The Beaches Of Normandy, On D-Day And Today
Published 2 June 2014
On June 6, 1944, Allied soldiers stormed the beaches of Normandy in northern France in the operation known as D-Day. More than 150,000 troops took part in the largest seaborne invasion in history, which marked a turning point in the war. Ahead of the 70th anniversary of D-Day, Reuters photographer Chris Helgren compiled archive pictures taken during the 1944 invasion, and then visited the same places to photograph them as they appear today.
A combination photo shows U.S. reinforcements landing on Omaha Beach during the D-Day invasion near Vierville sur Mer, France, on June 6, 1944; and on the left, the same beach in August 2013.
On the right, a downed plane on Juno Beach in Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer, and on the left, the same beach as it appears today.
On the right, U.S. troops wade ashore from a Coast Guard landing craft at Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944; and the same beach in 2013.
On the right, U.S. Army reinforcements march up a hill past a German bunker overlooking the D-Day landing zone on Omaha Beach. On the left, young people hike past the same bunker.
On the right, U.S. troops gather around a signal post used by engineers on the site of a captured German bunker overlooking Omaha Beach on June 7, 1944.
The church pictured here was was rebuilt under the Marshall Plan along with the rest of the Normandy town of Aunay-Sur-Odon. The village was flattened by Allied bombing raids.
U.S. troops make a battle plan in a farmyard near the D-Day landing zone of Utah Beach in Les Dunes de Varreville. They are surrounded by the bodies of cows killed by artillery bursts.
German prisoners of war, captured after the D-Day landings, are guarded by U.S. troops at a camp in Nonant-le-Pin on August 21, 1944.
Allied forces move over a seawall at Utah Beach, near La Madeleine, Normandy, on June 6, 1944.
The supreme commander of the Allied forces in Europe, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, speaks with U.S. Army paratroopers at Greenham Common Airfield in England on June 5, a day before the D-Day landings.
A Cromwell tank leads a British Army column inland from Gold Beach after landing on D-Day in Ver-sur-Mer, Normandy.
U.S. army paratroopers drive a captured German vehicle on D-Day in Carentan, France.
Canadian troops patrol the rubble-strewn Rue Saint-Pierre in the town of Caen after dislodging German forces.
The body of a German soldier lies in the main square of Place Du Marche after the town was taken by U.S. troops.
British troops keep watch across a destroyed square after German forces were dislodged from the town of Caen in July 1944.
On the right, U.S. Army Rangers surround a destroyed bunker two days after they captured the strategic site overlooking the D-Day beaches at Pointe du Hoc.
German prisoners of war march along Juno Beach to a ship taking them to England after they were captured by Canadian troops on June 6, 1944.