June 6, 1944 was D-Day. Today’s Top 5 is about memory of that event and the months that followed, through articles, books, and movies. Skip if you are into breaking news, as the most important event for current affairs related to that event (will Obama and Putin talk about Ukraine at the celebrations taking place in Normandy this coming Friday?) has to happen yet.
Antony Beevor’s book on D-Day is a classic account in the tradition of British military historians. That is, a cunning narrative full of details about what happened, how individual men contributed to shape the set of events that led to the liberation of Europe. Which had started in Sicily a year before, but Normandy was THE front.
The US Army features an extraordinary website on D-Day. There are videos, original pictures, and original documents. The maps of the beaches assaulted are really worth, and they stimulate a vacation on the areas of landing in Normandy. It is about memory, and beautiful sceneries. Oysters and cider help.
The Guardian provides amazing interactive photographs of D-day landings scenes in 1944 and now. You’ll find archive images taken before, during and after the operation Overlord.
Several movies featured the attack. But one stands out as a real classic: The Longest Day. Far from a masterpiece and abundant with rhetoric, its black-and-white scenes depict an engaging account of the largest seaborne invasion in military history.
Finally, have a look at the magnificent documentary “Dead Men’s Secrets” (History Channel) on the Operation Bodyguard, which was one of history’s greatest military deceptions. The aim was to mislead Hitler regarding the exact date and location of the invasion. An extraordinary success.