On this day in history in 1944, allied nations put the finishing touches on preparations for the next day's Normandy invasion of Europe.

5,000 ships and nearly three times that many aircraft would pound Germany's fortified positions and deliver 160,000 allied ground troops to the shoreline.

More than 9-thousand died in the assault and their sacrifice is is commemorated this week and especially June 6, on the anniversary of D-Day itself.

But on this day before D-Day, 52 years ago, June 5, 1967, another battle began that has had a lasting impact of the shape of the world map and world peace as well.

On June 6, 1967, the Six Day War in the Middle East began when Israel, threatened by an aggressive buildup of Arab forces along its borders, struck first.  The Israelis launched attacks against Egypt, Syria and Jordan.  The speed and effectiveness of the attack that followed, is something the defeated Germans, masters of the blitzkrieg, could especially understand.

The History Channel reminds "200 aircraft took off from Israel and swooped west over the Mediterranean before converging on Egypt from the north.

After catching the Egyptians by surprise, they assaulted 18 different airfields and eliminated roughly 90 percent of the Egyptian air force as it sat on the ground. Israel then expanded the range of its attack and decimated the air forces of Jordan, Syria and Iraq.

By the end of the day on June 5, Israeli pilots had won full control of the skies over the Middle East."

Within six days, Israel had more than doubled its size, occupying the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt, Syria's Golan Heights, and the West Bank and Arab sector of East Jerusalem, both previously under Jordanian rule. And those are names and places you still hear mentioned today in conversations of Middle East conflict, some 50+ years after the Six Day War.





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