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June 14, 2017

26 Rare Color Photos of D-Day Show New View of Historic WWII Invasion

On June 6, 1944, the Allies invade Western Europe in the largest amphibious attack in history.

During World War II, the Battle of Normandy, which lasted from June 1944 to August 1944, resulted in the Allied liberation of Western Europe from Nazi Germany’s control. Codenamed Operation Overlord, the battle began on June 6, 1944, also known as D-Day, when some 156,000 American, British and Canadian forces landed on five beaches along a 50-mile stretch of the heavily fortified coast of France’s Normandy region.

The invasion was one of the largest amphibious military assaults in history and required extensive planning. Prior to D-Day, the Allies conducted a large-scale deception campaign designed to mislead the Germans about the intended invasion target. By late August 1944, all of northern France had been liberated, and by the following spring the Allies had defeated the Germans. The Normandy landings have been called the "beginning of the end" of war in Europe.

View of American troops as they board an LCVP (Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel), Weymouth, England, early June, 1944. The men are in preparation for the invasion of France, the Normandy Landings, which began on June 6, 1944.

Operation Overlord Normandy, Private Clyde Peacock, 1st Military Police (MP) Platoon of the 1st Infantry Division of the United. States Army. June 1944. The 1st Division was one of the two divisions that stormed Omaha Beach on D-Day suffering high casualties. Dorset, United Kingdom.

Operation Overlord Normandy, United States Army troops train for bomb squad and safety proceedings in preparation of the invasion of Normandy, France. May 1944. In a landing exercise in Lyme Bay, 749 soldiers were killed by German submarines 28th April 1944. United Kingdom.

Operation Overlord Normandy, Soldiers of the United States Army are boarding a Landing Craft Transport (LCT) in Southern England. 30th May 1944. They will participate in the invasion of Normandy at Omaha Beach, France. Portland, United Kingdom.

US troops on the Esplanade at Weymouth, Dorset, on their way to embark on ships bound for Omaha Beach for the D-Day landings in Normandy, June 1944.

Operation Overlord Normandy, United States Army soldiers are sitting on top of several M4 half-track armored personal carriers. One is reading a book. Another one is checking an anti-aircraft gun. May 1944. They will soon participate in the D-Day landings in Normandy. United Kingdom.

Operation Overlord Normandy, United States Army troops train in the English countryside in preparation of the invasion of Normandy, France. May 1944. In a landing exercise in Lyme Bay, 749 soldiers were killed by German submarines 28th April 1944. United Kingdom.

In England, American soldiers, having loaded their equipment and supplies onto an LCT (Landing Craft, Tank) await the signal to begin the D-Day invasion, June 1944.

Planes of the 344th Bomb Group, which led the IX Bomber Command formations on D-Day. May 1944. Operations started in March 1944 with attacks on targets in German-occupied France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. After the beginning of the Normandy invasion the Group was active at Cotentin Peninsula, Caen, Saint-Lô and the Falaise Gap.

United States Rangers from E Company, 5th Ranger Battalion, on board a landing craft assault vessel (LCA) in Weymouth harbour, Dorset, 4th June 1944. The ship is bound for the D-Day landing on Omaha Beach in Normandy. Clockwise, from far left: First Sergeant Sandy Martin, who was killed during the landing, Technician Fifth Grade Joseph Markovich, Corporal John Loshiavo and Private First Class Frank E. Lockwood. They are holding a 60mm mortar, a Bazooka, a Garand rifle and a pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes.

A Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel (LCVP) is approaching Omaha Beach, Normandy, France, 6th June 1944. To the right is another LCVP. The soldiers are protecting their weapons with Pliofilm covers against the wetness. These U.S. Army infantry men are amongst the first to attack the German defenses, probably near Ruquet Saint Laurent sur Mer.

Digitally colorized image of “Into the Jaws of Death”, a photograph by Robert F Sargent of the United States Army First Infantry Division disembarking from an LCVP (landing craft) onto Omaha Beach during the Normandy Landings on D Day during World War 2, June 6, 1944.

Operation Overlord - On a pebble beach at Omaha Beach U.S. soldiers deal with injuries. 6th June 1944. All these men are from the 5th or 6th Engineer Special Brigade (see the helmet with the white arc and Jump Boots). The Landing Craft Tank (LCT) 30 is part of Force O-2 attached to the 116th Infantry Division. Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France.

6th June 1944: Allied troops exiting a landing craft in trucks on a beachhead during the D-Day landings in Normandy, France.

6th June 1944: US troops travel the English Channel on a barge en route to Normandy, France for the D-Day Invasion, World War II. An American flag flies behind them.

UTAH BEACH, FRANCE: US soldiers gather around trucks disembarking from landing crafts shortly after D-Day 06 June 1944 after Allied forces stormed the Normandy beaches.

Operation Overlord Normandy, German Prisoners of War (POW) have been put behind barbed wire on Omaha Beach where American invasion forces landed 6th June. 10th June 1944. Landing Ships Tank (LST) are on the beach and barrage balloons are up in the air for protection. France.

American troops with German prisoners of war on board a Liberty ship in the English Channel during the Allied invasion of Normandy, June 1944.

Operation Overlord Normandy, The Saskatchewan Regiment of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division is landing at Juno Beach on the outskirts of Bernieres-sur-Mer on D-Day. 6th June 1944. 14,000 Canadian soldiers were put ashore and 340 lost their live in the battles for the beachhead.

Operation Overlord Normandy, Three American soldiers from the 1st Engineer Special Brigade are looking at photos from home. June 1944. Landing Ships Tank (LST) and other vessels are on the beach at Omaha and barrage balloons are up in the air for protection. France.

Operation Overlord Normandy, A Catholic priest is performing a religious service in the Normandy American Cemetary of Colleville sur Mer. July 1944. The town is near Omaha Beach where the largest battle of the invasion took place after the landings on 6th June.

A Canadian soldier directs traffic in front of the Notre-Dame Nativity church, in Bernieres-sur-Mer, on June 6, 1944.

Operation Overlord Normandy, Soldiers of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division are trying to set up an anti-aircraft gun. June 1944. The emplacement is near Juno Beach. German Luftwaffe war planes are still active in the area. 14,000 Canadian soldiers were put ashore and 340 lost their lives in the battles for the beachhead. France.

Operation Overlord Normandy, Two American soldiers are watching two United States Army jeeps driving through the ruins of the center of Saint-Lo. August 1944. The town was almost totally destroyed by 2,000 Allied bombers when they attacked German troops stationed there during Operation Overlord in June. France.

Operation Overlord Normandy, Two children are watching an American Army jeep driving through the ruins of Saint-Lo. August 1944.

Operation Overlord Normandy, A United States truck is entering a Landing Craft Tank (LCT) in a port in Southern England. June 1944. The ship and will depart for Omaha Beach, Normandy, France. United Kingdom.

(Photos: Getty Images)

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