Normandy – D-Day
My husband’s uncle was one of those who died in Normandy on D-Day.
The number of Allied casualties during D-Day is guessed to be approximately..
10,000, containing 2500 dead.
British – 2700
Canadians – 946
Americans – 6603
U.S. casualties were 1465 dead, 3184 wounded, 1928 missing and 26 captured. Of the total U.S. figure, 2499 casualties were from the US airborne troops (238 of them being deaths). The casualties at Utah Beach were relatively light: 197, including 60 missing. However, the US 1st and 29th Divisions together suffered around 2000 casualties at Omaha Beach. [Wiki Answers]
Associated Press Article, June 4, 2004:
VIERVILLE-SUR-MER, France — The exploits of D-Day have long been legend: the storming of the beaches, parachute drops into enemy territory. But 60 years later, the number of dead is still unclear.
The chaos of battle and the vast scale of the assault thwarted attempts then — and now — to tally how many thousands were killed in the June 6, 1944, landings that sped Nazi Germany’s defeat.
Bodies disintegrated under bombs and shells. Soldiers drowned and disappeared. Company clerks who tallied casualties were killed. Records were lost.
“Landing crafts were hit,” said Ivy Agee, an 81-year-old from Gordonsville, Tenn., who fought on Omaha Beach. “Bodies were flying everywhere. There was blood on the edge of the water, the beach was just running with pure blood.”
Historians say a definitive death toll will likely never be known. Even now the Normandy soil for which soldiers fought so bitterly offers up new bodies.
“Now and then, construction work unearths bones and skeletons from soldiers. This happens fairly often,” said Fritz Kirchmeier, a spokesman for the German organization that tends the 80,000 graves for German soldiers in Normandy.
Casualty estimates for Allied forces vary, but range from 2,500 to more than 5,000 dead on D-Day. Adding to the confusion is that D-Day books and histories often count wounded, missing and troops taken prisoner.
On its Web site, the D-Day Museum in Portsmouth, England, says an estimated 2,500 Allied troops died. The U.S. Army Center of Military History in Washington, D.C., numbers 6,036 American casualties, including wounded and missing. The Heritage Foundation in Washington estimates 4,900 dead.
“It’s very difficult to get accurate figures. People get buried. Bodies disintegrate. Evidence of the deaths disappeared. People drowned,” said John Keegan, author of “Six Armies in Normandy: From D-Day to the Liberation of Paris.”
He estimates 2,500 Americans and 3,000 other Allied troops died on D-Day.
More than 19,000 civilians in Normandy also died in Allied bombing before and after D-Day to soften up German defenses. And Allied air forces lost nearly 12,000 men in April and May 1944 in operations ahead of the invasion, the D-Day Museum says.
Even as the ranks of veterans who survived the assault and the push into Germany thin with time, work on tallying the dead continues.