In honour of the 70th anniversary of D-Day yesterday, here is part of an article by Huffington Post, showing 11 photos of D-Day landing sites that blend the past and present.
By Charlotte Meredith and Elliot Wagland, Huffington Post, original here.
As the world marks 70 years since the launch of a mission which ultimately led to victory over Nazi Germany during World War Two, these powerful before and after pictures show the true horror and heroism on a day that changed the world.
On June 6, 1944, Allied soldiers descended on the beaches of Normandy for D-Day, in an operation that marked the beginning of the end of a devastating six-year conflict.
In a mission described by wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill as “undoubtedly the most complicated and difficult that has ever taken place”, D-Day was the beginning of an 80-day campaign to liberate the region which involved three million troops and cost 250,000 lives.
Few are left to tell the story of the D-Day landings, but today, as we remember the sacrifices and heroism of troops involved in the landings, these pictures of tourists soaking up the sun on Normandy’s beaches stand in stark contrast to haunting images taken around the time of the crucial invasion. Reuters
Tourists walk by where the body of a dead German soldier once lay in the main square of Place Du Marche in Trevieres after the town was taken by US troops who landed at nearby Omaha Beach in 1944.
Beach goers walk past a captured German bunker overlooking Omaha Beach near Saint Laurent sur Mer.
Farmer Raymond Bertot, who was 19 when allied troops came ashore in 1944, stands where US Army troops once made battle plans on his property near the former D-Day landing zone of Utah Beach in Les Dunes de Varreville. Reuters
Children walk over the remains of a concrete wall on the former Utah Beach D-Day landing zone, once a vital means of defence for US Army soldiers. Reuters
A farm field remains where German prisoners of war, captured after the D-Day landings in Normandy were once guarded by US troops at a camp in Nonant-le-Pin, France. Reuters
In 2014, tourists stroll by where the 2nd Battalion US Army Rangers once marched to their landing craft in Weymouth, England June 5, 1944 Reuters
The former Juno Beach D-Day landing zone, where Canadian forces once came ashore, in Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer, France. Once a scene of death and destruction, now a tourist’s paradise.