Today we remember the invasion of Europe by the allies that lead the way to victory over the Nazi war machine…….but France was not the only invasion…..ever hear of Operation Forager?
Most people recognize 6 June 1944 as D-Day, when Americans, British, and Canadians, with assistance from the forces of 17 other nations, assaulted northern France in Operation Neptune, the initial phase of the invasion of Normandy, Operation Overlord. Fewer people remember that June 1944 had another D-Day, when on the 15th, the United States conducted a massive amphibious landing on the Japanese-held Mariana Islands. Known as Operation Forager, this D-Day equaled Neptune in some respects and exceeded it in others.
The nature and geography of the objectives, the threats faced, and even the political environment presented each landing with surprisingly different challenges that are interesting to contrast; in fact, the biggest thing the two operations had in common was their immense size. As historian Samuel Morison wrote, “Added together, ‘Neptune’ in Europe and ‘Forager’ in the Pacific made the greatest military effort ever put forth by the United States or any other nation at one time.”1