D-Day At Home, Past and Present
Although not exactly an original idea, we thought it would be an interesting exercise to lay some wartime archive photos side-by-side with modern day shots. We've tried to capture the current photos from as close to the original location as possible, although this isn't always achievable without standing in someone's garden or hanging off an eroded cliff. These images are from around Britain during the build up to Operation Overlord, but you can click view our Then & Now: Normandy gallery with past and present scenes from D-Day and the Battle of Normandy.
This small town in Devon, like many similar places along the south coast of England, saw construction of ramps and piers in the build up to D-Day from which landing vessels could embark their cargo. American servicemen embarked for Normandy at Brixham.
The area around Portland in Dorset was a marshalling area for American troops. Elements of the 1st Infantry Division and 29th Infantry Division boarded ships here destined for Omaha Beach on D-Day. Over 400,000 men and almost 150,000 vehicles would embark at Castletown between 5th June 1944 and 7th May 1945.
Known as "Area C" Southampton and the surrounding area was on the front line in preparations for the Normandy Landings. It also played an important role in the aftermath of the invasion as reinforcements, supplies and equipment were transported to continent to further the Allied advances. More than a quarter of a million vehicles were shipped from Southampton and over three and a half million men between D-Day and the end of the war.
Many of the troops who embarked at Weymouth were elements of the America 1st Infantry Division who landed at Omaha Beach on D-Day. Several hospitals in Weymouth would also receive casualties evacuated from Normandy.