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The Shores of Normandy

On June 6th 1944 Jim Radford, aged just 15, was serving on the HM Rescue tug Empire Larch at Gold Beach tasked, amongst other things, with building the breakwater and later the mulberry harbour there. 70 years later an 85 year old Jim stood up in front of a packed Albert Hall in London and, accompanied by the BBC Concert Orchestra, sung his autobiographical composition - The Shores of Normandy. [more inside]
posted by garius on Jun 11, 2014 - 5 comments

“Rangers, Lead The Way!”

Experience D-Day like your grandparents did, if they weren't in the military on June 6, 1944. Archive.org has the the complete D-Day broadcast from CBS radio.
posted by COD on Jun 6, 2014 - 31 comments

“I thank the Gods of War we went when we did"

Today, June 5, would be the 70th anniversary of D-Day if not for the last-minute prognostication of British meteorologist James Stagg. The planners of the Normandy landings originally designated June 5, 1944 as D-Day, basing their decision on a favorable combination of tide patterns and a full moon, which would help with pilot visibility. On the evening of June 4, however, Royal Air Force meteorologist Captain James Stagg met with Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower with a dire last-minute warning: a large storm brewing just north of Scotland would bring heavy winds, turbulent seas, and thick cloud cover over the English Channel. Ike's decision to change the invasion to June 6, on the advice of a lone meteorologist practicing an emergent and unreliable science, may have been the turning point of the war. Historian John Ross, author of The Forecast for D-Day and the Weatherman Behind Ike’s Greatest Gamble, contends, "Had Ike listened to his countrymen's predictions and launched D-day on June 5, it would have failed with catastrophic consequences for the Western Allies and world history."
posted by eitan on Jun 5, 2014 - 41 comments

Now and Seventy years ago

The U.K. newspaper The Guardian combines photos from today and D-Day to show what's happened on and around the D-Day landing beaches in the seventy years since. [more inside]
posted by wenestvedt on Jun 4, 2014 - 22 comments

The Fallen

On the 21st September 2013 it is International Peace Day. We are making an event called ‘The Fallen’ on the D-Day landing beach of Arromanches in northern France that illustrates what happens with the absence of peace. It was on the 6th June 1944 that a total of 9,000 civilians, German forces and Allies lost their lives. Our challenge is to represent those lives lost between the times of the tide with a stark visual representation using stencilled sand drawings of people on the beach. Each silhouette represents a life and when it is washed away its loss. There is no distinction between nationalities, they will only be known as ‘The Fallen’.
posted by chavenet on Sep 25, 2013 - 20 comments

Radar Plots the Invasion

These photos are the first official releases of radar imagery before and during D-Day.
posted by Confess, Fletch on May 11, 2013 - 33 comments

Forgot to Celebrate D-Day, Sister Woman.

What Does D-Day, MLK JR and Tennessee Williams have in common? NO, not that D-Day. The other D-Day. [more inside]
posted by QueerAngel28 on May 4, 2013 - 4 comments

Practice Makes Perfect

"[It's] all the more staggering when you realize that more people were killed in the rehearsal for the landing at Utah beach than were killed in the actual landing at Utah beach." Operation Tiger, the disastrous secret rehearsal for D-Day, marks its 68th anniversary today.
posted by Spike on Apr 28, 2012 - 21 comments

The Geology of Omaha Beach

D-Day's Legacy: Remnants of invasion linger in beach sands - an analysis of the debris left in the sands at Omaha Beach from D-Day. [more inside]
posted by thatwhichfalls on Oct 16, 2011 - 28 comments

Storming Juno

"Juno" was the beachhead for Canadian forces during Operation Neptune (D-Day). 1/10th the size of the British and American forces, the Canadian units were the first to break through German lines; by the end of the day, Canadian soldiers had penetrated deeper into Normandy than any other Allied force. Storming Juno tells their story via an immersive Flash experience that interweaves live recreation, documents, and oral history from veterans. (Flash, interactive, sound)
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Jun 6, 2011 - 33 comments

The Beast of Omaha

63 years ago today, 20-year old German lance-corporal Hein Severloh was armed with a rifle, a machine gun and 16,000 rounds of ammo when American forces landed in the early morning hours off Omaha Beach on D-Day. During the next nine-hour "Longest Day", Severloh gunned down up to 3,000 Americans before running out of ammo, making him personally responsible for about three-quarters of all casualties at Omaha Beach, comparable in scale to 9/11 or the Iraq War. Nicknamed The Beast of Omaha, today he says "I never wanted to be in the war. I never wanted to be in France. I never wanted to be in that bunker firing a machine gun. Thinking about it makes me want to throw up."
posted by stbalbach on Jun 6, 2007 - 127 comments

The D-Day Photographs of Robert Capa

The D-Day Photographs of Robert Capa (via Plep)
posted by jack_mo on Sep 4, 2006 - 7 comments

When wars were good and men were noble...

The making of a D-Day tradition... I immediately get goosebumps when I hear the score of Band of Brothers...I'm not sure why, maybe it was my local connections (Dick Winters, Bill Guanere, Albert Blithe, Babe Heffron, Thomas Meehan, Ralph Spina, Harry Welsh, and Robert Strayer are all from Philadelphia), the surrounding suburbs, or Pennsylvania), or maybe it was because the original airings took place in the shadow of 9/11 (the premiere was September 9th, 2001, with the D-Day drop occuring in the second episode, Day of Days, on 9/16/2001), but this series will ALWAYS have a special place in my heart. Everything is done so beautifully, from the special effects, to the sound, the music, to the dutiful translation from Stephen Ambrose book to the screen. It's certainly worthy of the 9.5 out of 10 that IMDB readers had given it. Every year now since, either HBO (On Demand - you have to subscribe to HBO plus have digital cable) or the History Channel has played Tom Hanks' and Steven Spielberg's masterful WW2 epic. You can think of it as Saving Private Ryan, but 3 times as long. Even if war movies are not your thing, I can almost guarantee that they will see the human side of the soldier and becomely deeply invested in the characters. Follow the men of Easy Company from training and the running of Currahee, to the parachute jump on D-Day, through the liberation of Europe, the horror of a German concentration camp, and eventually to the end of the war, to Hitler's mountaintop retreat. I'm not the only one - check out the numerous fan sites to BoB (forum shorthand for Band of Brothers) here, here, and here, as well as entries on TVTome, Wikipedia, and Television without Pity. If you want to try before you commit to watching the whole thing, I'd recommend the episodes Day of Days, Crossroads, and the Breaking Point.
posted by rzklkng on Jun 4, 2005 - 24 comments

Die Invasion hat begonnen!

Front Pages of News Papers from Tuesday June 6th and Wendsday June 7th 1944
The wonderful Newseum provides a look back at some of the front pages from newspapers reporting the invasion of "Fortress Europe" 60 years ago today.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood on Jun 6, 2004 - 13 comments

D-Day was 57 years ago yesterday. It was 16 years before an article in the Atlantic finally provided Americans an unvarnished account of the carnage that was Omaha Beach that day. I'm in awe of what these 19-year-olds went through.
posted by luser on Jun 7, 2001 - 1 comment

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