Climactic Battle of World War II by Stephen E. Ambrose:
Operation Overload, the invasion of German-occupied France in June 1944, was staggering in its scope. In one night and day, 175,000 fighting men and their equipment, including 50,000 vehicles of all types, ranging from motorcycles to tanks and armored bulldozers, were transported across sixty to a hundred miles of open water and landed on a hostile shore against intense opposition. They were either carried by or supported by 5,333 ships and craft of all types and almost 11,000 airplanes. They came from southwestern England, southern England, the east coast of England.[…]Thanks.
The effort behind this unique movement---which British prime minister Winston S. Churchill rightly called "the most difficult and complicated operation ever to take place"---stretched back two years in time and involved the efforts of literally millions of people.[…]
It all came down to a bunch of eighteen-to-twenty-eight-year-olds. They were magnificently trained and equipped and supported, but only a few of them had ever been in combat. Only a few had ever killed or seen a buddy killed.[…]
It was an open question, toward the end of spring 1944, as to whether a democracy could produce young soldiers capable of fighting effectively against the best that Nazi Germany could produce. Hitler was certain the answer was no.[…]
But when the test came, when freedom had to be fought for or abandoned, they fought. They were soldiers of democracy. They were the men of D-Day, and to them we owe our freedom.