Normandie Land of Liberty

THE INITIATIVE TO LIST THE NORMANDY LANDING BEACHES AS A WORLD HERITAGE SITE

  • Utah
  • Pointe du Hoc
  • Omaha
  • Longues
  • Port artificiel
  • Gold
  • Juno
  • Sword
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A site which marks
an historical turning point

D-Day: the breakthrough

The allied troops landed on Normandy beaches on 6 June 1944, World War Two having started on 1st September 1939. While these troops essentially included US, British and Canadian soldiers, 17 nationalities in total were involved. The operation referred to as Operation Overlord had been planned for months. Opening up a new front in Europe, it is now considered decisive as it led to the surrender of the 3rd Reich on 8 May 1945.

An exceptional organisation was deployed, uniting many nations with a view to ending the war. As part of a strategy initiated many months earlier, a large-scale disinformation campaign was put in motion by the Allies: the "Fortitude" operation which initially led the enemy to believe that the Allied troops would land in the Pas-de-Calais region.

However, on 6 June 1944, 156,000 men with more than 20,000 vehicles, 5,000 ships, 4,000 landing crafts, 130 warships and 12,000 aircraft, landed on Norman soil.

While the ensuing Battle of Normandy lasted longer than initially expected, after one hundred days of tough fighting, the Allies had a clear path ahead of them as, 3 days later, they entered Paris on 25 August.

 

Beaches: symbolic sites

The Normandy region was severely hit and affected by this significant event in World War Two. The D-Day Landing Beaches serve as a reminder of this event and still bear the scars left by the intensity of the fighting. These now peaceful landscapes will soon be the only surviving witnesses of this day which remains engraved in memories.

 

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