At 3:30 a.m. on June 5, General Dwight Eisenhower later wrote, "our little camp [at Portsmouth, England] was shaking and shuddering under a wind of almost hurricane proportions." The worst June storm in 20 years raged over the Channel; already the invasion had been postponed a day, and now there seemed no choice but to delay for another fortnight, at least, until the tides were right again. Heavyhearted, Ike splashed through the rain to a fateful 4 a.m. meeting with his meteorologists and top commanders. An agonizing choice was posed by...

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