This Day In History (1944)

Find out what happened on January 31, 1944, to postpone the D-Day invasion of Normandy in the Allies’ fight against the Axis powers during World War II.


On January 31, 1944, several key military and political leaders agreed to postpone the D-Day invasion due to a shortage of ships. The date for the planned invasion was changed from May 1, 1944 to June 5, 1944. 

When presented with the initial plans for the assault in December of 1943, American General Dwight D. Eisenhower and British General Bernard Montgomery called to increase the size of the secret military operation. Both generals agreed that it should be increased from three to five land divisions and include three divisions of air support. On June 4, General Eisenhower decided to postpone the invasion one more day due to high winds and heavy seas. The decision to postpone was a difficult one, as any delay made it increasingly difficult to keep the operation a secret.

Finally, on the morning of June 6, the long-awaited invasion of France began when 156,000 combined British, Canadian, and American troops stormed the beaches in Normandy, France, as part of Operation Overlord.  By the time the sun set the Allies had established a foothold, the first step in a march that would lead them all the way to Berlin and the defeat of Nazi Germany.