As the 70-year anniversary of the Normandy Landings approaches next week, Getty Images have released a series of amazing images juxtaposing a ruined France from the time of the invasion and the tranquil, beautiful country it is once again today.
D-Day — the allied invasion on June 6, 1944 — saw 75,215 British and Canadian troops and 57,500 US troops land by sea on Normandy’s beaches. The attack launched on D-Day would lead the troops, eleven months later, all the way to Germany. Here are the striking photos.
1. The body of a German soldier belonging lies on the Market Square in Trevieres, 15 June, 1944. The two jeeps in the center of the photo and the two GIs at the left are part of the MP Platoon of the 2nd Infantry Division.
3. A Canadian soldier is directing traffic in Bernieres-sur-Mer on 6 June, 1944. The Canadians landed at Juno Beach which is nearby. Nearly 14,000 Canadian soldiers were put ashore and 340 lost their live in the battles for the beachhead.
4. After the assault at the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc by the 2nd Ranger Battalion (D, E and F Company) Colonel James E. Rudder establishes a Post Commando on Omaha Beach, in Normandy. German prisoners are gathered and an American flag is deployed for signaling. The heaviest fighting was on Omaha beach.
5. An older couple watch a Canadian soldier with a bulldozer working in the ruins of a house in the rue de Bayeux, Caen, 10 July, 1944. The church towers in the background have survived the Allied bombing intact.
6. A French armored column passing through the small French town of St Mere Eglise on D-Day, gets a warm welcome from the inhabitants.
7. Three soldiers of the 23rd Field Ambulance of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division place flowers on graves in Saint Georges de Basly. Two soldiers wear the armband for the Red Cross. In the background is the church of Saint Georges de Basly. The four temporary graves are for a Scottish, a Canadian and two French civilians.
8. The British 2nd Army: Royal Marine Commandos of Headquarters, 4th Special Service Brigade, make their way from LCI(S)s (Landing Craft Infantry Small) onto ‘Nan Red’ Beach, JUNO Area, at St Aubin-sur-Mer at about 9 am, 6 June, 1944.
9. A view of Omaha Beach near Vierville sur Mer, France. American troops stand by with stores on Omaha Beach after the D-Day landings.
10. A view of a town square, stockpiled with supplies and ammunition earmarked for the impending D-Day invasion of France, in Moreton-in-Marsh, England, May 1944. The building at the extreme left is the Rededale Arms Hotel.
11. U.S. troops on the Esplanade at Weymouth, Dorset, on their way to embark on ships bound for Omaha Beach for the D-Day landings in Normandy, June 1944.
12. Boats full of U.S. troops waiting to leave Weymouth, Southern England, to take part in Operation Overlord in Normandy, June 1944. This location was used as a launching place for Allied troops participating in the invasion of Nazi-occupied France on D-Day, 6 June, 1944.
Via The Daily Mail.
Share these extraordinary then-and-now photos of the Allied invasion of France 70 years ago with your friends below — it is a time to remember.