This is what it sounds like when more than 156,000 enormous pairs of balls roll up on a French beach ready to kick some Nazi ass.

During the D-Day landings at Normandy on June 6, 1944, radio correspondent George Hicks recorded 13 minutes of audio on a Recordgraph tape recording system that viscerally captured the unbridled death and destruction of the largest amphibious landing in the history of warfare.

And while Hicks's recording went down as one of the most "iconic and frightening" to emerge from the devastation of World War II, as the Washington Post put it, the raw audio of the Allied landings went unheard in its original recorded form for more than 75 years — until now.

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(Associated Press photo)

The Allied invasion of Normandy on D-Day was one of the most complex military operations ever undertaken, but amid the intense preparation and planning for history's largest combined land, air, and sea operation, one commanding general kept it simple, scribbling out his war plans on a single piece of paper.

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(Royal Air Force via Wikimedia Commons)

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on The Conversation.

When Allied troops stormed the beaches at Normandy, France on June 6, 1944 – a bold invasion of Nazi-held territory that helped tip the balance of World War II — they were using a remarkable and entirely untested technology: artificial ports.

To stage what was then the largest seaborne assault in history, the American, British and Canadian armies needed to get at least 150,000 soldiers, military personnel and all their equipment ashore on day one of the invasion.

Reclaiming France's coastline was just the first challenge. After that, Allied troops planned to fight their way across the fields of France to liberate Paris and, finally, onto Berlin, where they would converge with the Soviet army to defeat Hitler.

When Gen. Dwight Eisenhower and his advisers pressed for this ambitious invasion of Nazi-occupied France, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was dubious.

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(Courtesy of Heritage Auctions via Reuters)

LOS ANGELES, (Reuters) - A battle-scarred American flag believed to be the first planted on Omaha beach during the 1944 D-Day landings is expected to fetch more than $55,000 at auction next week, Heritage Auctions said on Monday.

The flag, with a distinctive gold fringe and a repair from an apparent bullet hole, was planted by a U.S. army engineer on Omaha Beach, the scene of some of the bloodiest battles when Allied forces stormed the Normandy coast of France in World War II.

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With the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy just over the horizon, a group of Green Berets commemorated the valor of their Army Special Forces predecessors with a uniquely picturesque parachute jump over France.

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Kaj Larsen

At zero two hundred on the morning of June 6th 1944, Ensign Lawrence Karnowski slipped into the dark frigid waters of the North Atlantic. His small band of men had no wetsuits.  Each man carried simply a knife and about 50 pounds of explosives heading into battle. They were embarking on one of the most dangerous and important missions of World War II. Ensign Karnowski and his men were members of the Naval Combat Demolition Units (NCDU’s), the forefathers of the modern day Navy SEAL teams. While their role in the Normandy invasion remains relatively unknown, they were a small but critical piece of an epic battle that has been lionized in celluloid and popular culture.

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