This documentary tells the story of the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944, the meticulous planning that led up to the biggest amphibious invasion in history, the terror and triumph of the landings and the bitter fighting in the days that followed.
Crucial to the success of the D-Day landings was one of the greatest feats of deception in history. Decoy troop activity was centred on Kent, to fool the Germans into thinking that the Normandy landings were a feint, to be followed by a main thrust across the shortest sea route from Kent to Calais. The Germans bought the deception and kept vital forces in the Pas de Calais, miles away from Normandy where the vital battles were being won and lost. The invasion plan included purpose-built floating harbours, devised to land the thousands of British, American and Canadian troops on the shallow beaches. But the film is not merely a story of strategic planning – it features eyewitness accounts and archive footage to recall the events unfolding on the beaches. An extraordinary incident involving a young French woman, cycling to the beaches in search of a lost swimming costume, is recalled by combatants on both sides. Vivid anecdotes and personal memories combine to paint a stark picture of a landmark day in the most terrible conflict in human history.