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Word Count: 413
In the early morning hours of June 6 1944 Americans received word that three years of concerted war efforts had finally culminated in D-day -- military jargon for the undisclosed time of a planned British and American action During the night over 5300 ships and 11000 planes had crossed the English Channel and landed on the beaches of Normandy The goal of every soldier and civilian involved in that effort was to drive the German military back to Berlin by opening a western front in Europe General Dwight David Eisenhower was in command of the invasion which was code-named Operation Overlord Just months prior the 1915 West Point graduate had led the invasion of French North Africa The US entered the war without the infrastructure and logistical support necessary to win To overcome this deficit Americans worked around the clock Donald Nelson Chairman of the War Production Board from 1942-1944 said The American war-production job was probably the greatest collective achievement of all time Sixty million Americans mobilized to win the war They held concerts and sold war bonds to raise money rationed foodstuffs and gasoline and salvaged scrap metal to transform it into machinery Civilians produced everything from guns to socks for the men in the field -- 25 billion rounds of 30-caliber ammunition over 88000 tanks and 460000000 pounds of cabbage Every twenty-four hours factory workers rolled five new B-26 bombers off of the assembly line At the Higgins plant in New Orleans the first fully-integrated work force in the US produced 20094 newly-conceived landing craft 1500 of which put troops ashore on D-Day At about 300 AM on D-Day on the four-meter swells of the English Channel Allied troops transferred to those landing craft some twelve miles off the French coast British troops headed left toward Caen the Americans right toward Utah and Omaha beaches nearer Cherbourg For the Americans Omaha was a near-suicide mission First a powerful undertow swept away lives
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