Collections Crossover: D-Day

Collections Crossover: D-Day

With the 80th anniversary of the Normandy landings coming up on the 6th June, we thought we'd round up the excellent material we have on the subject for this week's Collections Crossover email.

D-Day was originally scheduled to take place on 5th June but poor weather conditions meant a delay of twenty-four hours. Codenamed Operation Neptune, it was the largest seaborne invasion in history and a key strategy in Operation Overlord - the Allied invasion that would begin the liberation of France and the rest of Europe.

The Illustrated London News coverage of this historic event is matchless, and its 1944 volume is particularly interesting because more than a month before D-Day, in the 29th April issue, it published diagrams of how a hypothetical, airborne-supported, amphibious invasion might look, illustrated by a map which naturally gave no indication of specific geographical location. The 13th May issue continued the conjecture with a Bryan de Grineau double page illustration of 'an invading army landing on a strongly fortified flat coastland' and diagrams showing 1200 miles of North European coastline where an invasion might happen. It's little wonder the German defences had no idea when or where the invasions would come. The ILN appears to have contributed to the confusion with its very public speculation. You can view these maps as well as reports and illustrations of the subsequent landings here.

The photographs of Tonie and Valmai Holt of Holts' Battlefield Tours record the memorials and plaques found around Normandy and beyond, commemorating key battles and those who lost their lives.

Elsewhere, the Everett Collection's store of images on the D-Day landings and Battle of Normandy, plus Stocktrek's set of photographs of New Yorkers in Manhattan awaiting news from Europe on 6th June are an interesting American perspective. Glasshouse Images has some colourised photographs of the beach landings, while one of photographer Philip Dunn's assignments took him to Normandy in 1992 to photograph Major John Howard DSO, who led a glider-borne assault on two bridges spanning the Caen canal and River Orne. As always, John Frost Newspapers provides newspaper headlines to give contemporary context. We've pulled together the best of these but there are more online.

Finally, don't forget about our film material. If you're looking at movies inspired by D-Day, from D-Day, The 6th June starring Richard Todd and Dina Wynter, to Spielberg's epic Saving Private Ryan, we can help.

Get in touch if you have a project we can help with, whether you need picture research or a quote. You can contact us by emailing or call 020 8318 0034.

Mary Evans Picture Library Ltd.  59 Tranquil Vale  Blackheath  London  SE3 0BS. United Kingdom.
Unsubscribe here