Looking back to D-Day

Today is the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Landings, and activities commemorating the events of early June 1944 are taking place in France, England and around the world.

omahaReading Anne Frank’s diary I realised that it was not just the British who were awaiting the invasion of occupied Europe but also those living under the tyranny of the Nazi regime and occupation. There were feelings that the Allies’ invasion was long overdue, especially considering the fall of Mussolini’s Italy in July 1943. At the same time, the Russians were annoyed at what they saw as too much being put on their shoulders.

The invasion was planned for earlier but bad weather had postponed it until Tuesday 6 June. The landings began overnight with gliders and parachutists landing in Northern France; leaflets were dropped warning the French people of what was to come.

Unsurprisingly when the news came forth the newspapers sprang on it with a great many headlines – this from The Times:

“GREAT ASSAULT GOING WELL

For most of us, D-Day is not a memory but a piece of history. Reading newspapers from the time can be a good way to see how events unfolded and how they were reported in the press. The Times and other papers and magazines can be read via our online archives, just go to the Online Resources page, choose a newspaper and log in with your library card number.

You could begin by browsing through the newspapers of 7 June 1944: The TimesThe Mirror (via UK Press Online), The Guardian and even the FT feature relevant stories from the day.

Then if you want to explore further, try illustrated stories from Picture Post (24 June) and Illustrated London News (10 and 17 June).

[Owen]

 

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