On June 6, 1944, allied troops consisting of 160,000 soldiers landed on the 50-mile stretch of the Normandy coastline, to what was named D-Day. Although General Dwight D. Eisenhower called it a crusade, and a crusade it certainly was– with more than 9,000 allied soldiers killed or wounded; “we will accept nothing less than full victory,” said Eisenhower.
D-Day marked the beginning of the end for the defeat against the Nazis in WWII, as 100,000 soldiers marched across Europe to defeat Hitler.
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Today, as we prepare to commemorate the 70th anniversary of such an important date, we see what is left of the historic 50-mile site. Reuters photographer Chris Helgren, re-visted the sites and compiled contrasting pictures of Normandy’s once soldier-filled coastline.
The 2nd Battalion US Army Rangers marching to their landing craft.
US reinforcements land on Omaha beach, near Vierville sur Mer, France.
US Army soldiers of the 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, making their way through the seawall on Utah Beach.
US soldiers help other troops who’s landing craft was sunk by enemy fire, off Omaha beach.
A crashed US fighter plane that washed-up ashore on Juno Beach.
The British Army led by a Cromwell Tank, 4th County of London Yeomanry, 7th Armoured Division.
US Army troops make a battle plan in a farmyard near Omaha beach.
US soldiers gather in a captured German bunker.
US allied troops make their way up bunker hill.
A US flag lies marking a destroyed bunker.
Canadian troops patrol through Rue Saint-Pierre.
The body of a German soldier lies lifeless amidst the Place Du Marche in Trevieres, after it was taken over by US troops.
US Army paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division, drive German Kubelwagen.
German prisoners-of-war walk along Juno Beach.
German prisoners-of-war captured after D-Day.
Images courtesy of U.S .National Archives and National Archives of Canada/Chris Helgren – Reuters
[via] IB Times UK