Saturday, November 1, 2014


An early REMEMBRANCE DAY POST - This past June 6th 2014 was the 70th anniversary of the Normandy D-Day invasion of Europe, WWII.  
It was the largest amphibious invasion in history which changed the course of the second world war.
Allied troops numbering nearlly 200,000 boarded 7,000 ships and more than 3.000 aircraft and headed towards Normandy.  About 156,000 troops landed on the French beaches, 24,000 by air and the rest by sea.
They met stiff resistance from heavily defended German positions across more than 50 miles of French coastline.
The credits to these photos(starting the second one down) belong to Getty photographer Peter Macdiarmid and Reuters photographer Chris Helgren.  
They gathered archive pictures from the 1944 invasion, tracked down the actual locations and photographed them as they appear today.
It is incredible to see the transition from "then" til "now", and to see the difference 70 years can make.  Click on each pair or group of photos once or twice - scroll around to see the similarities and the differences.

June 1944 - American Craft of all styles pictured at Omaha Beach, Normandy during the first stages of the Allied Invasion - A view of the beach near Coleville-sur-mer, France.

US troops stand by with stores on Omaha Beach after the D-Day landings - the new photo taken May 2014 as the same spot near Vierville-sur-mer, France.

June 1944 - German prisoners guarded by British Soldiers from the Second Army on Juno Beach - The May 2014 photo shows a view of the beach in Bernieres-sur-mer in Normandy today....note building in the centre background.

June 6, 1944 - A Canadian soldier directs traffic in Bernieres-sur-mer.  14,000 Canadian soldiers had landed at nearby Juno Beach.  The May 2014 photo is a view of Notre-Dame Nativity Church as it looks today.

June 6, 1944 - Troops of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division land at Juno Beach on the outskirts of Bernieres-sur-mer on D-Day - The current photo taken May 2014 is a seafront view of that Normandy Beach today where 340 Canadian Soldiers lost their lives in the battle for the beachhead.

June 6/44 Royal Marine Commandos of Headquarters, 4th Special Service Brigade make their way from the Landing Craft Infantry (small) LCI(S) onto "Nan Red" beach at Saint-Aubin-sur-mer - The May 2014 photo is a view at Juno Beach today.

June/44 - Boats with US troops wait to leave Weymouth to take part in Operation Overlord - The April 2014 photo shows the harbour of the English town today.  This was the location used as a launching place for Allied Troops participating in the invasion of Nazi Occupied France on D-Day.

July/44 - US Army trucks and jeeps drive through the ruins at Saint-Lo - The current May 2014 photo is of the roadway there.  Saint-Lo was almost totally destroyed by 2,000 Allied bombers when they attacked German troops stationed there during Operation Overlord.

Strong contrasts of WAR & PEACE is shown here with the body of a dead German Soldier who lies in the main square of Place Du Marche after the town was taken by U.S. troops who landed nearby at Omaha Beach in Treveires, France on June 15, 1944.  The current photo from Aug 2013 is taken in the exact location.

Incredible contrasts shown here as well - A crashed US fighter plane on the waterfront sometime after Canadian Forces came ashore at Juno Beach on D-Day - The old and new photos were taken at Saint-Aubin-Sur-Mer, France in June of 1944 and August of 2013.

 There are many more photos similar to these but just wanted to post a few to establish the contrast between WARTIME and PEACETIME.

Our own families......I was born right after D-Day begun.
My Mother and Father, My Father and Mother-in-law - Thank you for coming home safely.....but remember the ones who did not !


Per said...

what a real nice post....then and now really hits home..thanks eh! Lest We Forget.......

Dave Cano said...

For sure....Thanks!!

joe imhoff said...

My sweety and I went to Juno Beach May 08. On the bus ride there an aged gentleman come up to Diana and I, with heartfelt gratitude removed his hat, put it on his chest and said he was happy Canadians come there to visit - and told us a few stories while the bus arrived in Juno.
Said a Canadian soldier give him his first stick of chewing gum "Wrigley"
Holy cow man...we were both tears flowing from the stories about Canadian soldiers that saved him and his mother.

Canadians should go to Juno at least once - you can feel that period of time right to the marrow. Hard not to shed a tear when you're there and the treatment of the locals to Canucks.

Dave Cano said...

Thank you for that Joe!

Gerald said...

War is a fascinating subject. Despite the dubious morality of using violence to achieve personal or political aims. It remains that conflict has been used to do just that throughout recorded history.

Your article is very well done, a good read.

Dave Cano said...

How true Gerald, Thanks for the comment!