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December 10, 2013

28 Amazing Color Photographs of England Before the Launching of the D-Day, 1944

Unlike V-E Day (“Victory in Europe”) or V-J Day (“Victory over Japan”), the “D” in D-Day isn’t short for “departure” or “decision.”

The terms D-Day and H-Hour are used for the day and hour on which a combat attack or operation is to be initiated. They designate day and hour for an operation when the actual day and hour have not yet been determined or announced. The letters are derived from the words for which they stand, “D” for the day of the invasion and “H” for the hour the operation actually begins.

The legacy of D-Day resonates through history: It was the largest-ever amphibious military invasion. Allied forces faced rough weather and fierce German gunfire as they stormed Normandy’s coast. Despite tough odds and high casualties, Allied forces ultimately won the battle and helped turn the tide of World War II toward victory against Hitler’s forces.

American soldiers and a group of English school children sitting on bridge over the Thames River.

Oxford Street in London shortly before the launching of the D-Day invasion of France during WWII.

Old village water pump during WWII.

Pair of American servicemen walking w. civilian woman in a bucolic park during WWII.

African American soldier piling up gas cans in preparation for the upcoming D-Day invasion of France.

Pair of English Land Army girls taking a drink from a roadside well during WWII.

British and American flags flying from building as US Army band leads procession to Holy Trinity Church during birthday celebrations honoring William Shakespeare.

American infantrymen marching in an unident. park in England shortly before D-Day.

Pastoral riverside scene along the Thames.

Small gas station during WWII (note pair of soldiers, L)

American soldier eating his dinner atop ammunition stockpiled for the impending D-Day invasion of France.

Woman pilot taking pair of soldiers punting on the River Avon.

US Army band leading a procession during birthday celebrations honoring William Shakespeare.

Vacant lot, former site of a building on Wimpole Street bombed out during the Blitz.

Small flower market (note American soldiers walking in background, L) during WWII.

American combat engineer soldiers eating meals atop boxes of ammunition being stockpiled for the impending D-Day invasion of France.

People relaxing in Hyde Park during WWII.

Cyclists crossing suspension bridge past unident. church during WWII.

Road leading out of village of Hambledon during WWII.

Vapor trails from RAF planes in the skies over England recall the convolutions of British & German pilots fighting air duels throughout the summer of 1940 during the Battle of Britain.

School children arriving at the Shakespeare Memorial Theater during the Shakespeare Festival.

Boaters punting on the Thames River.

Procession of townspeople led by the Lord Mayor (W. gold chains) during birthday celebrations honoring William Shakespeare

Ammunition stockpiled in the town square for the impending D-Day invasion of France.

American infantrymen taking breather during a march in an unident. park shortly before D-Day.

Ammunition stored in the town square shortly before D-Day.

Roadside tents awaiting soldier occupants shortly before the D-Day invasion of France during WWII.

Policeman directing traffic during birthday celebrations honoring William Shakespeare.

(Photos by Frank Scherschel, via LIFE photo archive)



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