June 6, 1944
(Text excerpted from CIC History, Volume XIV, â€œThe Liberation of France:Part 1 – Normandy (6 June 1944-24 July 1944)â€ dated March 1959.)
â€œFew events in world history can rival in magnitude the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944. Within 25 days after the initial assault on June 6, one million men and more than 560, 000 tons of supply were landed on the northern coast of France in the most gigantic amphibious assault ever attempted.
For the Counter Intelligence Corps, the events of June 6, 1944 marked the beginning of a vital assignment that thrust its agents into every phase of the 336-day drive across Europe.
CIC detachments were with 65 divisions, 14 corps, six armies and two army groups, besides Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force and European Theater of Operations Headquarters staffs and numerous Communications Zone units.
H-Hour for the amphibious assault was 6:30 a.m., but when the first waves of infantry swept ashore, after skirting or blasting a path through hundreds of treacherous underwater obstacles, airborne troops had been fighting the battle of Normandy for five hours.
The 101st Airborne Division had begun dropping southeast of the town of Ste. Mere-Eglise, behind UTAH Beach, at about 1:30 a.m., and the 82d Airborne Division in an area northwest of the 101st at about 2:30 a.m. CIC agents with both U.S. Airborne divisions jumped with the first wave of paratroopers.â€
Other CIC Detachments accompanied the units that stormed UTAH Beach and OMAHA Beach for several days following D-Day. By the end of the first week, approximately 200 CIC agents had landed at Normandy and were engaged in the beachhead activities.
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