D-Day - coverage of the 70th anniversary commemorations in Dorset

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  • Today marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
  • On June 6, 1944 tens of thousands of Allied troops crossed the Channel in a bid to liberate mainland Europe and deliver a final crushing blow to the Nazis.
  • The mission, codenamed Operation Overlord, took meticulous planning, cunning deception, unnerring discipline and unquestioning bravery.
  • Many of those who took part in the D-Day landings never returned.
  • Today we bring you the events as they would have happened on June 6, 1944 and commemorate the brave veterans and the fallen heroes of D-Day.

5:14pm

5:04pm

Our blog will be coming to an end shortly, but here's a look at how events unfolded on D-Day 70 years ago between 6pm on June 6 and the early hours of June 7:

6pm: Some of the 3rd Canadian division , North Nova Scotia Highlanders reach 5km inland

6pm: 1st Hussar tanks cross the Caen-Bayeux railway, 15km inland
Canadian Scottish link up with the 50th Division at Cruelly

7pm: Command post set up on Omaha Beach

8pm: British enter Bayeux, while the US 151st take control of the Caen-Bayeux road.

General de Gaulle broadcasts from London: “La bataille suprême est engagée -The supreme battle has begun.”

9pm: The British have taken control of Arromanches.

11.30pm-3.00am: The Germans strike back against the US Rangers on La Pointe du Hoc.

1am: Stanley Hartill of RAF Servicing Commando, watches as a torpedo from a German E-boat is fired towards his ship. He will land on Juno early on June 7 and start work setting up an airstrip for Allied planes.

June 7, midnight:  All the beaches are secure

4:39pm

Here's video footage of the service in Christchurch from earlier on, captured by Samantha Sheldon. The school pupils featured in the video were having mufti day. 

4:14pm

4:10pm

4pm, June 6 1944-The British arrive at Arromanches

Bournemouth Echo: This photo shows the Hampshire Regiment in a field overlooking Arromanches

 

4:08pm

The Air Force Story, D-Day

3:38pm

3:28pm

AN 89-YEAR-OLD veteran reported missing from a nursing home has been found in France marking the anniversary of the D-Day landings.

The pensioner, who left wearing his war medals, has contacted the home and said his friends are going to make sure he gets back safely when the commemorations end.

Sussex Police were called at 7.15pm yesterday by staff at a nursing home in Hove who said the man had gone out at 10.30am and had not been seen since.

Officers began searching the area, including checking hospitals in case something had happened to him, and spoke to bus and taxi companies.

But the nursing home received a phone call from a younger veteran from Brighton at 10.30pm last night who said he had met the pensioner on a coach on the way to France and that they were safe and well in a hotel in Ouistreham.

3:18pm

Union flags planted in the sand by the British Legion, Gold Beach, Asnelles, Normandy, France as part of the celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day campaign.

Bournemouth Echo:

Bournemouth Echo:

2:33pm

Bournemouth Echo: VIDEO: Amazing exploits of D-Day veteran Bob Roberts, the second man to set foot on Juno beach

Bob Roberts, 91, from Bournemouth, was a corporal in the Canadian army, the second man to set foot on Juno Beach.  

He and a comrade took out a German machine gun post which was set up to fire on the beach.

“It was just all in a day’s work,” he said. The Allied invasion of Europe was later to cost him his younger brother, Ernie.

1:51pm

An interesting question asked by Ebb Tide:

1:24pm Fri 6 Jun 14

Ebb Tide says

Respect and gratitude. They did enough to protect civilized freedom for decades..

What are we doing with their legacy ? Is it enough ?

1:31pm

Bournemouth Echo: D-Day veteran Phil Carey

Phil Carey, 92, was working with the Royal 2nd Tactical Air Force, attached to the Americans landing at Utah beach. Their job was to create landing facilities for helicopters.

“As we got nearer to the beach, nearly 200 of the dedicated soldiers of the American Army moved off and they all had heavy equipment.

“To our horror they just started sinking and nobody could do anything. It was a complete swamp,” he said

1:06pm

Here is a Pathe News pictorial report about the landings and invasion from 1944:

12:41pm

Here's footage of our interview with 90-year-old veteran Geoffrey Vines from Winton at the Bournemouth D-Day commemoration event

 

12:31pm

The words ''doom'', ''debarkation'' and ''deliverance'' have all been suggested as meanings for the ''D'' in D-Day.

But the letter is derived from the word ''Day'' and means the day on which a military operation begins.

D-Day has been used for many different operations but is most closely associated with the Allied landings on Normandy's beaches on June 6 1944.

The day before D-Day was D-1 and the day after was D+1.

It meant that if the date for an operation changed, military planners would not have to change all the dates in their plan.

Such a thing happened for the Normandy landings D-Day, which was originally planned for June 5 1944 - but bad weather delayed it by a day.

12:20pm

Here's some video footage of the commemorative service in Bournemouth from a little earlier on

11:59am

Bournemouth Echo: Winston Churchill

12noon, 70 years ago:  Winston Churchill speaks to the House of Commons about the landings

11:48am

11:40am

11:37am

11:31am

11:29am

11:28am

11:27am

11:26am

Here's a picture from a little earlier of the Bournemouth service

11:25am

11:23am

11:21am

11:20am

Here's a picture of 90-year-old Geoffrey Vines who landed on Juno Beach the morning after D-Day

11:19am

11:17am

11:16am

11:10am

Bournemouth Echo: HERO: Ted aged 17

Ted Young, 90, from Parkstone, was a sapper in airfield construction with the Royal Engineers.

He waded through neck-high water to Juno Beach, tasked with setting down an airfield as quickly as possible. He is in Normandy today.“I'll be thinking how lucky I was. There were a lot of poor beggars not so lucky.”

11:02am

11:00am

10:57am

10:57am

10:56am

10:53am

 

10:49am

10:48am

10:48am

Our reporter Darren Slade is in Christchurch covering the service.
 

10:46am

A wreath-laying ceremony will be held in Bournemouth Central Gardens at 11am to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Landings.

Also the the D-Day exhibition which has been at Bournemouth Library since May 17 has been moved to the Town Hall reception today.

 

10:37am

Bournemouth Echo: HELPING HAND: The ship Peter worked on - Help

Peter Oliver, 86, of Bournemouth, was a merchant seaman on the ship Help, which was seconded to the Americans to keep Omaha and Utah beaches clear of obstacles.

“For the chaps who were scaling cliffs and that sort of thing, it meant much more to them and they saw much more of the war than I saw from where I was. But it was bad enough.”

10:27am

D-Day was originally scheduled for June 4/5 but postponed until June 6 because of stormy weather.

156,000 troops took part in the initial June 6 landings, of whom 10,000 were to become casualties.

Over the next two months more than 1.5 million men and 1.6 million tons of supplies were landed.

The Allies suffered 210,000 casualties, including almost 37,000 dead. The German dead totalled 65,000.

10:02am

10:00am

Today we pay tribute to those who gave and risked their lives 70 years ago with a special front page of the Daily Echo using the original masthead from 1944.

Bournemouth Echo:

9:49am

70 years ago today at 9.45am Enemy forces cleared from Utah Beach

Bournemouth Echo: Peter 70 years ago

Offshore, 15-year-old merchant seaman Peter Oliver is aboard the Help, tasked with keeping the beaches clear of obstructions for the landing foces. 

9:40am

Bournemouth Echo: Allied forces beginning the D-Day landings in Normandy, France - Picture from the Imperial War Museum

We've put together a timeline of key events detailing what happened on D-Day 70 years ago. Here's a look back at how the day had unfolded so far:

12.05am: Coastal batteries between Le Harve and Cherbourg are bombed

12.15am: Pathfinders are dropped to mark out US drop zones on the right bank of the Orne.

12.20am: British airborne troops begin attacking Pegasus and other bridges over the River Orne

12.35am:  British parachutists capture Pegasus Bridge in Benouville.

12.50am: 400 RAF aircraft drop 2,000 paratroopers from Pegasus Division.

1.30am: First paratroopers of US 101st Airborne dropped behind Utah Beach.

2.30am: Combined bombardment and assault fleets arrive and anchor

2.30am: Ranville is liberated.

3am: Aerial bombardment of German defence and artillery sites begins.

US troops start embarking in landing crafts for Omaha and Utah beaches

5am: Britain’s 9th Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, helps destroy weapons at the Merville Battery, protecting troops who will land at Sword Beach

5.30am: Allied warships begin bombarding the Normandy coastline

5.50am: Warships begin bombardment of German defences

5.58am: Sunrise

6am: Bombers pound the German shore defences. More than 5,300 tonnes of bombs are dropped

6.30am: American troops begin landing on Omaha Beach to face a devastating onslaught

Well dug in, the Germans poured down murderous fire on the landing Americans, and progress was so hindered that US First Army Commander General Omar Bradley considered pulling off the beach and landing troops elsewhere.

At one point, Colonel George A Taylor, who led his troops against a German machinegun emplacement, said: “Two kinds of people are staying on this beach - the dead and those who are about to die."

6.30am: Americans begin landing at Utah Beach

7.10am: US Rangers land at La Pointe du Hoc.

7.25am: British land at Gold and Sword beaches

7.30am: British and Canadian forces land on Gold, Juno and Sword sectors.

7.50am: French commandos land on Sword beach.

8am: the first men of the 50th Canadian Infantry Division landed on Juno between Gray-sur-Mer and Bernieres-sur-Mer.

8.05am: Heavy seas hamper the landings but the Canadians are able to forge a 1012km long bridgehead and liaise with the British 50th Division

8.15am: A total of 21,400 men were landed on the beach on DDay as well as 3,200 vehicles and 1,100 tons of supplies. Casualties included 304 dead, 574 wounded and 47 taken prisoner

9am: General Eisenhower authorises release of communiqué announcing the invasion has begun. General Bradley calls for reinforcements.

 

9:32am

Good morning. Welcome to our coverage as we commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

On June 6, 1944 tens of thousands of Allied troops crossed the Channel in a bid to liberate mainland Europe and deliver a final crushing blow to the Nazis.

The mission, codenamed Operation Overlord, took meticulous planning, cunning deception, unnerring discipline and unquestioning bravery.

Many of those who took part in the D-Day landings never returned.

Today we bring you the events as they would have happened on June 6, 1944 and commemorate the brave veterans and the fallen heroes of D-Day.

Comments (1)

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1:24pm Fri 6 Jun 14

Ebb Tide says...

Respect and gratitude. They did enough to protect civilized freedom for decades..

What are we doing with their legacy ? Is it enough ?
Respect and gratitude. They did enough to protect civilized freedom for decades.. What are we doing with their legacy ? Is it enough ? Ebb Tide
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