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D-Day

D-Day: the biggest wartime operation

'We cannot afford to fail.' These were the words of General Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander in the run-up to D-Day.

Failure would give Hitler the opportunity to initiate an eleventh-hour attempt to save Germany and launch his new V-weapons against British cities. Success would mean the beginning of the end of the Third Reich.

Midnight had not long struck when the British and American airborne armada began its mission on 6 June 1944 in the moonlight. They landed at the edges of the invasion area on the Normandy coast to secure the western and eastern flanks of the beachheads and protect them from German attacks.

 

Back to the beaches 60 and 65 years on

Ten years ago, the Legion launched a big 'thank you' to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the extraordinary bravery displayed by the men who took part in the D-Day operations. A dozen veterans recalled their memories, impressions and the role they played during the historic day.

Flags planted to commemorate the 60th anniversary of D-Day in 2004 And again five years ago, there was also an opportunity for all our supporters to show their gratitude by paying tribute to not just our 'D-Day Dozen' but to every soldier, sailor and airman prepared to sacrifice their lives.

Every one of them helped to change the outcome of the Second World War on 6 June 1944 and liberate Europe from the grip of the Nazis. In their honour, we planted 1,520 flags, one for each man who fell on that day. We also took every one of the flags returned to us to Normandy in their honour.

View the photo gallery from these events.

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