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THE NORMANDY LANDINGS

A crucial episode of the Second World War began on 6 June, 1944. This was D-day, the beginning of Operation Overlord, the largest seaborne invasion in history. 130,000 Allied soldiers landed on the Normandy coast to obtain a foothold in France and invade Nazi-occupied Europe. They landed on five beaches, codenamed Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha and Utah, where unnamed crosses still bear witness to the losses incurred. Weather conditions were so bad that Erwin Rommel, the German commander in Normandy, was convinced there would be no invasion and went home to celebrate his wife’s birthday. The 1962 film, “The Longest Day”, with an international cast, recounts the events of D-day.

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