European way of life

6 June 1944: the D-Day in 10 numbers

6 june 2014. Around one billion of viewers will have their eyes fixed on the little Norman town of Ouistreham where the seventieth anniversary of the D-Day will be celebrated.

Omaha beach, D-Day, 1944

D-Day on Omaha beach, D-Day, 1944, photo by Robert Capa.

It may be the last decennial commemoration in the presence of the D-Day landings veterans, which give to this event a moving tone. A lot of ex-servicemen have already been gathered together since a few days on the theater of operations. That’s the occasion for these now old men to cross their destiny, like in 1944. Two American veterans, Herman Zerger and Curtis Outen, as well as Paul Goltz, who has fought on the German side, to meet each other and discuss warmly. They will be present together at the ceremonies, side by side.

Nineteen heads of state were invited by France to attend this special ceremony which will takes place on an area large as five football fields : United States, United Kingdom, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Belgium, Australia, Canada, Netherlands, Italy, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Czech Republic, Greece, New-Zealand, Monaco and Slovakia. The British queen, arrived yesterday in Paris by the Eurostar, is besides the last head of state still in function who has known that time. The young princess was wearing the British uniform then.

Débarquement en Normandie, 6 juin 1944

Advance in Normandy, summer 1944, photo by Robert Capa.

On this day of commemoration of a History still alive, return of the Norman epic in ten numbers :

  • 80 kilometers of coast to reach,
  • 156 200 men landed on the Norman beaches,
  • 23 000 men parachuted,
  • 122 pounds : the weight of the parachutists’ equipment,
  • 11 912 tons of bombs jettisoned by the Allies on the Germans coast lines,
  • 10 000 losses in each camp by midnight on 6th June,
  • 20 000 civils killed by the Allies’ bombs during the battle of Normandy,
  • 200 pictures taken by Robert Capa, but only 11 will be saved from a development accident at the editorial board of Life.
  • 700 veterans will be present in Ouistreham for the ceremonies,
  • 242 books published this year about the D-Day (and 22 published by the sole Ouest-France editions ; if you can read in French and want to know more about these incredible numbers of the Norman landings, look at the 150 chiffres du Débarquement, by Antoine Pascal, journalist and photograph, who has collaborated with the Memorial of Caen to write this book.

All around the world, enjoy this amazing communion between the nations to increase your knowledge : FranceTélévision offers live feeds all day long since 06:30 AM, to watch and watch again on the Internet on Pluzz

Remember, and pass on the memory of these men who sometimes came from distant countries to make the sacrifice of their lives and free Europe.

Have a nice D-Day !

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