Then And Now: Photos Of D-Day Landings (Part 1)

10 06 2014

On June 6, 1944, allied soldiers descended on the beaches of Normandy for D-Day – an operation that turned the tide of the Second World War against the Nazis, marking the beginning of the end of the conflict.

Today, as many around the world prepare to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the landings, pictures of Normandy’s now-touristy beaches stand in stark contrast to images taken around the time of the invasion. 

Reuters photographer Chris Helgren compiled a series of archive pictures taken during the 1944 invasion and then went back to the same places, to photograph them as they appear today. (Reuters)

The 2nd Battalion U.S. Army Rangers, tasked with capturing the German heavy coastal defense battery at Pointe du Hoc to the west of the D-Day landing zone of Omaha Beach, march to their landing craft in Weymouth, England, on June 5, 1944 in this handout photo provided by the US National Archives. (REUTERS/US National Archives)

The 2nd Battalion U.S. Army Rangers, tasked with capturing the German heavy coastal defense battery at Pointe du Hoc to the west of the D-Day landing zone of Omaha Beach, march to their landing craft in Weymouth, England, on June 5, 1944 in this handout photo provided by the US National Archives. (REUTERS/US National Archives)

Tourists walk along the beach-front in the Dorset holiday town of Weymouth, England, July 13, 2013. The port was the departure point for thousands of Allied troops who took part in the D-Day landings. (REUTERS/Chris Helgren)

Tourists walk along the beach-front in the Dorset holiday town of Weymouth, England, July 13, 2013. The port was the departure point for thousands of Allied troops who took part in the D-Day landings. (REUTERS/Chris Helgren)

U.S. troops wade ashore from a Coast Guard landing craft at Omaha Beach during the Normandy D-Day landings near Vierville sur Mer, France, on June 6, 1944. (REUTERS/US National Archives)

U.S. troops wade ashore from a Coast Guard landing craft at Omaha Beach during the Normandy D-Day landings near Vierville sur Mer, France, on June 6, 1944. (REUTERS/US National Archives)

Tourists take part in a land sailing class on the former D-Day landing zone of Omaha beach near Vierville sur Mer, France August 22, 2013. (REUTERS/Chris Helgren)

Tourists take part in a land sailing class on the former D-Day landing zone of Omaha beach near Vierville sur Mer, France August 22, 2013. (REUTERS/Chris Helgren)

U.S. Army troops congregate around a signal post used by engineers on the site of a captured German bunker overlooking Omaha Beach after the D-Day landings near Saint Laurent sur Mer June 7, 1944. (REUTERS/US National Archives)

U.S. Army troops congregate around a signal post used by engineers on the site of a captured German bunker overlooking Omaha Beach after the D-Day landings near Saint Laurent sur Mer June 7, 1944. (REUTERS/US National Archives)

Tourists walk past a former German bunker overlooking the D-Day landing zone on Omaha Beach near Saint Laurent sur Mer, France, August 24, 2013. (REUTERS/Chris Helgren)

Tourists walk past a former German bunker overlooking the D-Day landing zone on Omaha Beach near Saint Laurent sur Mer, France, August 24, 2013. (REUTERS/Chris Helgren)

U.S. Army reinforcements march up a hill past a German bunker overlooking Omaha Beach after the D-Day landings near Colleville sur Mer, France, June 18, 1944. (REUTERS/US National Archives)

U.S. Army reinforcements march up a hill past a German bunker overlooking Omaha Beach after the D-Day landings near Colleville sur Mer, France, June 18, 1944. (REUTERS/US National Archives)

Youths hike up a hill past an old German bunker overlooking the former D-Day landing zone of Omaha Beach near Colleville sur Mer, France, August 23, 2013. (REUTERS/Chris Helgren)

Youths hike up a hill past an old German bunker overlooking the former D-Day landing zone of Omaha Beach near Colleville sur Mer, France, August 23, 2013. (REUTERS/Chris Helgren)

U.S. Army troops make a battle plan in a farmyard amid cattle, which were killed by artillery bursts, near the D-Day landing zone of Utah Beach in Les Dunes de Varreville, France, on June 6, 1944. (REUTERS/US National Archives)

U.S. Army troops make a battle plan in a farmyard amid cattle, which were killed by artillery bursts, near the D-Day landing zone of Utah Beach in Les Dunes de Varreville, France, on June 6, 1944. (REUTERS/US National Archives)

Farmer Raymond Bertot, who was 19 when allied troops came ashore in 1944, poses on his property near the former D-Day landing zone of Utah Beach in Les Dunes de Varreville, France, August 21, 2013. (REUTERS/Chris Helgren)

Farmer Raymond Bertot, who was 19 when allied troops came ashore in 1944, poses on his property near the former D-Day landing zone of Utah Beach in Les Dunes de Varreville, France, August 21, 2013. (REUTERS/Chris Helgren)

Please click for: Then And Now: Photos Of D-Day Landings (Part 2)

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Photos: The Chaos Of D-Day Normandy Landings

9 06 2014
Under heavy German machine gun fire, American infantrymen wade ashore off the ramp of a Coast Guard landing craft on June 6, 1944. (PA)

Under heavy German machine gun fire, American infantrymen wade ashore off the ramp of a Coast Guard landing craft on June 6, 1944. (PA)

These amazing black and white photographs from June 6, 1944, show allied troops fighting their way ashore during the D-Day Landings.
The images were taken 1,000 feet above the French coastline 70 years ago, and show the dramatic moment thousands of soldiers descended on the Normandy coastline in the largest seaborne invasion force ever.
A small number of ships carrying troops approach the beaches at Sword, Juno, Gold and Omaha beaches, in an iconic battle which would define the Second World War.
Around 10,000 troops and civilians are thought to have died during D-Day, although the exact number has never been known.

On Omaha Beach 70 years ago, US Army troops fought against the German 352nd Infantry Division. (MoD)

On Omaha Beach 70 years ago, US Army troops fought against the German 352nd Infantry Division. (MoD)

On Omaha Beach 70 years ago, US Army troops fought against the German 352nd Infantry Division. (MoD) A Royal Air force Mustang aircraft of II (Army Cooperation) Squadron in flight. II Sqn Mustangs were active on D-Day, not least in gathering imagery of the landing beaches to update commanders on the progress of the assault. (MoD) In an image taken at 800ft above the coast, French villages are left in flames as the Allied forces move in. (MoD) Troops land on Gold beach on 6 June 1944 - D-Day. This image was taken by a photo reconnaissance Mustang aircraft of II (Army Cooperation) Squadron. (MoD)

On Omaha Beach 70 years ago, US Army troops fought against the German 352nd Infantry Division. (MoD)
A Royal Air force Mustang aircraft of II (Army Cooperation) Squadron in flight. II Sqn Mustangs were active on D-Day, not least in gathering imagery of the landing beaches to update commanders on the progress of the assault. (MoD)
In an image taken at 800ft above the coast, French villages are left in flames as the Allied forces move in. (MoD)
Troops land on Gold beach on 6 June 1944 – D-Day. This image was taken by a photo reconnaissance Mustang aircraft of II (Army Cooperation) Squadron. (MoD)

On Omaha Beach 70 years ago, US Army troops fought against the German 352nd Infantry Division. (MoD) Troops land on Gold beach on 6 June 1944 - D-Day. This image was taken by a photo reconnaissance Mustang aircraft of II (Army Cooperation) Squadron. (MoD)

On Omaha Beach 70 years ago, US Army troops fought against the German 352nd Infantry Division. (MoD)
Troops land on Gold beach on 6 June 1944 – D-Day. This image was taken by a photo reconnaissance Mustang aircraft of II (Army Cooperation) Squadron. (MoD)

On Omaha Beach 70 years ago, US Army troops fought against the German 352nd Infantry Division. (MoD) In an image taken at 800ft above the coast, French villages are left in flames as the Allied forces move in. (MoD) Troops land on Gold beach on 6 June 1944 - D-Day. This image was taken by a photo reconnaissance Mustang aircraft of II (Army Cooperation) Squadron. (MoD)

On Omaha Beach 70 years ago, US Army troops fought against the German 352nd Infantry Division. (MoD)
In an image taken at 800ft above the coast, French villages are left in flames as the Allied forces move in. (MoD)
Troops land on Gold beach on 6 June 1944 – D-Day. This image was taken by a photo reconnaissance Mustang aircraft of II (Army Cooperation) Squadron. (MoD)

US-American troops shortly after landing in the Normandy. (PA)

US-American troops shortly after landing in the Normandy. (PA)

Under heavy German machine gun fire, American infantrymen wade ashore off the ramp of a Coast Guard landing craft on June 6, 1944. (PA)

Under heavy German machine gun fire, American infantrymen wade ashore off the ramp of a Coast Guard landing craft on June 6, 1944. (PA)

On Omaha Beach 70 years ago, US Army troops fought against the German 352nd Infantry Division. (MoD) A Royal Air force Mustang aircraft of II (Army Cooperation) Squadron in flight. II Sqn Mustangs were active on D-Day, not least in gathering imagery of the landing beaches to update commanders on the progress of the assault. (MoD) In an image taken at 800ft above the coast, French villages are left in flames as the Allied forces move in. (MoD) Troops land on Gold beach on 6 June 1944 - D-Day. This image was taken by a photo reconnaissance Mustang aircraft of II (Army Cooperation) Squadron. (MoD) A Mustang aircraft of II (Army Cooperation) Squadron is prepared for a mission over Normandy as part of Operation Overlord on D-Day. (MoD)

On Omaha Beach 70 years ago, US Army troops fought against the German 352nd Infantry Division. (MoD)
A Royal Air force Mustang aircraft of II (Army Cooperation) Squadron in flight. II Sqn Mustangs were active on D-Day, not least in gathering imagery of the landing beaches to update commanders on the progress of the assault. (MoD)
In an image taken at 800ft above the coast, French villages are left in flames as the Allied forces move in. (MoD)
Troops land on Gold beach on 6 June 1944 – D-Day. This image was taken by a photo reconnaissance Mustang aircraft of II (Army Cooperation) Squadron. (MoD)
A Mustang aircraft of II (Army Cooperation) Squadron is prepared for a mission over Normandy as part of Operation Overlord on D-Day. (MoD)

US-American troops shortly after landing in the Normandy. (PA)

US-American troops shortly after landing in the Normandy. (PA)

British troops move on the Normandy shore from their landing craft on June 6, 1944 during the huge invasion. (PA

British troops move on the Normandy shore from their landing craft on June 6, 1944 during the huge invasion. (PA)








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