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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.
Thanks for following our coverage of the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
You can find the links to all our stories on D-Day below, including coverage of todya's services as well as our veterans' stories:
- Christchurch '"grateful and proud" to be in company of D-Day veterans on 70th anniversary
- VIDEO: “I am lucky to be here today" - a veteran remembers as Bournemouth marks D-Day anniversary
- US coastguard veteran pays emotional return visit to Poole on D-Day
- D-Day: a timeline of how events unfolded 70 years ago
- D-Day veteran Eric Steele: 'I can still name all the friends I lost in the Normandy landings'
- VIDEO: We feared we wouldn't reach the beaches of Normandy - former councillor Phil Carey recalls D-Day
- VIDEO: Amazing exploits of D-Day veteran Bob Roberts, the second man to set foot on Juno beach
- Dorset's key role during D-Day: how the county was involved in the Longest Day
- History from a Bournemouth clifftop: how Eisenhower and Montgomery observed D-Day preparations in Poole
- VIDEO: “It was a scene you’ve never seen before or since” - veteran Ted Young’s D-Day memories
- VIDEO: Aged 16 and part of Operation Overlord: Veteran Peter Oliver’s D-Day experiences
- Father's role as fireman in Poole in preparations for D-Day
Today, we honor the service & sacrifice of those who stormed the beaches of #Normandy 70 years ago. #DDay70 http://t.co/6pMMCiwDWv— @USArmy 06 June 2014
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
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.
90 year old veteran reported missing from care home. Turns out they'd said no to him going to #DDay70 but he went anyway #fightingspirit RT— @HONOUROURFORCES 06 June 2014
4pm, June 6 1944-The British arrive at Arromanches
This photo shows the Hampshire Regiment in a field overlooking Arromanches
The Air Force Story, D-Day
@SamJSheldon @Bournemouthecho today at Christchurch with Frederick Rushton, Rene Hopkins & Freddie Mortimer so proud! http://t.co/eXR94DEbxb— @wp2009 06 June 2014
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.
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.
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.
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 ?
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
Here is a Pathe News pictorial report about the landings and invasion from 1944:
Here's footage of our interview with 90-year-old veteran Geoffrey Vines from Winton at the Bournemouth D-Day commemoration event
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.
Here's some video footage of the commemorative service in Bournemouth from a little earlier on
12noon, 70 years ago: Winston Churchill speaks to the House of Commons about the landings
@Bournemouthecho a fine selection of Bournemouth's D-Day vets #DDay70 http://t.co/xEd8KwypHI— @Gayle_Echo 06 June 2014
D-Day veterans Fred Rushton, 100 & Ted Kingswell, 91, laying the wreath in Christchurch for #DDay70 @Bournemouthecho http://t.co/cIb3MACozv— @SamJSheldon 06 June 2014
Wreath laid by Normandy veterans at Christchurch #DDay70 service http://t.co/yzBDYYcdQ6— @echodaz 06 June 2014
Veteran Ted Kingswell, 91 and Fred Rushton, 100, remembering D-Day. #DDay70 @Bournemouthecho http://t.co/dHsn54buXA— @SamJSheldon 06 June 2014
The Mayor will be joined by D-Day veterans to lay a wreath at the D-Day plaque in Dolphin Quays this afternoon http://t.co/6o7hu2TdX3— @BoroughofPoole 06 June 2014
Here's what the #DDay forecast might have looked like if they had our graphics 70 years ago. Jake C http://t.co/F2SFgMTCUf— @bbcweather 06 June 2014
Normandy veteran Ted Kingswell, 91, right, at Christchurch #DDay70 service http://t.co/gpJZy7hw9j— @echodaz 06 June 2014
Remembering D-Day 70 years on. Bournemouth war memorial. Juno veteran Frederick Greenwood,92 lays a wreath . #dday70 http://t.co/mzD0IibVky— @RichardBmthEcho 06 June 2014
Fred Rushton, 100 year old veteran in Christchurch before laying the wreath for #DDay70. @Bournemouthecho http://t.co/36UhPS3GOS— @SamJSheldon 06 June 2014
Remembering D-Day 70 years on. Bournemouth war memorial @Bournemouthecho #DDay70 http://t.co/o95D6hXlG7— @RichardBmthEcho 06 June 2014
Remembering D-Day 70 years on. Bournemouth war memorial with veteran Geoffrey Vines,90. @Bournemouthecho #DDay70 http://t.co/wi6ol1x7J0— @RichardBmthEcho 06 June 2014
@Bournemouthecho Geoffrey Vines landed on Juno Beach the morning after D-Day. "We must remember them," he says #DDay70— @Gayle_Echo 06 June 2014
@Bournemouthecho members of the public thank 90yo DDay veteran Geoffrey Vines #DDay70 http://t.co/bdUvEbPHae— @Gayle_Echo 06 June 2014
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.”
@Bournemouthecho the ceremony has finished here at the War Memorial #DDay70— @Gayle_Echo 06 June 2014
#DDay70 veterans Fred Rushton, 100, and Ted Kingswell, 91, laying wreaths at Christchurch— @echodaz 06 June 2014
Priory School children are with the #DDay70 veterans at Christchurch— @echodaz 06 June 2014
@Bournemouthecho wreaths are being laid at the memorial following a minutes's silence #DDay70 http://t.co/GaiJ2Aneg2— @Gayle_Echo 06 June 2014
@Bournemouthecho Our Dad, Derek Hinton in Bayeux Cemetery 10yrs ago. Sadly no longer with us but we are so, so proud https://t.co/YXvi19LoMK— @KatDay32 06 June 2014
@Bournemouthecho the last post is played to mark the start of today's ceremony at the War Memorial #DDay70 http://t.co/fntHPAFdIY— @Gayle_Echo 06 June 2014
@Bournemouthecho the mayor Cllr Chris Mayne leads the procession to the memorial #DDay70 http://t.co/wuVpL3kAWp— @Gayle_Echo 06 June 2014
@Bournemouthecho the wreath-laying ceremony is about to get underway at the war memorial #dday70— @Gayle_Echo 06 June 2014
Veterans gather at Christchurch war memorial for #DDay70 service http://t.co/715DAcE7lz— @echodaz 06 June 2014
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.
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.”
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.
The original hand-drawn weather chart from #DDay70, perhaps the most important forecast in our history http://t.co/bJr6fsZMo8— @metoffice 06 June 2014
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.
70 years ago today at 9.45am Enemy forces cleared from Utah Beach
Offshore, 15-year-old merchant seaman Peter Oliver is aboard the Help, tasked with keeping the beaches clear of obstructions for the landing foces.
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
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.
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.