The tide of the Second World War turned on the 6th of June, 1944, changing the course of history forever. On the shores of Normandy, the Allied forces landed in the largest amphibious landing to have ever been attempted.
Mainland Europe was largely under the control of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime, following five years of continuous warfare. When the Allies stormed the beaches, in an event now commonly referred to as D-Day, a new and final chapter began in the conflict. Hundreds of thousands of troops fought on both sides, but the invading forces were successful, and France was liberated shortly afterward.
The battle for Normandy marked the start of the Allies’ steady push eastwards towards Berlin. Within a year, Hitler would be dead and the Axis powers in ruin.
During the battle for the French coastline alone, more than 400,000 troops were killed, wounded or reported missing. Although an Allied victory in the end, the price of their success proved to be a heavy one; to beat back the Germans who defended the beaches, they lost more than 200,000 men.
Even then, though the shore had been secured, the death toll continued to rise after the events of D-Day. Germany’s military wasn’t giving up without a fight, and the struggled raged on inland. The Allies were soon engaging in house-to-house combat to capture numerous fortified towns, paying in blood for every mile they gained.
In this video, a collection of remarkable colorized footage brings to life the dramatic conflict as it unfolded. The YouTube channel that hosts the video has already uploaded a number of other compelling and emotionally impactful videos of a similar nature, honoring the sacrifice of men on both sides of the war. From individual battles to focused examinations of Second World War vehicles and equipment, there’s plenty here to be explored.