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Amazing Photography of Normandy: D-Day Plus 1 Year

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Amazing Photography of Normandy: D-Day Plus 1 Year

A year after the Allied assault, the Normandy countryside still bore the scars of battle.

A year after the Allied assault, the Normandy countryside still bore the scars of battle.

By Kevin M. Hymel

On June 6, 1945, two Stars & Stripes newspaper reporters traveled to Normandy with a mission: to photograph the effects of the year-old D-Day landings on the beaches, towns, and fields. The beaches were still strewn with the weapons of war, towns were in rubble, and almost every inch of ground contained some evidence of the great armies that battled for this part of France.

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Their photographs reveal the enormous scale of the operation and its power. They also display the machines and inventions of modern warfare. Wandering civilians serve as a reminder that these battlefields were home to simple farmers and their children. The guns had fallen silent all over Europe a month before, but it would be years until Normandy’s scars of war finally healed.

A year after the Allied assault, the Normandy countryside still bore the scars of battle.
Caption
A year after the Allied assault, the Normandy countryside still bore the scars of battle.
Frenchmen walks past a former German bunker on debris-strewn Omaha Beach near the Vierville exit where so much fierce fighting took place 12 months earlier.
Caption
Frenchmen walks past a former German bunker on debris-strewn Omaha Beach near the Vierville exit where so much fierce fighting took place 12 months earlier.
The mute barrel of an 88mm gun overlooks the Dog Green sector of Omaha Beach. The gun emplacement became a memorial to the U.S. National Guard.
Caption
The mute barrel of an 88mm gun overlooks the Dog Green sector of Omaha Beach. The gun emplacement became a memorial to the U.S. National Guard.
A half-submerged landing craft drifts in the waves off the Normandy beaches.
Caption
A half-submerged landing craft drifts in the waves off the Normandy beaches.
French children play atop a knocked-out Sherman tank that once belonged to the 3rd U.S. Armored Division.
Caption
French children play atop a knocked-out Sherman tank that once belonged to the 3rd U.S. Armored Division.
A farmer guides his team of plow horses around a British soldier’s grave in his field near Caen.
Caption
A farmer guides his team of plow horses around a British soldier’s grave in his field near Caen.
A Stars & Stripes reporter views a wrecked treadway 
section of a Mulberry artificial harbor marooned below the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc, scene of U.S. Rangers’ heroics.
Caption
A Stars & Stripes reporter views a wrecked treadway section of a Mulberry artificial harbor marooned below the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc, scene of U.S. Rangers’ heroics.
Forlorn and forgotten, a Sturmgeschütz (StuG IV) assault gun remains undisturbed where it was destroyed a year earlier in an unidentified French town. It would be many years before all the wrecks and debris were removed.
Caption
Forlorn and forgotten, a Sturmgeschütz (StuG IV) assault gun remains undisturbed where it was destroyed a year earlier in an unidentified French town. It would be many years before all the wrecks and debris were removed.

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