More about the film D-Day
The first brief communique was electrifying -- ''London, Tuesday, June 6, 1944: Under command of General Eisenhower, Allied naval forces, supported by strong air forces, began landing Allied armies this morning on the northern coast of France.'' The world caught its breath. Not since 1688 had an invading army crossed the English Channel, but now it was happening -- Operation Overlord, D-Day, the all-out attack on Hitler's fortress Europe. The first assault wave hit the beaches of Normandy at 6:30 a.m.
The place of the landing was the best-kept, most important secret of the war in Europe, and success depended on elaborate deception; but it was the individual valor of the men who went ashore in combination with the greatest marshaling of ships, planes and guns ever in history that were decisive. Never was America's productive might so dramatically employed. The armada reached as far as the eye could see.
D-Day is told entirely with rare archival footage -- much of it never shown before -- and the voices of 43 people who were there. Produced by Charles Guggenheim, the film is also a centerpiece for the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans.
It should never be forgotten that, of all events of our tumultuous 20th century, perhaps the most important was the defeat of the Nazi empire; and for a long and very dark time, for nearly five years, that outcome was by no means certain. D-Day was the turning point. It was day one of the final drive to complete Allied victory.
A synopsis of the film, plus film credits.
The program transcript.
A list of books, articles, and Web sites relating to the program topic.
Program interviewees and consultants.
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE is closed captioned for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers by The Caption Center at WGBH.
A special narration track is added to the series by Descriptive Video Service® (DVS®), a service of WGBH to provide access to people who are blind or visually impaired. The DVS narration is available on the SAP channel of stereo TVs and VCRs.