Remembering D-Day: Key Facts about the Invasion That Changed the Course of World War II 

The Utah Beach Monument is pictured ahead of the 80th anniversary of the 1944 D-Day landings in Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, Normandy region, France, June 2, 2024. (Reuters)
The Utah Beach Monument is pictured ahead of the 80th anniversary of the 1944 D-Day landings in Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, Normandy region, France, June 2, 2024. (Reuters)
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Remembering D-Day: Key Facts about the Invasion That Changed the Course of World War II 

The Utah Beach Monument is pictured ahead of the 80th anniversary of the 1944 D-Day landings in Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, Normandy region, France, June 2, 2024. (Reuters)
The Utah Beach Monument is pictured ahead of the 80th anniversary of the 1944 D-Day landings in Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, Normandy region, France, June 2, 2024. (Reuters)

The June 6, 1944, D-Day invasion of Nazi-occupied France was unprecedented in scale and audacity, using the largest-ever armada of ships, troops, planes and vehicles to punch a hole in Adolf Hitler's defenses in western Europe and change the course of World War II.

With veterans and world dignitaries gathering in Normandy to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the landings, here's a look at some details about how the operation unfolded.

WHO TOOK PART Nearly 160,000 Allied troops landed in Normandy on June 6, 1944. Of those, 73,000 were from the United States and 83,000 from Britain and Canada. Forces from several other countries were also involved, including French troops fighting with Gen. Charles de Gaulle.

The Allies faced around 50,000 German forces.

More than 2 million Allied soldiers, sailors, pilots, medics and other people from a dozen countries were involved in the overall Operation Overlord, the battle to wrest western France from Nazi control that started on D-Day.

WHERE AND WHEN The sea landings started at 6:30 a.m., just after dawn, targeting five code-named beaches: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, Sword. The operation also included actions inland, including overnight parachute landings on strategic German sites and US Army Rangers scaling cliffs to take out German gun positions.

Around 11,000 Allied aircraft, 7,000 ships and boats, and thousands of other vehicles were involved.

VICTIMS ON ALL SIDES A total of 4,414 Allied troops were killed on D-Day itself, including 2,501 Americans. More than 5,000 were wounded.

In the ensuing Battle of Normandy, 73,000 Allied forces were killed and 153,000 wounded. The battle — and especially Allied bombings of French villages and cities — killed around 20,000 French civilians.

The exact German casualties aren’t known, but historians estimate between 4,000 and 9,000 men were killed, wounded or missing during the D-Day invasion alone. About 22,000 German soldiers are among the many buried around Normandy.

SURVIVORS Inevitably, the number of survivors present at major anniversary commemorations in France continues to dwindle. The youngest survivors are now in their late 90s. It's unclear how many D-Day veterans are still alive. The US Department of Veterans Affairs says it doesn't track their numbers.



Saudi Arabia Participates in UNESCO World Heritage Committee in India

The Saudi delegation, led by the advisor to the Saudi National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, Engineer Mohammed bin Youssef Al-Aidaroos, participated in various activities during the session that were supported by the Kingdom. (SPA)
The Saudi delegation, led by the advisor to the Saudi National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, Engineer Mohammed bin Youssef Al-Aidaroos, participated in various activities during the session that were supported by the Kingdom. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia Participates in UNESCO World Heritage Committee in India

The Saudi delegation, led by the advisor to the Saudi National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, Engineer Mohammed bin Youssef Al-Aidaroos, participated in various activities during the session that were supported by the Kingdom. (SPA)
The Saudi delegation, led by the advisor to the Saudi National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, Engineer Mohammed bin Youssef Al-Aidaroos, participated in various activities during the session that were supported by the Kingdom. (SPA)

Saudi Arabia -- represented by the Saudi National Committee for Education, Culture and Science and the Kingdom’s permanent delegation to UNESCO and the Heritage Commission -- is participating in the 46th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.

The session is taking place from July 21 to 31 in New Delhi, India, and will be attended by representatives from 195 member states who ratified the World Heritage Convention of 1972.

The Saudi delegation, led by the advisor to the Saudi National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, Engineer Mohammed bin Youssef Al-Aidaroos, participated in various activities during the session that were supported by the Kingdom.

The delegation delivered speeches highlighting Saudi Arabia's interest, support, and contributions to UNESCO's efforts to preserve world heritage. Some of the activities included discussions on the digital heritage platform, capacity building in African countries, and an event on Islamic World Heritage organized by the Islamic World Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ICESCO).

Additionally, the Saudi delegation met with representatives from other official delegations attending the session to strengthen cooperation in heritage conservation.

The digital heritage platform, a collaborative effort between Saudi Arabia and UNESCO, is an online platform that utilizes cutting-edge digital technologies to explore UNESCO's cultural and natural world heritage sites as well as intangible cultural heritage.

The World Heritage Committee will review a proposal to add 27 new sites from various regions worldwide to the World Heritage List. It will also assess the preservation status of 124 sites currently included on the list, including 56 that are categorized as being in danger.

The World Heritage Committee, consisting of representatives from 21 countries elected by the 195 parties to the Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage, oversees the implementation of the convention.