Early on the morning of June 6, 1944, tens of thousands of Allied troops converged on a stretch of coast in Normandy, northern France, and began the bloody task of securing a toehold in western Europe, which Nazi Germany had conquered four years earlier. The Americans had Utah and Omaha beaches in the west, then came the British at Gold, then the Canadians at Juno Beach and finally the British at Sword on the east.