D-Day: Then and now

By Gabrielle Fonseca Johnson of Reuters | REUTERS-US National Archives
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Allied troops departing England for Omaha Beach

On June 6, 1944, Allied troops descended on the beaches of Normandy for D-Day – an operation that turned the tide of World War II against the Nazis, marking the beginning of the end of the conflict. See gallery

The 2nd Battalion U.S. Army Rangers, tasked with capturing the German heavy coastal defense battery at Pointe du Hoc to the west of the D-Day landing zone of Omaha Beach, march to their landing craft in Weymouth, England, on June 5, 1944, during World War II.

REUTERS-Chris Helgren
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Weymouth, England

Tourists walk along the beach-front in the Dorset holiday town of Weymouth, England, July 13, 2013. The port was the departure point for thousands of Allied troops who took part in the D-Day landings.

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June 5, 1944

Allied forces Supreme Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower speaks with U.S. Army paratroopers of Easy Company, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment (Strike) of the 101st Airborne Division, at Greenham Common Airfield in England June 5, 1944.

REUTERS-Chris Helgren
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Greenham Common, England

A gravel path lies on the former Royal Air Force base of Greenham Common, England, July 15, 2013. Today, as many around the world prepare to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the landings, pictures of Normandy's now-touristy beaches stand in stark contrast to images taken around the time of the invasion.

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June 6, 1944

U.S. troops wade ashore from a Coast Guard landing craft at Omaha Beach during the Normandy D-Day landings near Vierville sur Mer, France, on June 6, 1944. But while the landscape has changed, the memory of the momentous event lives on.

REUTERS-Chris Helgren
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Omaha Beach, Vierville-sur-Mer, France

Tourists take part in a land sailing class on the former D-Day landing zone of Omaha Beach near Vierville sur Mer, France, August 22, 2013.

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June 6, 1944

Members of an American landing party assist troops whose landing craft was sunk by enemy fire off Omaha beach, near Colleville sur Mer, France June 6, 1944.

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Colleville-sur-Mer, France

A tourist carries a beach bucket to her child on the former D-Day landing zone of Omaha beach, near Colleville sur Mer, France August 22, 2013.

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June 6, 1944

U.S. Army soldiers of the 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, move out over the seawall on Utah Beach after coming ashore in front of a concrete wall near La Madeleine, France, June 6, 1944.

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Utah Beach, La Madeleine, France

French bathers walk over the remains of a concrete wall on the former Utah Beach D-Day landing zone near La Madeleine, France August 21, 2013.

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June 6, 1944

U.S. reinforcements land on Omaha beach during the Normandy D-Day landings near Vierville sur Mer, France, on June 6, 1944.

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Omaha beach, Colleville-sur-Mer, France

Youths enjoy the sunshine on the former D-Day landing zone of Omaha beach near Vierville sur Mer, France, August 23, 2013.

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June 6, 1944

German prisoners-of-war march along Juno Beach landing area to a ship taking them to England, after they were captured by Canadian troops at Bernieres Sur Mer, France on June 6, 1944.

REUTERS-Chris Helgren
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Juno Beach, Bernieres-sur-Mer, France

A tourist sunbathes on a former Juno Beach landing area where Canadian troops came ashore on D-Day at Bernieres Sur Mer, France, August 23, 2013.

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June 8, 1944

A U.S. flag lies as a marker on a destroyed bunker two days after the strategic site overlooking D-Day beaches was captured by U.S. Army Rangers at Pointe du Hoc, France, June 8, 1944.

REUTERS-Chris Helgren
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Pointe du Hoc, France

An Italian tourist views a bunker at a strategic site overlooking the D-Day beaches which had been captured by U.S. Army Rangers at Pointe du Hoc, France, August 22, 2013.

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August 21, 1944

German prisoners of war captured after the D-Day landings in Normandy are guarded by U.S. troops at a camp in Nonant-le-Pin, France, August 21, 1944.

REUTERS-Chris Helgren
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Nonant-le-Pin, France

A farm field remains where German prisoners of war were interned following the D-Day landings in Normandy in Nonant-le-Pin, France, August 24, 3013.

REUTERS-US National Archives
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June 7, 1944

U.S. Army troops congregate around a signal post used by engineers on the site of a captured German bunker overlooking Omaha Beach after the D-Day landings near Saint Laurent sur Mer June 7, 1944.

REUTERS-Chris Helgren
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Omaha Beach, Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, France

Tourists walk past a former German bunker overlooking the D-Day landing zone on Omaha Beach near Saint Laurent sur Mer, France, August 24, 2013.

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June 18, 1944

U.S. Army reinforcements march up a hill past a German bunker overlooking Omaha Beach after the D-Day landings near Colleville sur Mer, France, June 18, 1944.

REUTERS-Chris Helgren
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Omaha Beach, Colleville-sur-Mer, France

Youths hike up a hill past an old German bunker overlooking the former D-Day landing zone of Omaha Beach near Colleville sur Mer, France, August 23, 2013.

REUTERS-National Archives of Canada
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June 6, 1944

A Cromwell tank leads a British Army column from the 4th County of London Yeomanry, 7th Armored Division, inland from Gold Beach after landing on D-Day in Ver-sur-Mer, France, on June 6, 1944.

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Gold Beach, Ver-sur-Mer, France

A couple walk inland from the former D-Day landing zone of Gold Beach where British forces came ashore in 1944, in Ver-sur-Mer, France August 23, 2013.

REUTERS-US National Archives
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June 6, 1944

U.S. Army troops make a battle plan in a farmyard amid cattle, which were killed by artillery bursts, near the D-Day landing zone of Utah Beach in Les Dunes de Varreville, France, on June 6, 1944.

REUTERS-Chris Helgren
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Utah Beach, Les Dunes de Varreville, France

Farmer Raymond Bertot, who was 19 when allied troops came ashore in 1944, poses on his property near the former D-Day landing zone of Utah Beach in Les Dunes de Varreville, France, August 21, 2013.

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June 6, 1944

U.S. Army paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division drive a captured German Kubelwagen on D-Day at the junction of Rue Holgate and RN13 in Carentan, France, June 6, 1944.

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Carentan, France

Girls run across the street at the junction of Rue Holgate and RN13 in the Normandy town of Carentan, France, June 21, 2013.

REUTERS-National Archives of Canada
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July, 1944

Canadian troops patrol along the destroyed Rue Saint-Pierre after German forces were dislodged from Caen in July 1944.

REUTERS-Chris Helgren
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Rue Saint-Pierre, Caen, France

Shoppers walk along the rebuilt Rue Saint-Pierre, which was destroyed following the D-Day landings, in Caen August 23, 2013.

REUTERS-National Archives of Canada
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June, 1944

A crashed U.S. fighter plane is seen on the waterfront some time after Canadian forces came ashore on a Juno Beach D-Day landing zone in Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer, France, in June 1944. British and Canadian troops battled reinforced German troops holding the area around Caen for about two months following the D-Day landings in Normandy in 1944.

REUTERS-Chris Helgren
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Juno Beach, Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer, France

Tourists enjoy the sunshine on the former Juno Beach D-Day landing zone, where Canadian forces came ashore, in Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer, France, August 23, 2013.

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