Since 1942, Russia had been demanding and the Allies had been promising a "second front" in Europe. General George C. Marshall
had long believed that the main drive against Germany should come in northern France. Preparations for the invasion began in 1943. The Allies chose General Dwight D. Eisenhower
to be supreme commander of the invasion, dubbed "Operation Overlord."
The British, Canadians and Americans assembled 3 million men for the great invasion. The Germans were led to believe that the main attack would occur at the Pas de Calais. Instead, on June 6, 1944, the invasion took place on the coast of Normandy. The Germans were completely surprised and did commit their forces until the Allies had established their beachheads.
As the Allies poured more men and material into France, they began pushing back the Germans. The capture of Cherbourg on June 27 gave the Allies an excellent harbor. Paris was liberated on August 25.