When the morning light spread across the beach below them, they could see tens of thousands of German machine‑gunners, as far as the eye could see, lying in the sand behind tufts of grass. As the Allied forces approached the shores, the horizon darkened as the skies filled with air support. When the roar of the planes became louder, a German voice came over the radio that was lying in the soil of the bunker. It said,
"You have your orders. May God be with you." That made Jerry fume.
Suddenly, there was a massive boom of artillery as the 450‑mm guns behind them blazed against the Allies and signaled the machineguns to open‑fire on the troops that were pouring onto the beach. Jerry immediately turned the gun to the left and discharged a mass of bullets into the bunker less than 60 feet from him. Then he lifted his sights and he did the same with the one next to that. Then he swung the firearm towards the hoards of German soldiers that lay on the beach below him and rained bullets onto them as Pierre fed the hungry gun its fill of ammunition.
The sight of so many allied soldiers being hit by the torrent of German bullets was too much for Jacques. Masses of them were being killed before they even had a chance to reach the shore. Their dead and wounded bodies floated among the blood‑crimson foam of the waves. These were men who were giving their lives to liberate France. With total disregard of the fact that he would be seen by rows of German artillery stationed about 100 feet back from the cliff edge, Jacques climbed out of the shelter of the bunker. He then ran across to the bunker containing two dead Germans and pushed their bodies aside. In the heat of battle, he picked up two machineguns and with one in each hand, ran to the back of the third bunker of stunned Germans who didn't expect to be attacked from behind, filling them with lead. Then he hurtled himself into it and began firing like a madman at everything that moved. It was a suicide mission. Predictably, there was a sudden and massive explosion right on top of the bunker into which Jacques had climbed, as the Germans put an end to the life of this courageous Frenchman.
On that one special day, the Allies landed around 156,000 troops in Normandy. The American forces landed a total of 73,000: 23,250 on Utah Beach, 34,250 on Omaha Beach, and 15,500 airborne troops. In the British and Canadian sector, 83,115 were landed (61,715 of them British): 24,970 on Gold Beach, 21,400 on Juno Beach, 28,845 on Sword Beach, and 7900 airborne troops. A massive total of 11,590 aircraft were available to support the landings.
Approximately 2700 British, 946 Canadians, and 6603 American soldiers were killed. The total German casualties on D-Day are not known, but are estimated as being between 4000 and 9000 men.
To be continued.