In 1943 Winston Churchill says, "We have reached the end of the beginning." He is right. For four hard years, the Allies have held on in this terrible war to preserve freedom in the world. Now they begin to win. In North Africa, U. S. General Dwight D, Eisenhower commands a joint force of British and American troops . Soon the Mediterranean no longer belongs to the Nazis. Eisenhower later writes: "The venture in North Africa was new. No government had ever attempted to carry out an overseas expedition involving a journey of thousands of miles from its bases and terminating in a major attack."
Soon the Allies are fighting in Italy; the Italians kick out their dictator Benito Mussolini, and quit fighting. Plans begin for Operation Overlord, code name for the invasion and recapture of France. Troops have been secretly training in England. The Germans know an invasion is planned but they don't know where it will be. They have lined the beaches of Normandy with mines and steel barriers; on high cliffs overlooking possible landing areas they have erected heavy guns. But the weather is so poor that Nazi leaders have gone on leave. No one can imagine an invasion here under these conditions. Eisenhower decides to go for it. He addresses his troops: "You are about to embark on a great crusade. Good luck! And let us all beseech the blessing of almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking."
June 6, 1944, will forever be known as D-Day . At daybreak the sky fills with airplanesnine thousand of them . The largest armada ever assembled appears off the French coast: landing vehicles, minesweepers, attack transports, cruisers, battleships, hospital ships, and tugs. Slowly at first, but then steadily, soldiers begin to land and head inland, into the fierce guns on top of the bluffs. Tanks unroll reels of steel matting that make roadways across the sand. By nightfall, Allied troopsAmerican, British, Canadian, Free French, Polishare holding French soil. We are on our way to Berlin .