This colorized photograph was taken during the massive preparations prior to the Normandy invasion. Like never before, we are able to appreciate the shades of green in the landing ship and military uniforms, the yellows and browns of the soldiers’s sun-burnt skin.
A US Army GMC truck is being loaded into a landing vessel. This took place at Portland Harbour, Devon. And the outfit’s spirits were running high at the time with expectations of battle. Also shown in the background is a U.S. tank LST-134. This tank is part of Group 30 of LST Flotilla 12. It had been scheduled to leave for Omaha Beach in France. The LST-134 in the background was scheduled to depart for Omaha Beach.
IX Bomber Command
These are the same aircraft that bombed Saint-Lô to smithereens after the Allied forces took control of the shores of Normandy. Flying in formation, they look so proud and tactical; 100% strike-ready. These birds are B-26 Marauders with the 344th Bomb Group.
They are part of the United States Air Force. The 344th is nicknamed, “Silver Streaks,” and they led the IX Bomber Command formations on D-Day. Before the Normandy invasion, Caen, Saint-Lô, and the Falaise Gap, these bombers conducted raids over the skies of German-occupied Belgium, France, and the Netherlands.
The Battle of Normandy was codified as Operation Overlord, under the command of Gen. Eisenhower. It was a battle that would eventually turn the tide of the Second World War to the Allied forces, starting with its pivotal June 6th, 1944 operation.
This is a colorized photograph of Canadian forces that landed on the outskirts, near the town of Bernieres-sur-Mer, in Northwestern France. A total of 14,000 soldiers were deployed from Canada to contribute to the war effort. These men here belonged to the Saskatchewan Regiment of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division. The group reportedly lost 340 troops on the beach that fateful day.
The 3rd Canadian Infantry Division
When the Canadian government approved the sending of troops to be part of the Allied forces, it created the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, officially authorized on May 17th, 1940. They were fully-trained, and 16,000 strong. They fought and some of them died alongside US troops in the critical Battle of Normandy.
Of all the Canadian troops sent out to war, the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division suffered the most losses. They posed problems to the German Luftwaffe warplanes with their anti-aircraft weapons installed around Juno Beach after they landed on Bernieres-sur-Mer.
Prisoners Of War
The German soldiers became as weary as their Allied counterparts, as the Second World War tore away beautiful places and innocent lives for so many years. As the battle wore on, many of them were captured. Over time, a number of these captured soldiers began to wonder if all the suffering was truly worth it. Was it time to stop fighting?
Here is a dramatic photo of some of the German captives, enclosed with twirling barbed wires. Private Helmut Roemer, one of those captured early on in battle, said in an interview with the BBC, “[we] were exhausted and we decided to hand ourselves over to the British, thinking, ‘Either they will shoot us or they’ll take us prisoner.’”