An overweight Wehrmacht sergeant (Gert Fröbe) delivering coffee to the bunkers sees the huge allied invasion fleet steaming off the coast of Normandy just before the bombardment opens up.
Twinned with the Frenchman who watches Fröbe deliver the coffee every morning. He's ecstatically waving his Tricolore from his window even as the naval bombardment is tearing his house down.
Capt. Colin Maud (Kenneth More): "Now move along! The sooner you get off this beach, the sooner the Germans will stop this blasted shelling! It's very bad for the dog!"
Another Maud one - a shell hits near him causing everyone else to hit the deck, Maud just stands there with a look of mild irritation.
[A Bren-Carrier is having engine trouble] "My old grandmother used to say, 'Anything mechanical, give it a good bash.'" [whacks vehicle with shillelagh - engine starts, much to everyone's surprise]
"If you ask me, Flanagan, there's a lot of very peculiar blokes on this beach."
"Velkum! Velkum to yurr all!"
A group of lost paratroopers and a German patrol run into each other in the dark and neither realizes they've met the enemy. Both groups walk past each other without concern except for the paratrooper at the end of the column who goes "Wait a second..."
Actually, these two groups knew too well their respective counterparts were enemies. But they noticed too late, literally when they were beside each other. So they do the wisest thing anybody can do in this situation: to walk on and pretend nothing happened.
"Those 5000 ships you say the Allies haven't got? WELL THEY'VE GOT THEM!"
In the course of the widely scattered airborne drops, a number of paratroopers find themselves landing under rather embarrassing circumstances. Special mention goes to two British paras who landed in the courtyard of a German general's headquarters.
"Terribly sorry, old man. We simply landed here by accident."
Earlier, Col. Vandervoort tells General Gavin about a similarly scattered practice drop. Where did the colonel end up? "In the courtyard of a convent!"
In a footnote in the book, there is a story about the press landing on the beach and not being able to use the radio to send their stories in (apparently the person in charge of the cleared beach had not been told that this was acceptable) and were forced to used carrier pigeons. The pigeons, so overloaded with short news stories, had a difficult time getting off of the ground. A few that did flew straight into the German lines, causing one reporter to curse them as traitors.