Friday, 5 June 2009

D-Day Commemorations

by Kathryn Hadley

Celebrations to mark the 65th anniversary of the D-Day Landings began, this morning, with a drop of British parachutists at the Pegasus Memorial in Ranville to mark the airborne phase of the Normandy landings. Commemorative events, including firework displays, exhibitions, walks and film screening, will be held throughout the weekend both in France and in the UK. Here is a small selection…

In London, at the Imperial War Museum…

D-Day Film Programme
June 6th, 11am-2pm
Imperial War Museum London
Lambeth RoadLondon SE1 6HZ
Telephone: 020 7416 5000
A series of three film screenings about the D-Day Landings.
A Harbour Goes to France (1944) is a documentary about the prefabricated Mulberry Harbour, which was towed out to France to help bring the supplies for the Allied invasion ashore.
At 12pm, screenings will include an official Army record film of the landings at Sword Beach, an amateur film shot by Lieutenant Michael Serraillier on board the landing craft Queen Emma, and Operation Neptune in Colour, recording scenes of Royal Navy activity at Arromanches the day after the Normandy landings, on June 7th, 1944.
Screenings at 2pm, will include an American commentated account of the landings, from the time, which was prepared to show to the heads of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force, and Overlord (1978), a semi-fictional documentary charting the D-Day landings, which mixes a staged personal story with archive footage from the Imperial War Museum.

In France…

Lighting up of the Coast
June 5th
Normandie Mémoire
Telephone: 00 33 2 31 94 80 26
The association Normandie Mémoire will organise 25 simultaneous firework displays along a 50-mile stretch of coastline from Ste Marie du Mont to Merville-Franceville to commemorate D-Day.

In the Footsteps of No.47 Royal Marine Commando
June 6th, 9am
Tourist Board of Bayeux Bessin
Telephone: 00 33 2 31 51 28 28
A public walk from Asnelles to Port-en-Bessin retracing the steps of the British soldiers who liberated Port-en-Bessin on June 7th 1944.

Veterans Voices
June 6th – September
Juno Beach CentreVoie des Français Libres14470 Courseulles-sur-Mer
Telephone: 00 33 2 31 37 32 17
A commemorative ceremony will be held at 10am at the centre. Also taking place is the inauguration of this new temporary exhibition, which tells the story of the Battle of Normandy through the eyes of 12 surviving veterans of the Canadian forces.

D-Day Portraits - “Héros Anonymes”
Until June 12th
Musée de l’Armée
Hôtel national des Invalides
129 rue de Grenelle
75007 Paris
Telephone: 00 33 810 11 33 99
Every year, for 25 years, Ian Patrick attended and photographed the D-Day commemorative ceremonies organised in Normandy. On display in this exhibition are 60 of his black and white photographs, taken between 1984 and 2008, which include portraits of veterans and of those who came to remember them, as well as photographs of landscapes and monuments.

Survivre: Sauver les enfants
June 18th – December 31st
Le Mémorial de CaenEsplanade Général Eisenhower
14050 Caen
Telephone: 00 33 2 31 06 06 44
This exhibition explores the experiences and courage of children during the Second World War - more than 1,300,000 of whom were victims of Nazi persecution.

For further information about the D-Day landings, here is a selection of our free articles.
In D-Day Propaganda Caroline Reed looks at the massive propaganda accompanying the D-Day landings.
In Picturing D-Day Michael Paris examines the way in which aspects of D-Day were filmed at the time and have subsequently been reconstructed in popular cinema.
In The Part Played by Resistance Movements M Houlihan claims that the Allies could have used Resistance to better effect before and after D-Day.
In The Road to D-Day Geoffrey Warner considers the reasons for the delay in opening a second Allied Front.
In Montgomery and the Preparations for Overlord Stephen Brooks charts the five months Montgomery had to mastermind the Allied D-Day Landings.
In The Liberation of Europe: A Bridgehead Too Late? John Grigg critically analyses whether D-Day could have taken place earlier and the extent to which it, instead, dragged out the course of the war.


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