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Troops scaling a wall "All was quiet. The ships were gone. The planes were gone. The roads were empty, the tanks were gone. And all these hundreds of Americans and that that had been milling 'round our city were gone. And then this silence and the waiting," recalled an Englishwoman who experienced the military buildup prior to the assault.

"The bombardment of the beachhead started, and it sounded like rolling thunder, and you could even feel the ground shaking from it even though we were five miles inland," recalled a paratrooper. "My God, those kids are going to be hitting that beach."

"Rank had nothing to do with anything on that beach," remembered one American soldier who was there. "Everybody individually almost did what they had to do."

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