On June 6, 1944, Allied troops carried out Operation Neptune—the code name for the landings on the beaches at Normandy that came to be known as D-Day. The invasion liberated France from Nazi Germany, and ultimately led to the Allied victory on the Western Front in World War II. D-Day can be read about in countless history books, and thanks to footage shot that day, it can be viewed online as it unfolded.
Global News recently shared archival footage of the invasion of Normandy in honor of D-Day's 75th anniversary this year. The action was captured by professional film crews with 35mm cameras the day the Allies invaded. The public relations division of Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces (SHAEF), headed by General Dwight D. Eisenhower at the time, organized the filming. The motion pictures captured that day were later featured in news reels like the one below.
This video, which uses clips from the U.S. National Archive, starts with the military preparation leading up to the day. Ships, troops, and the amphibious duck boats that made the crusade possible are featured. The news narrator says, "Never in military history has any campaign been so long anticipated, so much discussed, so thoroughly organized as the second front." Later in the video, soldiers can be seen wading through the waters to invade Nazi-occupied France.
The amount of film captured at D-Day helped make it one of the most iconic events of World War II. Here are some full-color photos of the Allied troops and French people taken following the operation.