Ever since I was young, this date has held a deep-seated interest for me, because on this day in 1944 the D-Day landings, the biggest amphibious invasion in world history, took place on the Normandie coast line of France. It marked the opening of the ‘Second Front’, which the Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin, had been demanding for quite some time, whilst his Red Army fought a bitter struggle against the Germans in the East. Lest we forget, however, that the Allied forces in Italy had seen many years of some of the worst fighting of the war and had captured Rome only two days before D-Day.
By the end of Tuesday 6th june 1944, the Allies had gained a somewhat tenuous foot hold on ‘Fortress Europe’, but the following months would be a bitter battle of attrition through the Bocage lined fields of Normandie and indeed many months more through Western Europe, untill the final collapse of the German Reich in 1945.
My thoughts on this Thursday eve are with the men that were there on that fateful day.