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On this Day in 1943 – FDR and Winston Churchill Plot D-Day

History.com Editors
May 19, 2024

HISTORY.COM – On May 19, 1943, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt plotted the cross-Channel landing that would become D-Day—May 1, 1944. That date will prove a bit premature, as bad weather becomes a factor.

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Addressing a joint session of Congress, Churchill warned that the real danger at present was the “dragging-out of the war at enormous expense” because of the risk that the Allies would become “tired or bored or split”—and play into the hands of Germany and Japan. He pushed for an early and massive attack on the “underbelly of the Axis.”

And so, to “speed” things up, the British prime minister and President Roosevelt set a date for a cross-Channel invasion of Normandy, in northern France, for May 1, 1944, regardless of the problems presented by the invasion of Italy, which was underway. It would be carried out by 29 divisions, including a Free French division, if possible.

The D-Day invasion ended up taking place on June 6, 1944.

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