As Hitler proceeded with his invasion plans, code-named Operation Sealion, he knew that the RAF must not be allowed to threaten the invading forces as they crossed the Channel. It was clear that they would have to be brought to battle and defeated. Still hopeful of a settlement, Hitler believed that a sustained aerial attack, coupled with a U-Boat blockade, might bring Britain to the negotiating table.
On the day that Winston Churchill replaced Neville Chamberlain as prime minister, Germany invaded Holland and Belgium. Despite all the efforts of the Allied armies, Hitler's powerful Panzer divisions smashed their way through to the French coast. For the retreating British Expeditionary Force, Dunkirk was the only practical point of departure, and on May 26, the order for total evacuation, Operation Dynamo, was given.
"Honored voices from the past"
From July to September 1940 the British people watched the From July to September 1940, the British people watched the Battle of Britain play out in the skies above them, aware that the eventual outcome would decide their fate. From September through to the following May, Hitler attempted to "blitz" London and other major cities into submission. For a year, the citizens of Britain were effectively front-line soldiers in a battle that united the country against a hated enemy.
"Nothing like it!"
On June 6, 1944, the Allies carried out the largest amphibious assault in history. Five divisions of British, American, and Canadian troops were landed along a 50-mile stretch of the coast of Normandy in northern France; their mission to gain a foothold ashore and begin the liberation of north-west Europe. The flanks of the invasion force were secured by a major parachute and glider drop of three airborne divisions. By the end of that eventful day, Hitler's "Atlantic Wall" had been breached and 156,000 Allied soldiers were firmly established on French soil.