By the summer of 1944, the Allies were pushing the German Army back on the Eastern Front, had pushed the Axis forces out of Africa, had control of the Atlantic and were moving north in Italy. The last great barrier, however, still needed to be breached to defeat Germany: Fortress Europe. The Western Wall was a series of defenses the Germans had built to repel invasion with Field Marshal Erwin Rommel the architect of many of the defenses. The Allies put together what would be the largest invasion force to that time and Operation Overlord began on June 6, 1944: The invasion of Western Europe. Over 6,500 ships brought the invasion force to the beaches while over 1m000 C-47’s brought in the airborne forces. Over 130,000 troops landed on the five D-Day beached: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno & Sword. The heaviest casualties were at Omaha Beach but by the end of the day all five landing beaches were secure. The Allies had their foothold on Fortress Europe.