On D-Day, 6 June 1944, the Allies launched the largest naval, air and land operation in the history of warfare. The Allied forces began the fight to liberate north-west Europe from German occupation. 

This collection of photographs show the Allies preparing for the complex land, sea and air operation, codenamed Operation Overlord.  

Photographs

Boarding at Gosport

©IWM (H 38977)
©IWM (H 38977)
A Sherman tank of the 13th/18th Hussars, 27th Armoured Brigade, reverses aboard an LST (Landing Ship Tank) at Gosport, 1 June 1944.
Photographs

Acquiring fence wire

US soldiers pile great rolls of fence wire at a supply depot in England.

Photographs

Packing parachutes

Women’s Auxiliary Air Force: WAAF personnel on an RAF glider station in Britain repair and pack coloured parachutes for use by airborne troops during the Normandy invasion.
© IWM (TR 1783)

Members of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force repair and pack parachutes for use by airborne troops during the Normandy invasion, 31 May 1944.

Photographs

Reading up on France

A soldier from 101st Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment (12th King's Regiment (Liverpool)) 3rd Division, prepares for D Day by reading at his French handbook at Camp A2 at Emsworth, near Portsmouth, Hampshire, 29 May 1944.

Photographs

Learning to swim

British troops learning to swim across a waterway in full kit on a physical training course for NCOs, 2 May 1944.
© IWM (H 38125)

British troops learning to swim across a waterway in full kit on a physical training course for NCOs, 2 May 1944.

Photographs

Constructing artificial harbours

'Phoenix' concrete caissons, part of the Mulberry artificial harbour, being constructed in Surrey Docks in Rotherhithe, London, 17 April 1944.
© IWM (H 37607)

'Phoenix' concrete caissons, part of the Mulberry artificial harbour, being constructed in Surrey Docks in Rotherhithe, London, 17 April 1944.

Photographs

Loading supplies

A US truck towing a field kitchen drives aboard an LST (Landing Ship Tank) at Brixham in Devon during preparations for the invasion of Europe, June 1944.

Photographs

Rehearsing the landings

Troops storm ashore from LCAs (Landing Craft Assault) during Exercise 'Fabius', a major invasion rehearsal on the British coast, 5 May 1944. Nearest landing craft is LCA 798.
© IWM (H 38244)

Troops storm ashore from LCAs (Landing Craft Assault) during Exercise 'Fabius', a major invasion rehearsal on the British coast, 5 May 1944. Nearest landing craft is LCA 798.

Photographs

Building decoys

Dummy landing craft used as decoys in south-eastern harbours in the period before D-Day.

Photographs

Checking tanks

A US officer checks a line-up of newly delivered M4 Sherman tanks at a supply depot in Britain, 1944.

Photographs

Assembling landing craft

A large group of LCTs (Landing Craft Tank) moored along the quayside at Southampton, 1944.

Photographs

Attending briefings

Men of 22nd Independent Parachute Company, 6th Airborne Division being briefed for the invasion, 4 - 5 June 1944.

Photographs

Saying a prayer

Father (Major) Edward J Waters, a US Army Catholic chaplain, conducts a service on the quayside at Weymouth for army and navy personnel about to take part in the invasion of Europe, June 1944. Troops from Weymouth were destined for Omaha assault area.

Photographs

Building Bridges

Pontoons which will be used for building pontoon bridges in Europe await issue to engineering units at a supply depot in England.

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