D-Day was one of the most decisive battles of the Second World War – these are some of the events which helped to make it a success:

June 5 1944:

2200: Operation Neptune, a seaborne force of five assault groups consisting of 130,000 men, leaves the English coast in 6,939 vessels, travelling through channels already cleared by minesweepers.

June 6 1944:

0005: Coastal batteries between Le Havre and Cherbourg are bombed

0020: British airborne troops begin attacking Pegasus and other bridges over the River Orne

0230: Combined bombardment and assault fleets arrive and anchor

0430 Sainte Mere Eglise is captured by Americans and roads leading up to Utah Beach are closed

0500: Britain's 9th Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, helps destroy weapons at the Merville Battery, protecting troops who will land at Sword Beach

0530: Allied warships begin bombarding the Normandy coastline. Landing ships and landing crafts head for shore

0600: Bombers pound the German shore defences. More than 5,300 tonnes of bombs are dropped

0630: American troops begin landing on Omaha Beach and face a devastating enemy onslaught which pins them there until 1100

0630: Americans begin landing on Utah Beach

0710: US 2nd Army Ranger Battalion attacks the Pointe du Hoc and defend it for the rest of the day

0725: British land at Gold and Sword Beaches

0735: Canadians land at Juno Beach

0900: General Eisenhower authorises release of communiqué announcing the invasion has begun and General Bradley calls for reinforcements

0945: Enemy forces cleared from Utah Beach

1200: Winston Churchill speaks to the House of Commons about the landings

1330: Troops on Omaha Beach begin securing the area

1430: The 21st Panzer Division unleash a counter attack towers the coast

1600: The British arrive at Arromanches

1800: Some of the 3rd Canadian Division, North Nova Scotia Highlanders reach 5km inland. 1st Hussar tanks cross the Caen-Bayeux railway, 15k inland

1900: Command post set up on Omaha Beach

2000: Allied patrols at the outskirts of Bayeux

June 7 1944:

0000: All beaches secured. By the end of the day, the Allied armies had disembarked more than 135,000 men and had bridgeheads of varying depths along the Normandy coastline. But on Omaha the situation was perilous as the Germans fought for every inch of territory. As sunset arrived, a total of 10,000 men had been killed, injured or were missing. Fierce fighting continued until August.