Map from www.naval-history.net/WW2RN20-194406.htm
Operation Neptune was spectacular.
It was the cross-Channel crossing phase of Operation Overlord, the invasion of Normandy in 1944.
About 6,000 ships were involved in Neptune.
The biggest threat to this armada came from mines.
At the front of the armada were 287 mine sweepers whose job was to clear the way for the ships behind them.
Next came 138 warships whose job was to bombard the German beach defences in Normandy.
Behind them were the troop carrying ships, protected by frigates and corvettes.
Operation Fortitude was the codename for the deception operations used by the Allied force in connection with the Normandy landings.
One of the major reasons for the success of Operation Neptune was that the allies tricked the Nazis into thinking that the invasion forces would land in the area around Calais rather than in Normandy. ( D-Day: Operation Overlord - Features on thehistorychannel.co.uk)
The allies carried out a number of deception operations involving the creation of fake armies, the sending of fake radio traffic, the delivery of fake spy reports and the production of fake security plans.
A tank made from inflatable rubber. Operation Fortitude website
Tanks, trucks and armour were made out of inflatable rubber and plywood.
Before D-Day, Allied bombing raids were twice as heavy in Calais as in Normandy.
Mine sweepers cleared shipping lanes near Calais.
Rubber paratroopers were landed near Calais to confuse the Germans.