D Day 75th Anniversary
6th June 2019
It is with much respect and humility that we again here at Best Value Tours, mark another poignant anniversary of the 1944 D-Day Landings. This was the start of the end and the ultimate liberation of France, Paris and the Chanel Islands and 11 months later Victory in Europe in May 1945, that gives us the freedom to travel there as we do today.
What an absolute delight it has been to see hundreds of Veterans, the youngest of which is 91 but many in their late 90’s and 100’s, attend celebrations in Portsmouth yesterday. They then boarded the specially chartered ship ‘MV Boudicca’ and repeated the crossing to the Normandy beaches of France, what was the biggest invasion fleet in human history. This morning on the 75th anniversary of D-Day the veterans attended a memorial service at Bayeux Cathedral (see below for significance), along with world leaders.
Here is some brief history of the build up to D-Day, the Air Campaign, the Invasion itself and the aftermath that led to peace in Europe and if you would like to visit these iconic locations this tour maybe of interest.
Operation Fortitude – the deception that fooled the Nazi’s
Operation Fortitude was code name of an intrinsic part of deceptions, overall part of code named ‘Bodyguard’, that played an absolute critical part of the ultimate success of D-Day and as platform for the liberation of France and Europe.
Fortitude North created a deception of an invasion of Norway and Fortitude South, invasion of Pas de Calais. These were successful and took the Nazi attention away from Normandy which they much ‘wrote off’ as an invasion possibility and also much delayed Nazi troops reaching post invasion at Normandy, battles in France.
Resistance Agents and Bletchley Park
Whilst it is all but impossible to mention everyone that played pinnacle parts in preparation of D-Day and overall Victory in the Second World War. Critical, as were so many others were La Résistance (the French Resistance) and the amazing code breakers at Bletchley Park.
They played an important role in the deceptions mentioned, but also more critically played a major role in the ‘Allies’ quick progress through France following the D-Day landings.
Bletchley Park code breakers
The infamous men and woman mathematicians based at Bletchley Park, played a huge part in Victory in the Second World War, On D-Day they were critical passing decoded Nazi messages on the day of D-Day to the Allied Commanders showing them secret Nazi tactics and positions that day, the Nazi’s oblivious of our knowledge of these.
Code breakers at Bletchley Park encrypted the messages and passed them to Allied commanders on 6 June 1944.
Preparation D-Day Air Attacks and D-Day Air Support
Without question the success of D-Day would not have been possible without the months of preparation by the RAF and Bomber Command in attacking Invasion Targets in France, with the loss of over 300 aircraft and 1,500 brave men. Success of D-Day would not have happened without their Sacrifice…..
The Lancaster Bomber, critical in pre D-Day Invasion Bombing Targets
The tenth century ‘Norman’ Cathedral is a significant remembrance place each year for D-Day anniversaries. This is much because; Bayeux about 6 miles inland from Normandy, was the first town in France liberated by allied troops on 7th June 1944.