|Title:||World War II, 1939-1945 photographs|
|Quantity:||0.1 Linear feet (3 folders; housed with minor collections MS 2293 to MS 2418)|
One of the most significant battles of World War II, the Normandy invasions, began on June 6, 1944 and lasted until late July. It was fought between the German army and the Allied forces. The Normandy invasion still remains the largest invasion by sea in history. The operation involved almost three million troops crossing the English Channel from England to Normandy in German-occupied France.
The most remarkable part of the battle was the initial landings by Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy. This was codenamed Operation Neptune after the Roman god of the sea. June 6, 1944 was known as D-Day. While 24,000 Allied airborne troops were dropped into France after midnight, the amphibious operation officially began at 6:30 AM with Allied infantry and armored divisions landing at Normandy. Several decoy operations occurred at the same time in an effort to distract and confuse Germans - these two operations were codenamed Operation Glimmer and Operation Taxable.
Planned by Lieutenant-General Frederick Morgan, the operation spanned the land, sea, and air. The amphibious invasion involved about 196,000 Allied naval personnel in 5,000 shops. There were 160,000 troops which landed on the French coast on D-Day. They came into a 50-mile stretch of land at Normandy.
Previous airborne landings secured specific areas and neutralized German forces. Naval crew and ships provided fire support for arriving amphibious soldiers. The six targets were all approached by different units, often under separate command and of different nationalities. The casualties were great at several beaches, and less at others. Although the battle was extraordinarily difficult, it was a decisive Allied victory.
The collection consists of fifty-two photographs of D-Day and the Normandy invasion in 1944. Several photographs were taken directly after D-Day on June 7th. All photographs were taken by photographer serving with the 8th Air Force Squadron. The donor served with this group and worked in the photography lab. The collection also includes negatives.
The collection shows the amphibious invasion with a focus on ships. However, there are a considerable number of photographs showing tanks and amphibious vehicles, as well as distant images of soldiers coming ashore or gathering on the beach. There are a significant amount of photographs showing the French coastline and inner French land occupied by Germans.
Arranged by record type.
World War II, 1939-1945 photographs. MS 2335(M). Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.