Remembering D-Day and the Battle of Normandy

The D-Day landings of 6 June 1944 was the largest seaborne invasion in history. Along with the associated airborne operations, it marked the beginning of the liberation of France and western Europe.

Unprecedented coordination between Allied nations, and the intensive planning of engineers, meteorologists, logisticians and countless more, led to a force from 13 countries approaching Normandy in a 5000-vessel armada.

In the early hours of D-Day, 24,000 paratroopers and glider-borne troops landed behind German lines to provide tactical support. Massive naval and aerial bombardments attempted to suppress the German defences and weaponry. Then a ground force of more than 130,000 troops came ashore on five beaches across a 50-mile stretch of Normandy coast, with the first waves often facing intact defences. By the end of D-Day there had been 10,000 allied casualties. Yet this was only the beginning. The ensuing Battle of Normandy was to last into August and cost tens of thousands of lives as it defeated and repulsed the occupying German forces eastwards. It was a decisive success for the Allies and paved the way for the liberation of much of north west Europe.  (Text courtesy of Royal British Legion)

Preparations are underway to commemorate 80th anniversary of D-Day and mark West Sussex’s key role

Events are being staged across West Sussex to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day in June and in recognition of the county’s role in preparations for the Normandy Landings.

In the build-up to D-Day, thousands of troops were billeted in West Sussex. Residents are invited to learn more about these historic times via one of West Sussex Library Service’s online resources, or to mark the anniversary by attending an exhibition or other event. Further information about D-Day and its links to West Sussex is available online at West Sussex County Council: D-Day (scan QR code right).

Cllr Pieter Montyn, Chairman of West Sussex County Council, said: “The 80th anniversary of D-Day is a momentous occasion and one I am pleased to see is being marked so well across the county.

“West Sussex has a fascinating link to the Normandy Landings: did you know The Bracklesham Bay Hotel hosted Eisenhower, Montgomery and Churchill while they observed landing rehearsals at Bracklesham and Climping? I urge you to go and explore more facts and celebrate this anniversary.”

More locally, Wisborough Green Parish Council has purchased a special commemorative flag (see right) which will be flown on the Green from Thursday 6th June for one week.