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D-Day (2013 film)

2013 Indian action-thriller film

D-Day is a 2013 Indian Hindi-language action thriller film co-produced by DAR Motion Pictures and Emmay Entertainment.[2] The movie is directed by Nikhil Advani and stars Rishi Kapoor, Irrfan Khan, Arjun Rampal, Huma Qureshi and Shruti Haasan in prominent roles. The film was released on 19 July 2013 to generally positive reception.[3][4][5]

Plot[edit]

Agent Wali Khan, appointed by the Chief of Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Ashwini Rao, has been on a mission for nine years to keep an eye out for the activities of India's most wanted D-Company leader, Goldman while working as a local barber as a cover. One day he notices Goldman talking about his son's wedding cards to people in the mosque where he prays and comes to know that his son is getting married and Goldman is breaking his security protocol to attend that. The same is confirmed by an ISI operative who works part-time as Goldman's bodyguard and is a neighbor and friend of Wali though he doesn't know the truth about Wali's connections to Indian Intelligence. Sensing a chance to nab Goldman alive, he informs Ashwini about the same who assembles a team quickly - Ex-Indian Army officer and mercenary, Rudra Pratap Singh, RAW's explosives expert, Zoya Rehman, and Aslam, a Mumbai thief and a murderer who was given a chance at freedom by participating in this mission.

On the day of the wedding, Wali sees his wife and son off at the airport, as they are to fly to London. Wali goes home and stages his family's death in the hopes that the ISI will not put them in harm's way and he can join them after the mission is accomplished. However, all flights to Europe are cancelled, stranding Wali's wife and son at the airport. When Wali's wife calls up Wali, his phone is switched off, and she learns her house is on fire. Disturbed and upset about not being able to locate Wali, she informs the airport security about the same. The airport security personnel runs a check to see and discovers that three bodies have been recovered. Suspicious at the coverup, he summons the ISI. The ISI, while questioning Nafisa and her son Kabir, notices Kabir holding pencils that belong to the same hotel where Goldman's son is about to get married. When asked, Kabir informs that the pencils were given to him by Wali a few days ago. Realizing that Wali is an operative out to get Goldman, ISI alerts their counterparts at the wedding. As a result, Wali, Rudra, Zoya, and Aslam's plan to capture Goldman is in jeopardy. Goldman escapes unscathed, and the four agents have to go into hiding. Embarrassed at the failure of their operation, the Indian government disavows the four agents; only Ashwini stands by them, but he is forced to resign. Aslam is captured and tortured by Goldman's nephew when he tries to escape through the Karachi docks. He is rescued by Rudra, who was trying to take revenge on Goldman's nephew for murdering Rudra's lover, Suraiya, a Pakistani prostitute. Upon hearing that Wali's wife has died and that his son is in ISI custody, the four agents decide to find a way to complete their mission, despite the government having abandoned them.

The ISI decides that Goldman is too much of a liability to continue protecting further, so they decide to kill him. Before they can, the four RAW agents take out the ISI and take Goldman hostage. Wali notifies Ashwini, who works to find them a safe route out of Pakistan. Goldman taunts Wali by telling him that his wife and son are actually still alive, and that he can arrange their reunion. Wali is torn between accepting Goldman's help and completing his mission, to the point where he shoots Rudra to take control of the group. Ashwini asks them to be at Checkpost 35 before 6 a.m. At the same time, Wali arranges a meeting with ISI, proposing an exchange of Goldman for his wife and child. After tying Rudra up and disarming Zoya, Wali leaves with Goldman. Zoya then frees Rudra, and they follow Wali.

Wali drives to Checkpost 40 but is shot dead by Pakistani forces, who, unbeknownst to Wali, have poisoned and killed his wife and son. As Wali's car is examined, it is revealed that Wali did not actually bring Goldman with him; he had apparently anticipated the Pakistani betrayal, and had left Goldman in the car that Zoya and Rudra had taken. Through flashbacks, it is revealed that this was a plan hatched by Wali and Rudra in order to get Goldman to cooperate and give Rudra and Zoya time to get Goldman across the border to India. The Pakistani forces give Rudra and Zoya a chase and barely miss them before they bring Goldman over the border, where Ashwini is waiting. Once across, Goldman taunts them by saying how nothing has changed in India and he will be released soon and will be able to continue his criminal activities. Rudra shoots Goldman in the left arm & right leg, pulls off his glares & shoots in the head, indicating that he is the face of the "New India".

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Casting[edit]

Nikhil Advani signed Shruti Hassan opposite actor Arjun Rampal in December 2012.[8][9]

Out of the three female protagonists in the movie, only Huma Qureshi was given the option of choosing the character she wanted to portray. The same choice was put forward to and exercised by Deepika Padukone in the 2012 flick Cocktail.[10]

Marketing[edit]

The first trailer of D-Day was released on 22 May 2013. The film was promoted by the star cast in Delhi, Jaipur, Indore, Mumbai etc. Huma Qureshi and Arjun Rampal promoted the film on Dance India Dance DID Super Moms.[11][12] Irrfan Khan and Arjun Rampal promoted the film in the show Comedy Nights with Kapil. Rishi Kapoor and Arjun Rampal promoted the film in the dance show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa.[13][14]

Soundtrack[edit]

The soundtrack album was released on 28 June 2013 with music directed by the music trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. The lyricist is Niranjan Iyengar.

1."Dama Dam Mast Qalandar"Mika Singh4:40
2."Alvida"Nikhil D'Souza, Sukhwinder Singh, Shruti Hassan, Loy Mendonsa, Shefali Alvares5:06
3."Murshid Khele Holi"Munnawar Masoom, Javed Ali, Shankar Mahadevan, Gaurav Gupta, Rajiv Sundaresan, Mani Mahadevan, Raman Mahadevan7:34
4."Ek Ghadi"Rekha Bhardwaj6:43
5."Dhuaan"Rahul Ram, Siddharth Mahadevan, Alyssa Mendonsa, Thomson Andrews, Keshia Braganza, Crystal Sequeira, Leon D’souza3:29
Reception

The album of D-Day received mixed to positive reviews. Vipin of Music Aloud gave the album a score of 8 out of 10 and called the album "another outstanding soundtrack", further praising the music directors, "Shankar Ehsaan Loy’s brilliant form continues in D-Day!". Giving the album 3.5/5 stars, Rafat of Glamsham commented, "one complements S-E-L for another classy effort after BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG." He went on to write, "They have delivered as per the expectations and songs like, 'Duma Dum', 'Mera Murshid Khele Holi' and 'Ek Ghadi Aur' are our picks, and one just hopes for the sake of lovers of classy music that D-DAY too is lapped up and the film garners critical and commercial acclaims when it releases on 19th July."[15] Sankhayan Ghosh of Indian Express gave the album a score of 3 out of 5 and concluded his review, "D-Day is an uncharacteristically authentic album according to Bollywood standards that throws up interesting results."[16] Writing for Bollywood Hungama, Rajiv Vijayakar gave the album a mixed review, stating, "The score is a mixed bag and could have been more uniform. The lyrics are a major issue in the album (except in Ek Ghadi Aur), and so the tried-and-tested Duma Dum, though not original, emerges as the mainstay of the score."[17]

Release[edit]

D-Day was given a U/A certificate by the censor board on 7 July 2013.[18] The movie released on 19 July 2013, in 1200 screens worldwide.[19]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

D-Day received generally positive reviews from the critics.[20] Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama gave the movie 4 stars out of 5, concluding that "D-DAY is what a well-made thriller ought to be -- taut, transfixing and spellbinding, with an astounding finale. Don't miss this high-octane thriller!"[21] D-Day has all the right ingredients that make it a memorable film, writes Paloma Sharma of Rediff.com.[22] The Hindu stated that D-Day sends out a strong statement. The problem is that it is emotional. And modern India is not that naive.[23] Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN gave it 3 out of 5 stars and stated that D-Day is far from perfect, but as pulpy Bollywood action films go, it's very watchable and works its strengths. The film's ending, controversial and melodramatic, to say the least, nevertheless sits comfortably with the wish-fulfilment fantasy that Advani's milking. Sneha May Francis of Emirates 24/7described the film as a "sensational take on India’s most notorious gangster".[24]Subhash K. Jha of IANS called the film "an acutely accomplished work of art".[25] Deccan Chronicle praised the film and stated that Rishi Kapoor makes the best Dawood Ibrahim. He has the demeanour, and an ominous aura.[26] NDTV gave it 3 stars.[27]

Box office[edit]

India

D-Day had occupancies of around 15–20% in the morning shows.[28] The movie collected ₹2.75 crore (US$370,000) net in its first day,[29] which was later changed to as ₹2.9 crore (US$390,000) net.[30] The movie saw a sharp rise in the collections in the second day, with an estimated amount of ₹5 crore (US$660,000) net,[31] which was later estimated at ₹4.5 crore (US$600,000) net.[30] The movie went on to collect ₹5.5 crore (US$730,000) net on Sunday, taking its first weekend collections to ₹12.9 crore (US$1.7 million) net.[30] The movie went on to collect ₹24 crore (US$3.2 million) net in its first week.[32] It collected ₹4 crore (US$530,000) net in its second week, taking its total collections to ₹26 crore (US$3.5 million) net.[32] It was declared Flop by Box Office India, which estimated its two-week collections at ₹17.5 crore (US$2.3 million) net.[33]

Overseas

D-Day was dull in the overseas, collecting $425,000 in its first weekend.[34] The movie could not do strong business in the overseas front, collecting ₹3.5 crore (US$460,000) in two weeks and was declared an average.[32]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Dubbing version[edit]

The film was dubbed into Telugu as Gelupu Gurram in 2014 because of Shruti Haasan's popularity in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D-Day_(2013_film)

Normandy landings

First day of the Allied invasion of France in Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II

"D-Day" and "Operation Neptune" redirect here. For other uses, see D-Day (disambiguation) and Operation Neptune (disambiguation).

Normandy landings
Part of Operation Overlord and the Western Front of World War II
Into the Jaws of Death 23-0455M edit.jpg
Men of the 16th Infantry Regiment, US 1st Infantry Division wading ashore on Omaha Beach on the morning of 6 June 1944
Belligerents
Allies
 Germany
Commanders and leaders
Units involved
United StatesFirst Army

Omaha Beach:

V Corps

Utah Beach:

VII Corps
United KingdomSecond Army

Gold Beach

XXX Corps

Juno Beach

I Corps

Sword Beach

I Corps
Nazi Germany5th Panzer Army

South of Caen

Nazi Germany7th Army

Omaha

Utah Beach

Gold, Juno, and Sword

Strength
156,000 soldiers[a]
195,700 naval personnel
50,350+
170 coastal artillery guns. Includes guns from 100mm to 210mm, as well as 320mm rocket launchers.
Casualties and losses
10,000+ casualties; 4,414 confirmed dead[b]
185 M4 Sherman tanks
4,000-9,000 casualties

The Normandy landings were the landing operations and associated airborne operations on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II. Codenamed Operation Neptune and often referred to as D-Day, it was the largest seaborne invasion in history. The operation began the liberation of France (and later western Europe) and laid the foundations of the Allied victory on the Western Front.

Planning for the operation began in 1943. In the months leading up to the invasion, the Allies conducted a substantial military deception, codenamed Operation Bodyguard, to mislead the Germans as to the date and location of the main Allied landings. The weather on D-Day was far from ideal, and the operation had to be delayed 24 hours; a further postponement would have meant a delay of at least two weeks, as the invasion planners had requirements for the phase of the moon, the tides, and the time of day that meant only a few days each month were deemed suitable. Adolf Hitler placed Field MarshalErwin Rommel in command of German forces and of developing fortifications along the Atlantic Wall in anticipation of an Allied invasion. U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt placed Major General Dwight D. Eisenhower in command of Allied forces.

The amphibious landings were preceded by extensive aerial and naval bombardment and an airborne assault—the landing of 24,000 American, British, and Canadian airborne troops shortly after midnight. Allied infantry and armoureddivisions began landing on the coast of France at 06:30. The target 50-mile (80 km) stretch of the Normandy coast was divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword. Strong winds blew the landing craft east of their intended positions, particularly at Utah and Omaha. The men landed under heavy fire from gun emplacements overlooking the beaches, and the shore was mined and covered with obstacles such as wooden stakes, metal tripods, and barbed wire, making the work of the beach-clearing teams difficult and dangerous. Casualties were heaviest at Omaha, with its high cliffs. At Gold, Juno, and Sword, several fortified towns were cleared in house-to-house fighting, and two major gun emplacements at Gold were disabled using specialised tanks.

The Allies failed to achieve any of their goals on the first day. Carentan, Saint-Lô, and Bayeux remained in German hands, and Caen, a major objective, was not captured until 21 July. Only two of the beaches (Juno and Gold) were linked on the first day, and all five beachheads were not connected until 12 June; however, the operation gained a foothold that the Allies gradually expanded over the coming months. German casualties on D-Day have been estimated at 4,000 to 9,000 men. Allied casualties were documented for at least 10,000, with 4,414 confirmed dead. Museums, memorials, and war cemeteries in the area now host many visitors each year.

Background

After the German Armyinvaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin began pressing his new allies for the creation of a second front in western Europe. In late May 1942 the Soviet Union and the United States made a joint announcement that a "... full understanding was reached with regard to the urgent tasks of creating a second front in Europe in 1942." However, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill persuaded U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt to postpone the promised invasion as, even with U.S. help, the Allies did not have adequate forces for such an activity.

Instead of an immediate return to France, the western Allies staged offensives in the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations, where British troops were already stationed. By mid-1943 the campaign in North Africa had been won. The Allies then launched the invasion of Sicily in July 1943 and subsequently invaded the Italian mainland in September the same year. By then, Soviet forces were on the offensive and had won a major victory at the Battle of Stalingrad. The decision to undertake a cross-channel invasion within the next year was taken at the Trident Conference in Washington in May 1943. Initial planning was constrained by the number of available landing craft, most of which were already committed in the Mediterranean and Pacific. At the Tehran Conference in November 1943, Roosevelt and Churchill promised Stalin that they would open the long-delayed second front in May 1944.

The Allies considered four sites for the landings: Brittany, the Cotentin Peninsula, Normandy, and the Pas-de-Calais. As Brittany and Cotentin are peninsulas, it would have been possible for the Germans to cut off the Allied advance at a relatively narrow isthmus, so these sites were rejected. With the Pas-de-Calais being the closest point in continental Europe to Britain, the Germans considered it to be the most likely initial landing zone, so it was the most heavily fortified region. But it offered few opportunities for expansion, as the area is bounded by numerous rivers and canals, whereas landings on a broad front in Normandy would permit simultaneous threats against the port of Cherbourg, coastal ports further west in Brittany, and an overland attack towards Paris and eventually into Germany. Normandy was hence chosen as the landing site. The most serious drawback of the Normandy coast—the lack of port facilities—would be overcome through the development of artificial Mulberry harbours. A series of modified tanks, nicknamed Hobart's Funnies, dealt with specific requirements expected for the Normandy Campaign such as mine clearing, demolishing bunkers, and mobile bridging.

The Allies planned to launch the invasion on 1 May 1944. The initial draft of the plan was accepted at the Quebec Conference in August 1943. General Dwight D. Eisenhower was appointed commander of Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force. General Bernard Montgomery was named commander of the 21st Army Group, which comprised all land forces involved in the invasion. On 31 December 1943, Eisenhower and Montgomery first saw the plan, which proposed amphibious landings by three divisions with two more divisions in support. The two generals insisted that the scale of the initial invasion be expanded to five divisions, with airborne descents by three additional divisions, to allow operations on a wider front and to hasten the capture of Cherbourg. The need to acquire or produce extra landing craft for the expanded operation meant that the invasion had to be delayed to June. Eventually, thirty-nine Allied divisions would be committed to the Battle of Normandy: twenty-two U.S., twelve British, three Canadian, one Polish, and one French, totalling over a million troops.

Operations

Operation Overlord was the name assigned to the establishment of a large-scale lodgement on the continent. The first phase, the amphibious invasion and establishment of a secure foothold, was codenamed Operation Neptune. To gain the air superiority needed to ensure a successful invasion, the Allies undertook a bombing campaign (codenamed Operation Pointblank) that targeted German aircraft production, fuel supplies, and airfields. Elaborate deceptions, codenamed Operation Bodyguard, were undertaken in the months leading up to the invasion to prevent the Germans from learning the timing and location of the invasion.

The landings were to be preceded by airborne operations near Caen on the eastern flank to secure the Orne River bridges and north of Carentan on the western flank. The Americans, assigned to land at Utah Beach and Omaha Beach, were to attempt to capture Carentan and Saint-Lô the first day, then cut off the Cotentin Peninsula and eventually capture the port facilities at Cherbourg. The British at Sword and Gold Beaches and Canadians at Juno Beach would protect the U.S. flank and attempt to establish airfields near Caen on the first day. (A sixth beach, code-named "Band", was considered to the east of the Orne.) A secure lodgement would be established with all invading forces linked together, with an attempt to hold all territory north of the Avranches-Falaise line within the first three weeks. Montgomery envisaged a ninety-day battle, lasting until all Allied forces reached the River Seine.

Deception plans

See also: D-Day naval deceptions

Under the overall umbrella of Operation Bodyguard, the Allies conducted several subsidiary operations designed to mislead the Germans as to the date and location of the Allied landings.Operation Fortitude included Fortitude North, a misinformation campaign using fake radio traffic to lead the Germans into expecting an attack on Norway, and Fortitude South, a major deception involving the creation of a fictitious First United States Army Group under Lieutenant General George S. Patton, supposedly located in Kent and Sussex. Fortitude South was intended to deceive the Germans into believing that the main attack would take place at Calais. Genuine radio messages from 21st Army Group were first routed to Kent via landline and then broadcast, to give the Germans the impression that most of the Allied troops were stationed there. Patton was stationed in England until 6 July, thus continuing to deceive the Germans into believing a second attack would take place at Calais.

Many of the German radar stations on the French coast were destroyed in preparation for the landings. In addition, on the night before the invasion, a small group of Special Air Service operators deployed dummy paratroopers over Le Havre and Isigny. These dummies led the Germans to believe that an additional airborne landing had occurred. On that same night, in Operation Taxable, No. 617 Squadron RAF dropped strips of "window", metal foil that caused a radar return which was mistakenly interpreted by German radar operators as a naval convoy near Le Havre. The illusion was bolstered by a group of small vessels towing barrage balloons. A similar deception was undertaken near Boulogne-sur-Mer in the Pas de Calais area by No. 218 Squadron RAF in Operation Glimmer.

Weather

Main article: Weather forecasting for Operation Overlord

The invasion planners determined a set of conditions involving the phase of the moon, the tides, and the time of day that would be satisfactory on only a few days in each month. A full moon was desirable, as it would provide illumination for aircraft pilots and have the highest tides. The Allies wanted to schedule the landings for shortly before dawn, midway between low and high tide, with the tide coming in. This would improve the visibility of obstacles on the beach while minimising the amount of time the men would be exposed in the open. Eisenhower had tentatively selected 5 June as the date for the assault. However, on 4 June, conditions were unsuitable for a landing: high winds and heavy seas made it impossible to launch landing craft, and low clouds would prevent aircraft from finding their targets.

Group Captain James Stagg of the Royal Air Force (RAF) met Eisenhower on the evening of 4 June. He and his meteorological team predicted that the weather would improve enough for the invasion to proceed on 6 June. The next available dates with the required tidal conditions (but without the desirable full moon) would be two weeks later, from 18 to 20 June. Postponement of the invasion would have required recalling men and ships already in position to cross the English Channel and would have increased the chance that the invasion plans would be detected. After much discussion with the other senior commanders, Eisenhower decided that the invasion should go ahead on 6 June. A major storm battered the Normandy coast from 19 to 22 June, which would have made the beach landings impossible.

Allied control of the Atlantic meant German meteorologists had less information than the Allies on incoming weather patterns. As the Luftwaffe meteorological centre in Paris was predicting two weeks of stormy weather, many Wehrmacht commanders left their posts to attend war games in Rennes, and men in many units were given leave. Field Marshal Erwin Rommel returned to Germany for his wife's birthday and to meet with Hitler to try to obtain more Panzers.

German order of battle

Nazi Germany had at its disposal fifty divisions in France and the Low Countries, with another eighteen stationed in Denmark and Norway. Fifteen divisions were in the process of formation in Germany. Combat losses throughout the war, particularly on the Eastern Front, meant that the Germans no longer had a pool of able young men from which to draw. German soldiers were now on average six years older than their Allied counterparts. Many in the Normandy area were Ostlegionen (eastern legions)—conscripts and volunteers from Russia, Mongolia, and other areas of the Soviet Union. They were provided mainly with unreliable captured equipment and lacked motorised transport. Many German units were under strength.

In early 1944, the German Western Front (OB West) was significantly weakened by personnel and materiel transfers to the Eastern Front. During the Soviet Dnieper–Carpathian offensive (24 December 1943 – 17 April 1944), the German High Command was forced to transfer the entire II SS Panzer Corps from France, consisting of the 9th and 10th SS Panzer Divisions, as well as the 349th Infantry Division, 507th Heavy Panzer Battalion and the 311th and 322nd StuG Assault Gun Brigades. All told, the German forces stationed in France were deprived of 45,827 troops and 363 tanks, assault guns, and self-propelled anti-tank guns. It was the first major transfer of forces from France to the east since the creation of Führer Directive 51, which eased restrictions on troop transfers to the eastern front.

The 1st SS Panzer Division "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler", 9th, 11th, 19th and 116th Panzer divisions, alongside the 2nd SS Panzer Division "Das Reich", had only arrived in March–May 1944 to France for extensive refit after being badly damaged during the Dnieper-Carpathian operation. Seven of the eleven panzer or panzergrenadier divisions stationed in France were not fully operational or only partially mobile in early June 1944.

German Supreme commander: Adolf Hitler

Cotentin Peninsula

Allied forces attacking Utah Beach faced the following German units stationed on the Cotentin Peninsula:

Grandcamps Sector

Americans assaulting Omaha Beach faced the following troops:

  • 352nd Infanterie-Division logo.jpg352nd Infantry Division under GeneralleutnantDietrich Kraiss, a full-strength unit of around 12,000 brought in by Rommel on 15 March and reinforced by two additional regiments.
    • 914th Grenadier Regiment
    • 915th Grenadier Regiment (as reserves)
    • 916th Grenadier Regiment
    • 726th Infantry Regiment (from 716th Infantry Division)
    • 352nd Artillery Regiment

Allied forces at Gold and Juno faced the following elements of the 352nd Infantry Division:

  • 914th Grenadier Regiment
  • 915th Grenadier Regiment
  • 916th Grenadier Regiment
  • 352nd Artillery Regiment

Forces around Caen

Allied forces attacking Gold, Juno, and Sword Beaches faced the following German units:

Atlantic Wall

Main articles: Atlantic Wall and English Channel

Map of the Atlantic Wall, shown in yellow

  Axis and occupied countries

  Allies and occupied countries

  Neutral countries

Alarmed by the raids on St Nazaire and Dieppe in 1942, Hitler had ordered the construction of fortifications all along the Atlantic coast, from Spain to Norway, to protect against an expected Allied invasion. He envisioned 15,000 emplacements manned by 300,000 troops, but shortages, particularly of concrete and manpower, meant that most of the strongpoints were never built. As it was expected to be the site of the invasion, the Pas de Calais was heavily defended. In the Normandy area, the best fortifications were concentrated at the port facilities at Cherbourg and Saint-Malo. Rommel was assigned to oversee the construction of further fortifications along the expected invasion front, which stretched from the Netherlands to Cherbourg, and was given command of the newly re-formed Army Group B, which included the 7th Army, the 15th Army, and the forces guarding the Netherlands. Reserves for this group included the 2nd, 21st, and 116th Panzer divisions.

Rommel believed that the Normandy coast could be a possible landing point for the invasion, so he ordered the construction of extensive defensive works along that shore. In addition to concrete gun emplacements at strategic points along the coast, he ordered wooden stakes, metal tripods, mines, and large anti-tank obstacles to be placed on the beaches to delay the approach of landing craft and impede the movement of tanks. Expecting the Allies to land at high tide so that the infantry would spend less time exposed on the beach, he ordered many of these obstacles to be placed at the high water mark. Tangles of barbed wire, booby traps, and the removal of ground cover made the approach hazardous for infantry. On Rommel's order, the number of mines along the coast was tripled. The Allied air offensive over Germany had crippled the Luftwaffe and established air supremacy over western Europe, so Rommel knew he could not expect effective air support. The Luftwaffe could muster only 815 aircraft over Normandy in comparison to the Allies' 9,543. Rommel arranged for booby-trapped stakes known as Rommelspargel (Rommel's asparagus) to be installed in meadows and fields to deter airborne landings.

German armaments minister Albert Speer notes in his 1969 autobiography that the German high command, concerned about the susceptibility of the airports and port facilities along the North Sea coast, held a conference on 6–8 June 1944 to discuss reinforcing defenses in that area. Speer wrote:

In Germany itself we scarcely had any troop units at our disposal. If the airports at Hamburg and Bremen could be taken by parachute units and the ports of these cities seized by small forces, invasion armies debarking from ships would, I feared, meet no resistance and would be occupying Berlin and all of Germany within a few days.

Armoured reserves

Rommel believed that Germany's best chance was to stop the invasion at the shore. He requested that the mobile reserves, especially tanks, be stationed as close to the coast as possible. Rundstedt, Geyr, and other senior commanders objected. They believed that the invasion could not be stopped on the beaches. Geyr argued for a conventional doctrine: keeping the Panzer formations concentrated in a central position around Paris and Rouen and deploying them only when the main Allied beachhead had been identified. He also noted that in the Italian Campaign, the armoured units stationed near the coast had been damaged by naval bombardment. Rommel's opinion was that because of Allied air supremacy, the large-scale movement of tanks would not be possible once the invasion was under way. Hitler made the final decision, which was to leave three Panzer divisions under Geyr's command and give Rommel operational control of three more as reserves. Hitler took personal control of four divisions as strategic reserves, not to be used without his direct orders.

Allied order of battle

D-day assault routes into Normandy

Commander, SHAEF: General Dwight D. Eisenhower
Commander, 21st Army Group: General Bernard Montgomery

U.S. zones

Commander, First Army: Lieutenant General Omar Bradley

The First Army contingent totalled approximately 73,000 men, including 15,600 from the airborne divisions.

Utah Beach
Omaha Beach

British and Canadian zones

Commander, Second Army: Lieutenant General Sir Miles Dempsey

Overall, the Second Army contingent consisted of 83,115 men, 61,715 of them British. The nominally British air and naval support units included a large number of personnel from Allied nations, including several RAF squadrons manned almost exclusively by overseas air crew. For example, the Australian contribution to the operation included a regular Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) squadron, nine Article XV squadrons, and hundreds of personnel posted to RAF units and RN warships. The RAF supplied two-thirds of the aircraft involved in the invasion.[85]

Gold Beach
Juno Beach

Main article: Juno Beach order of battle

Sword Beach

79th armoured division badge.jpg79th Armoured Division: Major General Percy Hobart provided specialised armoured vehicles which supported the landings on all beaches in Second Army's sector.

Coordination with the French Resistance

Through the London-based État-major des Forces Françaises de l'Intérieur (French Forces of the Interior), the British Special Operations Executive orchestrated a campaign of sabotage to be implemented by the French Resistance. The Allies developed four plans for the Resistance to execute on D-Day and the following days:

  • Plan Vert was a 15-day operation to sabotage the rail system.
  • Plan Bleu dealt with destroying electrical facilities.
  • Plan Tortue was a delaying operation aimed at the enemy forces that would potentially reinforce Axis forces at Normandy.
  • Plan Violet dealt with cutting underground telephone and teleprinter cables.

The resistance was alerted to carry out these tasks by messages personnels transmitted by the BBC's French service from London. Several hundred of these messages, which might be snippets of poetry, quotations from literature, or random sentences, were regularly transmitted, masking the few that were actually significant. In the weeks preceding the landings, lists of messages and their meanings were distributed to resistance groups. An increase in radio activity on 5 June was correctly interpreted by German intelligence to mean that an invasion was imminent or underway. However, because of the barrage of previous false warnings and misinformation, most units ignored the warning.

A 1965 report from the Counter-insurgency Information Analysis Center details the results of the French Resistance's sabotage efforts: "In the southeast, 52 locomotives were destroyed on 6 June and the railway line cut in more than 500 places. Normandy was isolated as of 7 June."

Naval activity

Main article: List of Allied warships in the Normandy landings

Naval operations for the invasion were described by historian Correlli Barnett as a "never surpassed masterpiece of planning". In overall command was British Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, who had served as Flag officer at Dover during the Dunkirk evacuation four years earlier. He had also been responsible for the naval planning of the invasion of North Africa in 1942, and one of the two fleets carrying troops for the invasion of Sicily the following year.

The invasion fleet, which was drawn from eight different navies, comprised 6,939 vessels: 1,213 warships, 4,126 landing craft of various types, 736 ancillary craft, and 864 merchant vessels. The majority of the fleet was supplied by the UK, which provided 892 warships and 3,261 landing craft.[85] In total there were 195,700 naval personnel involved; of these 112,824 were from the Royal Navy with another 25,000 from the Merchant Navy; 52,889 were American; and 4,998 sailors from other allied countries. The invasion fleet was split into the Western Naval Task Force (under Admiral Alan G. Kirk) supporting the U.S. sectors and the Eastern Naval Task Force (under Admiral Sir Philip Vian) in the British and Canadian sectors. Available to the fleet were five battleships, 20 cruisers, 65 destroyers, and two monitors. German ships in the area on D-Day included three torpedo boats, 29 fast attack craft, 36 R boats, and 36 minesweepers and patrol boats. The Germans also had several U-boats available, and all the approaches had been heavily mined.

Naval losses

At 05:10, four German torpedo boats reached the Eastern Task Force and launched fifteen torpedoes, sinking the Norwegian destroyer HNoMS Svenner off Sword Beach but missing the British battleships HMS Warspite and Ramillies. After attacking, the German vessels turned away and fled east into a smoke screen that had been laid by the RAF to shield the fleet from the long-range battery at Le Havre. Allied losses to mines included the American destroyer USS Corry off Utah and submarine chaserUSS PC-1261, a 173-foot patrol craft. In addition, many landing craft were lost.

Bombardment

Map of the invasion area showing channels cleared of mines, location of vessels engaged in bombardment, and targets on shore

Bombing of Normandy began around midnight with more than 2,200 British, Canadian, and U.S. bombers attacking targets along the coast and further inland. The coastal bombing attack was largely ineffective at Omaha, because low cloud cover made the assigned targets difficult to see. Concerned about inflicting casualties on their own troops, many bombers delayed their attacks too long and failed to hit the beach defences. The Germans had 570 aircraft stationed in Normandy and the Low Countries on D-Day, and another 964 in Germany.

Minesweepers began clearing channels for the invasion fleet shortly after midnight and finished just after dawn without encountering the enemy. The Western Task Force included the battleships Arkansas, Nevada, and Texas, plus eight cruisers, 28 destroyers, and one monitor. The Eastern Task Force included the battleships Ramillies and Warspite and the monitor Roberts, twelve cruisers, and thirty-seven destroyers. Naval bombardment of areas behind the beach commenced at 05:45, while it was still dark, with the gunners switching to pre-assigned targets on the beach as soon as it was light enough to see, at 05:50. Since troops were scheduled to land at Utah and Omaha starting at 06:30 (an hour earlier than the British beaches), these areas received only about 40 minutes of naval bombardment before the assault troops began to land on the shore.

Airborne operations

The success of the amphibious landings depended on the establishment of a secure lodgement from which to expand the beachhead to allow the build-up of a well-supplied force capable of breaking out. The amphibious forces were especially vulnerable to strong enemy counter-attacks before the arrival of sufficient forces in the beachhead could be accomplished. To slow or eliminate the enemy's ability to organise and launch counter-attacks during this critical period, airborne operations were used to seize key objectives such as bridges, road crossings, and terrain features, particularly on the eastern and western flanks of the landing areas. The airborne landings some distance behind the beaches were also intended to ease the egress of the amphibious forces off the beaches, and in some cases to neutralise German coastal defence batteries and more quickly expand the area of the beachhead.

The U.S. 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions were assigned to objectives west of Utah Beach, where they hoped to capture and control the few narrow causeways through terrain that had been intentionally flooded by the Germans. Reports from Allied intelligence in mid-May of the arrival of the German 91st Infantry Division meant the intended drop zones had to be shifted eastward and to the south. The British 6th Airborne Division, on the eastern flank, was assigned to capture intact the bridges over the Caen Canal and River Orne, destroy five bridges over the Dives 6 miles (9.7 km) to the east, and destroy the Merville Gun Battery overlooking Sword Beach.Free French paratroopers from the British SAS Brigade were assigned to objectives in Brittany from 5 June until August in Operations Dingson, Samwest, and Cooney.

BBC war correspondent Robert Barr described the scene as paratroopers prepared to board their aircraft:

Their faces were darkened with cocoa; sheathed knives were strapped to their ankles; tommy guns strapped to their waists; bandoliers and hand grenades, coils of rope, pick handles, spades, rubber dinghies hung around them, and a few personal oddments, like the lad who was taking a newspaper to read on the plane ... There was an easy familiar touch about the way they were getting ready, as though they had done it often before. Well, yes, they had kitted up and climbed aboard often just like this—twenty, thirty, forty times some of them, but it had never been quite like this before. This was the first combat jump for every one of them.

United States

The U.S. airborne landings began with the arrival of pathfinders at 00:15. Navigation was difficult because of a bank of thick cloud, and as a result, only one of the five paratrooper drop zones was accurately marked with radar signals and Aldis lamps. Paratroopers of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions, numbering over 13,000 men, were delivered by Douglas C-47 Skytrains of the IX Troop Carrier Command. To avoid flying over the invasion fleet, the planes arrived from the west over the Cotentin Peninsula and exited over Utah Beach.

Paratroops from 101st Airborne were dropped beginning around 01:30, tasked with controlling the causeways behind Utah Beach and destroying road and rail bridges over the Douve River. The C-47s could not fly in a tight formation because of thick cloud cover, and many paratroopers were dropped far from their intended landing zones. Many planes came in so low that they were under fire from both flak and machine-gun fire. Some paratroopers were killed on impact when their parachutes did not have time to open, and others drowned in the flooded fields. Gathering together into fighting units was made difficult by a shortage of radios and by the bocage terrain, with its hedgerows, stone walls, and marshes. Some units did not arrive at their targets until afternoon, by which time several of the causeways had already been cleared by members of the 4th Infantry Division moving up from the beach.

Troops of the 82nd Airborne began arriving around 02:30, with the primary objective of capturing two bridges over the River Merderet and destroying two bridges over the Douve. On the east side of the river, 75 per cent of the paratroopers landed in or near their drop zone, and within two hours they captured the important crossroads at Sainte-Mère-Église (the first town liberated in the invasion) and began working to protect the western flank. Because of the failure of the pathfinders to accurately mark their drop zone, the two regiments dropped on the west side of the Merderet were extremely scattered, with only four per cent landing in the target area. Many landed in nearby swamps, with much loss of life. Paratroopers consolidated into small groups, usually a combination of men of various ranks from different units, and attempted to concentrate on nearby objectives. They captured but failed to hold the Merderet River bridge at La Fière, and fighting for the crossing continued for several days.

Reinforcements arrived by glider around 04:00 (Mission Chicago and Mission Detroit), and 21:00 (Mission Keokuk and Mission Elmira), bringing additional troops and heavy equipment. Like the paratroopers, many landed far from their drop zones. Even those that landed on target experienced difficulty, with heavy cargo such as Jeeps shifting during landing, crashing through the wooden fuselage, and in some cases crushing personnel on board.

After 24 hours, only 2,500 men of the 101st and 2,000 of the 82nd Airborne were under the control of their divisions, approximately a third of the force dropped. This wide dispersal had the effect of confusing the Germans and fragmenting their response. The 7th Army received notification of the parachute drops at 01:20, but Rundstedt did not initially believe that a major invasion was underway. The destruction of radar stations along the Normandy coast in the week before the invasion meant that the Germans did not detect the approaching fleet until 02:00.

British and Canadian

Main articles: Operation Tonga and Operation Mallard

An abandoned Waco CG-4glider is examined by German troops

The first Allied action of D-Day was the capture of the Caen canal and Orne river bridges via a glider assault at 00:16 (since renamed Pegasus Bridge and Horsa Bridge). Both bridges were quickly captured intact, with light casualties by the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry Regiment. They were then reinforced by members of the 5th Parachute Brigade and the 7th (Light Infantry) Parachute Battalion. The five bridges over the Dives were destroyed with minimal difficulty by the 3rd Parachute Brigade. Meanwhile, the pathfinders tasked with setting up radar beacons and lights for further paratroopers (scheduled to begin arriving at 00:50 to clear the landing zone north of Ranville) were blown off course and had to set up the navigation aids too far east. Many paratroopers, also blown too far east, landed far from their intended drop zones; some took hours or even days to be reunited with their units. Major General Richard Gale arrived in the third wave of gliders at 03:30, along with equipment, such as antitank guns and jeeps, and more troops to help secure the area from counter-attacks, which were initially staged only by troops in the immediate vicinity of the landings. At 02:00, the commander of the German 716th Infantry Division ordered Feuchtinger to move his 21st Panzer Division into position to counter-attack. However, as the division was part of the armoured reserve, Feuchtinger was obliged to seek clearance from OKW before he could commit his formation. Feuchtinger did not receive orders until nearly 09:00, but in the meantime on his own initiative he put together a battle group (including tanks) to fight the British forces east of the Orne.

Only 160 men out of the 600 members of the 9th Battalion tasked with eliminating the enemy battery at Merville arrived at the rendezvous point. Lieutenant Colonel Terence Otway, in charge of the operation, decided to proceed regardless, as the emplacement had to be destroyed by 06:00 to prevent it firing on the invasion fleet and the troops arriving on Sword Beach. In the Battle of Merville Gun Battery, Allied forces disabled the guns with plastic explosives at a cost of 75 casualties. The emplacement was found to contain 75 mm guns rather than the expected 150 mm heavy coastal artillery. Otway's remaining force withdrew with the assistance of a few members of the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion.

With this action, the last of the D-Day goals of the British 6th Airborne Division was achieved. They were reinforced at 12:00 by commandos of the 1st Special Service Brigade, who landed on Sword Beach, and by the 6th Airlanding Brigade, who arrived in gliders at 21:00 in Operation Mallard.

Beach landings

Map of the beaches and first day advances

Tanks

Some of the landing craft had been modified to provide close support fire, and self-propelled amphibious Duplex-Drive tanks (DD tanks), specially designed for the Normandy landings, were to land shortly before the infantry to provide covering fire. However, few arrived in advance of the infantry, and many sank before reaching the shore, especially at Omaha.

Utah Beach

Main article: Utah Beach

Carrying their equipment, U.S. assault troops move onto Utah Beach. Landing craft can be seen in the background.

Utah Beach was in the area defended by two battalions of the 919th Grenadier Regiment. Members of the 8th Infantry Regiment of the 4th Infantry Division were the first to land, arriving at 06:30. Their landing craft were pushed to the south by strong currents, and they found themselves about 2,000 yards (1.8 km) from their intended landing zone. This site turned out to be better, as there was only one strongpoint nearby rather than two, and bombers of IX Bomber Command had bombed the defences from lower than their prescribed altitude, inflicting considerable damage. In addition, the strong currents had washed ashore many of the underwater obstacles. The assistant commander of the 4th Infantry Division, Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jr., the first senior officer ashore, made the decision to "start the war from right here," and ordered further landings to be re-routed.

The initial assault battalions were quickly followed by 28 DD tanks and several waves of engineer and demolition teams to remove beach obstacles and clear the area directly behind the beach of obstacles and mines. Gaps were blown in the sea wall to allow quicker access for troops and tanks. Combat teams began to exit the beach at around 09:00, with some infantry wading through the flooded fields rather than travelling on the single road. They skirmished throughout the day with elements of the 919th Grenadier Regiment, who were armed with antitank guns and rifles. The main strongpoint in the area and another 1,300 yards (1.2 km) to the south were disabled by noon. The 4th Infantry Division did not meet all of their D-Day objectives at Utah Beach, partly because they had arrived too far to the south, but they landed 21,000 troops at the cost of only 197 casualties.

Pointe du Hoc

US Rangers scaling the wall at Pointe du Hoc

Pointe du Hoc, a prominent headland situated between Utah and Omaha, was assigned to two hundred men of the 2nd Ranger Battalion, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel James Rudder. Their task was to scale the 30 m (98 ft) cliffs with grappling hooks, ropes, and ladders to destroy the coastal gun battery located at the top. The cliffs were defended by the German 352nd Infantry Division and French collaborators firing from above. Allied destroyers Satterlee and Talybont provided fire support. After scaling the cliffs, the Rangers discovered that the guns had already been withdrawn. They located the weapons, unguarded but ready to use, in an orchard some 550 metres (600 yd) south of the point, and disabled them with explosives.

The Rangers fended off numerous counter-attacks from the German 914th Grenadier Regiment. The men were isolated, and some were captured. By dawn on 7 June, Rudder had only 90 men able to fight. Relief did not arrive until 8 June, when members of the 743rd Tank Battalion and others arrived. By then, Rudder's men had run out of ammunition and were using captured German weapons. Several men were killed as a result, because the German weapons made a distinctive noise, and the men were mistaken for the enemy. By the end of the battle, the Rangers casualties were 135 dead and wounded, while German casualties were 50 killed and 40 captured. An unknown number of French collaborators were executed.

Omaha Beach

Main article: Omaha Beach

Omaha, the most heavily defended beach, was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division and 29th Infantry Division. They faced the 352nd Infantry Division rather than the expected single regiment. Strong currents forced many landing craft east of their intended position or caused them to be delayed. For fear of hitting the landing craft, U.S. bombers delayed releasing their loads and, as a result most of the beach obstacles at Omaha remained undamaged when the men came ashore. Many of the landing craft ran aground on sandbars, and the men had to wade 50–100m in water up to their necks while under fire to get to the beach. In spite of the rough seas, DD tanks of two companies of the 741st Tank Battalion were dropped 5,000 yards (4,600 m) from shore; however, 27 of the 32 flooded and sank, with the loss of 33 crew. Some tanks, disabled on the beach, continued to provide covering fire until their ammunition ran out or they were swamped by the rising tide.

Casualties were around 2,000, as the men were subjected to fire from the cliffs above. Problems clearing the beach of obstructions led to the beachmaster calling a halt to further landings of vehicles at 08:30. A group of destroyers arrived around this time to provide fire support so landings could resume. Exit from the beach was possible only via five heavily defended gullies, and by late morning barely 600 men had reached the higher ground. By noon, as the artillery fire took its toll and the Germans started to run out of ammunition, the Americans were able to clear some lanes on the beaches. They also started clearing the gullies of enemy defences so that vehicles could move off the beach. The tenuous beachhead was expanded over the following days, and the D-Day objectives for Omaha were accomplished by 9 June.

Gold Beach

British troops come ashore at Jig Green sector, Gold Beach

The first landings on Gold Beach were set for 07:25 because of the differences in the tide between there and the U.S. beaches. High winds made conditions difficult for the landing craft, and the amphibious DD tanks were released close to shore or directly on the beach instead of further out as planned. Three of the four guns in a large emplacement at the Longues-sur-Mer battery were disabled by direct hits from the cruisers HMS Ajax and Argonaut at 06:20. The fourth gun resumed firing intermittently in the afternoon, and its garrison surrendered on 7 June. Aerial attacks had failed to hit the Le Hamel strongpoint, which had its embrasure facing east to provide enfilade fire along the beach and had a thick concrete wall on the seaward side. Its 75 mm gun continued to do damage until 16:00, when an Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers (AVRE) tank fired a large petard charge into its rear entrance. A second casemated emplacement at La Rivière containing an 88 mm gun was neutralised by a tank at 07:30.

Meanwhile, infantry began clearing the heavily fortified houses along the shore and advanced on targets further inland. The No. 47 (Royal Marine) Commando moved toward the small port at Port-en-Bessin and captured it the following day in the Battle of Port-en-Bessin. Company Sergeant Major Stanley Hollis received the only Victoria Cross awarded on D-Day for his actions while attacking two pillboxes at the Mont Fleury high point. On the western flank, the 1st Battalion, Royal Hampshire Regiment captured Arromanches (future site of Mulberry "B"), and contact was made on the eastern flank with the Canadian forces at Juno. Bayeux was not captured the first day because of stiff resistance from the 352nd Infantry Division. Allied casualties at Gold Beach are estimated at 1,000.

Juno Beach

Royal Canadian Naval Beach Commando "W" land on Mike Beach sector of Juno Beach, 8 July 1944

The landing at Juno Beach was delayed because of choppy seas, and the men arrived ahead of their supporting armour, suffering many casualties while disembarking. Most of the offshore bombardment had missed the German defences. Several exits from the beach were created, but not without difficulty. At Mike Beach on the western flank, a large crater was filled using an abandoned AVRE tank and several rolls of fascine, which were then covered by a temporary bridge. The tank remained in place until 1972 when it was removed and restored by members of the Royal Engineers. The beach and nearby streets were clogged with traffic for most of the day, making it difficult to move inland.

Major German strongpoints with 75 mm guns, machine-gun nests, concrete fortifications, barbed wire, and mines were located at Courseulles-sur-Mer, St Aubin-sur-Mer, and Bernières-sur-Mer. The towns had to be cleared in house-to-house fighting. Soldiers on their way to Bény-sur-Mer, 3 miles (5 km) inland, discovered that the road was well covered by machine gun emplacements that had to be outflanked before the advance could proceed. Elements of the 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade advanced to within sight of the Carpiquet airfield late in the afternoon, but by this time their supporting armour was low on ammunition so the Canadians dug in for the night. The airfield was not captured until a month later as the area became the scene of fierce fighting. By nightfall, the contiguous Juno and Gold beachheads covered an area 12 miles (19 km) wide and 7 miles (10 km) deep. Casualties at Juno were 961 men.

Sword Beach

British troops take cover after landing on Sword Beach.

On Sword Beach, 21 of 25 DD tanks of the first wave were successful in getting safely ashore to provide cover for the infantry, who began disembarking at 07:30. The beach was heavily mined and peppered with obstacles, making the work of the beach clearing teams difficult and dangerous. In the windy conditions, the tide came in more quickly than expected, so manoeuvring the armour was difficult. The beach quickly became congested. Brigadier Simon Fraser, 15th Lord Lovat and his 1st Special Service Brigade arrived in the second wave, piped ashore by Private Bill Millin, Lovat's personal piper. Members of No. 4 Commando moved through Ouistreham to attack from the rear a German gun battery on the shore. A concrete observation and control tower at this emplacement had to be bypassed and was not captured until several days later. French forces under Commander Philippe Kieffer (the first French soldiers to arrive in Normandy) attacked and cleared the heavily fortified strongpoint at the casino at Riva Bella, with the aid of one of the DD tanks.

The 'Morris' strongpoint near Colleville-sur-Orne was captured after about an hour of fighting. The nearby 'Hillman' strongpoint, headquarters of the 736th Infantry Regiment, was a large complex defensive work that had come through the morning's bombardment essentially undamaged. It was not captured until 20:15. The 2nd Battalion, King's Shropshire Light Infantry began advancing to Caen on foot, coming within a few kilometres of the town, but had to withdraw due to lack of armour support. At 16:00, the 21st Panzer Division mounted a counter-attack between Sword and Juno and nearly succeeded in reaching the Channel. It met stiff resistance from the British 3rd Division and was soon recalled to assist in the area between Caen and Bayeux. Estimates of Allied casualties on Sword Beach are as high as 1,000.

Aftermath

Situation map for 24:00, 6 June 1944

The Normandy landings were the largest seaborne invasion in history, with nearly 5,000 landing and assault craft, 289 escort vessels, and 277 minesweepers participating. Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on D-Day, with 875,000 men disembarking by the end of June. Allied casualties on the first day were at least 10,000, with 4,414 confirmed dead. The Germans lost 1,000 men. The Allied invasion plans had called for the capture of Carentan, Saint-Lô, Caen, and Bayeux on the first day, with all the beaches (other than Utah) linked with a front line 10 to 16 kilometres (6 to 10 mi) from the beaches; none of these objectives were achieved. The five beachheads were not connected until 12 June, by which time the Allies held a front around 97 kilometres (60 mi) long and 24 kilometres (15 mi) deep. Caen, a major objective, was still in German hands at the end of D-Day and would not be completely captured until 21 July. The Germans had ordered French civilians other than those deemed essential to the war effort to leave potential combat zones in Normandy. Civilian casualties on D-Day and D+1 are estimated at 3,000.

The Allied victory in Normandy stemmed from several factors. German preparations along the Atlantic Wall were only partially finished; shortly before D-Day Rommel reported that construction was only 18 per cent complete in some areas as resources were diverted elsewhere. The deceptions undertaken in Operation Fortitude were successful, leaving the Germans obliged to defend a huge stretch of coastline.

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normandy_landings
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D-Day -1

1945 American film

D-Day -1
Produced byArmy Air Forces

Release date

Running time

17 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

D-Day - 1 was a short propaganda film produced shortly before the end of the Second World War to boost the 7th war bond drive. It focused on the experiences of American paratroopers and gliders who went into Normandy prior to the sea borne invasion.

Opening with a statement by Gen. Barney M. Giles, reminding the audience that the war can't be won without money to pay for armaments and equipment, the film turns to an overview of Operation Overlord and the necessity for breaking the Atlantic wall. However, the emphasis soon turns to the men stationed in England, and their life while training and waiting for the inevitable invasion. Finally, the big day arrives and paratroopers are flown in over northern France in advance of the actual invasion. Their tasks included blowing up bridges, securing airfields, cutting communication lines, and other clandestine operations.

The film ends by reminding the audience that many of the men they have just seen have given their lives in defense of freedom, and urges them to buy war bonds.

See also[edit]

External links and reference[edit]

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D-Day_-1
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D-Day (2013) - Plot Summary Poster

Summaries

  • A team of experts dispatched to bring in The Most Wanted Man in India almost achieve the unthinkable ... until something goes horribly wrong.

  • 9 years ago Wali Khan (Irrfan Khan) was sent into Karachi, Pakistan by the Chief of RAW Ashwini Rao (Nasser) to report the activities of The Most Wanted Man in India. 9 days ago Rudra Pratap Singh (Arjun Rampal) Indian Armed Forces, MARCOS unit, Zoya Rehman (Huma Qureshi) RAW Explosives expert, and Aslam, a petty thief from the streets of Mumbai recruited by RAW, infiltrated Pakistan to join Wali Khan and carry out the mission to bring back The Most Wanted Man in India. The man who was going to break all ISI protocol and security and attend his own son's wedding. The man who could on that day be abducted and brought back to India to face justice. 1 day ago everything went according to plan until it all failed. The team sent in to bring The Most Wanted Man in India, did the unthinkable - they carried out the most daring operation and almost got away with it. Almost because, something went horribly wrong.

    —Yash Raj Films

  • India's external intelligence agency R.A.W. has assembled a mission force dispatched to Pakistan, comprised of reconnaissance veteran Wali Khan, spec-ops commando Rudra Singh, explosives expert Zoya Rehman and small time criminal Aslam who is working in return for clemency from the law. The team's objective is to capture India's Public Enemy Number One, terrorist Iqbal Seth, codenamed Goldman. Assembling all hardware and information, the team zeroes onto Seth's location at his son's wedding, with security cover for the wedding provided by Pakistan's ISI and Army. It is for this reason the team must make it's moves swiftly, carefully and successfully at all costs as failure would render them expendable to the Indian Government and Seth would continue his deadly activities which in his language are "business as usual".

    —ankit-singh92


Spoilers

The synopsis below may give away important plot points.

Synopsis

  • Agent Wali Khan (Irrfan Khan), appointed by the Chief of Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Ashwini Rao (Nassar), has been on a mission for nine years to keep an eye out for the activities of India's most wanted D-Company leader, Goldman (Rishi Kapoor) while working as a local barber as a cover. One day he notices Goldman talking about his son's wedding cards to people in the mosque where he prays and comes to know that his son is getting married and Goldman is breaking his security protocol to attend that. The same is confirmed by an ISI operative who works part-time as Goldman's bodyguard and is a neighbor and friend of Wali though he doesn't know the truth about Wali's connections to Indian Intelligence. Sensing a chance to nab Goldman alive, he informs Ashwini about the same who assembles a team quickly - Ex-Indian Army officer and mercenary, Rudra Pratap Singh (Arjun Rampal), RAW's explosives expert, Zoya Rehman (Huma Qureshi), and Aslam, a Mumbai thief and a murderer who was given a chance at freedom by participating in this mission.

    On the day of the wedding, Wali sees his wife and son off at the airport, as they are to fly to London. Wali goes home and stages his family's death in the hopes that the ISI will not put them in harm's way and he can join them after the mission is accomplished. However, all flights to Europe are cancelled, stranding Wali's wife and son at the airport. When Wali's wife calls up Wali his phone is switched off and she learns her house is on fire. Disturbed and upset about not being able to locate Wali, she informs the airport security about the same. The airport security personnel runs a check to see and discovers that three bodies have been recovered. Suspicious at the cover up he summons the ISI. The ISI, while questioning Zoya and her son Kabir, notices Kabir holding pencils that belong to the same hotel where Goldman's son is about to get married. When asked Kabir informs that the pencils were given to him by Wali a few days ago. Realizing that Wali is an operative out to get Goldman, ISI alerts their counterparts at the wedding. As a result, Wali, Rudra, Zoya, and Aslam's plan to capture Goldman is in jeopardy. Goldman escapes unscathed and the four agents have to go into hiding. Embarrassed at the failure of their operation, the Indian government disavows the four agents; only Ashwini stands by them, but he is forced to resign. Aslam is captured and tortured by Goldman's nephew when he tries to escape through the Karachi docks. He is rescued by Rudra, who was trying to take revenge on Goldman's nephew for murdering Rudra's lover, Suraiya (Shruti Hassan), a Pakistani prostitute. Upon hearing that Wali's wife has died and that his son is in ISI custody, the four agents decide to find a way to complete their mission, despite the government having abandoned them.

    The ISI decides that Goldman is too much of a liability to continue protecting further, so they decide to kill him. Before they can, the four RAW agents take out the ISI and take Goldman hostage. Wali notifies Ashwini, who works to find them a safe route out of Pakistan. Goldman taunts Wali by telling him that his wife and son are actually still alive, and that he can arrange their reunion. Wali is torn between accepting Goldman's help and completing his mission, to the point where he shoots Rudra to take control of the group. Ashwini asks them to be at Checkpost 35 before 6a.m. At the same time, Wali arranges a meeting with ISI, proposing an exchange of Goldman for his wife and child. After tying Rudra up and disarming Zoya, Wali leaves with Goldman. Zoya then frees Rudra and they follow Wali.

    Wali drives to Checkpost 40 but is shot dead by Pakistani forces, who, unbeknownst to Wali, have poisoned and killed his wife and son. As Wali's car is examined, it is revealed that Wali did not actually bring Goldman with him; he had apparently anticipated the Pakistani betrayal, and had left Goldman in the car that Zoya and Rudra had taken. Through flashbacks, it is revealed that this was a plan hatched by Wali and Rudra in order to get Goldman to cooperate and give Rudra and Zoya time to get Goldman across the border to India. The Pakistani forces give Rudra and Zoya chase and barely miss them before they bring Goldman over the border, where Ashwini is waiting. Once across, Goldman taunts them by saying how nothing has changed in India and he will be released soon and is able to continue his criminal activities. Rudra shoots Goldman in the head, indicating that he is the face of the "New India."

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Movie d wiki day

D-Day the Sixth of June

1956 romantic war film directed by Henry Koster

D-Day the Sixth of June is a DeLuxe Color1956CinemaScoperomancewar film made by 20th Century Fox. It was directed by Henry Koster and produced by Charles Brackett from a screenplay by Ivan Moffat and Harry Brown, based on the 1955 novel, The Sixth of June by Lionel Shapiro.

The film stars Robert Taylor, Richard Todd (who participated in the Normandy landings in real life), Dana Wynter, and Edmond O'Brien.

Plot[edit]

A few hours before D-Day, Special Force Six, a joint American-British-Canadian commando unit, embarks to destroy an especially well-defended German coastal gun emplacement on the Normandy coast. As the landing ship steams towards it, the officers and men recall what circumstances brought them there, especially Wynter and Parker.

Captain Brad Parker, an American paratrooper invalided out because of a broken leg suffered during a parachute jump, is posted to the headquarters of the European Theatre of Operations in London. At the Red Cross club, he meets and, despite being married, falls in love with Valerie Russell, a Women's Royal Army Corpssubaltern. Valerie is the daughter of a crusty Brigadier who's been on sick leave since being wounded at Dunkirk. Valerie is also already in love with Captain John Wynter of the British Commandos, a friend of her father.

Both officers are posted overseas, but later return. Parker has volunteered to join what becomes Special Force Six, to be led by his former commander, Lt. Colonel (now full Colonel) Timmer.

With only a few hours before the operation is due to embark, Timmer goes to pieces (partly as a result of his earlier bad experiences in the failed Dieppe Raid) and is arrested whilst drunk and breaking security. Wynter, now a Colonel, who has recovered from being badly wounded, is brought in to command the operation. The operation is a success, despite several killed and wounded. Parker is badly wounded and evacuated. Wynter is wounded as well, and while he is awaiting evacuation, is killed when he steps on a mine.

In the hospital, and due to be repatriated, Parker sees Valerie for the last time. She does not tell him that Wynter has been killed.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Lionel Shapiro (1908–1958) was a Canadian war correspondent for The Montreal Gazette who landed at the Allied invasion of Sicily, Salerno and Juno Beach on D-Day with the Canadian forces.[3] His 1955 romantic novel The Sixth of June was awarded the Governor General's Award for English-language fiction. As opposed to a historical account such as The Longest Day, The Sixth of June is a love triangle of adulterous relationships set in war such as The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit that was also filmed by 20th Century Fox in 1956. Robert Taylor echoes his appearance in Waterloo Bridge by wearing a trenchcoat and romancing English lady Dana Wynter. Wynter called it her favourite of all her films, being an unresolved love story.[4]

Though originally planned to be filmed in Britain with Jean Simmons as the female lead, The Sixth of June (the working title of the film) was made on the Fox backlot with naval scenes filmed at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard, featuring the hospital ship USS Haven (AH-12), whilst the beach landing was made at Point Dume California.[5] Before the days of computer-generated imagery director Henry Koster had to make his landing look convincing on his limited budget with two LCVPs and eighty soldiers.[6] In the invasion scene soldiers running out of the two landing craft appear in front of a back projection scene of another take of the same scene giving the appearance of twice as many landing craft and soldiers as there actually were.

Unlike many American war filmsD-Day the Sixth of June presents the viewpoints of British characters and features Canadian troops in action. The film's microcosm version of the Normandy landings is a Pointe du Hoc type assault featuring an imaginary "Special Force Six" made up of British, American and Canadian troops in equal quantities. When Taylor's character is wounded it is Todd and the British and Canadians who destroy the big gun that is the force's objective.

Edmond O'Brien's character is relieved of command in a similarity to US Army Ranger Major Cleveland A Lytle. Lytle who was to command three companies of the 2nd Ranger Battalion in the assault at Pointe du Hoc heard that Free French sources reported the guns thought to be there had been removed. Lytle became quite vocal that the assault would be unnecessary and suicidal and was relieved of his command at the last minute by Provisional Ranger Force commander Colonel James Rudder.[7] Rudder felt that Lytle could not convincingly lead a force with a mission that he did not believe in.[8] Lytle was later transferred to the 90th Infantry Division where he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.[9]

[edit]

  1. ^Aubrey Solomon, Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History, Scarecrow Press, 1989 p250
  2. ^'The Top Box-Office Hits of 1956', Variety Weekly, January 2, 1957
  3. ^Books: Love Before D-Day - TIME
  4. ^p.303 Weaver, Tom I Was a Monster Movie Maker 2001 McFarland
  5. ^D-Day the Sixth of June (1956) - Overview - TCM.com
  6. ^p.20 Davis, Ronald L. Just Making Movies: Company Directors on the Studio System 2005 University of Mississippi Press
  7. ^p.78 Black, Colonel Robert W. The Battalion: The Dramatic Story of the 2nd Ranger Battalion in World War II 2006 Stackpole Books
  8. ^p.210 Gawne, Jonathan Spearheading D-Day: American Special Units 6 June 1944 2001 Historie and Collections
  9. ^Legion of Valor RecipientArchived 2012-09-19 at WebCite

External links[edit]

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D-Day_the_Sixth_of_June
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Ike: Countdown to D-Day

2004 American television film directed by Robert Harmon

Ike: Countdown to D-Day is a 2004 American made-for-televisionhistoricalwardrama film originally aired on the American television channel A&E, directed by Robert Harmon and written by Lionel Chetwynd. Countdown to D-Day was filmed entirely in New Zealand with the roles of British characters played by New Zealanders; the American roles were played by Americans.

Plot[edit]

Tom Selleck portrays General Dwight D. Eisenhower, US Army, popularly known by his nickname of "Ike". The film deals with the difficult decisions he made leading to up to D-Day, including dealing with the varied personalities of his command: Lieutenant General Omar N. Bradley, US Army (James Remar), Lieutenant General George S. Patton, US Army (Gerald McRaney), General Bernard Montgomery, British Army (Bruce Phillips) and General Charles de Gaulle, Free French (George Shevtsov).

The film does not have action sequences, focusing instead on the inner workings of Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force that led to the successful D-Day invasion of World War II. Concentrating on decisions actually made by Eisenhower and the pressures brought to bear on him personally, it includes his personal relationship with British Prime MinisterWinston Churchill (Ian Mune) and his own Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Walter Bedell Smith, US Army (Timothy Bottoms).

The film is also notable for being the only major production in which General Montgomery's portrayal concentrates on his role as a competent military professional, instead of focusing on his alleged personality disorders, while still showing his eccentricities. General Patton's complex personality is also outlined in a very brief set of scenes played by Gerald McRaney.

The film omits Ike's relationship with Kay Summersby, his driver, though she appears briefly in a scene where the general officers are viewing movie reels. She is also portrayed as his driver when Ike visits US paratroopers on the eve of D-Day.

Cast[edit]

Noteworthy[edit]

Errors[edit]

  • Churchill incorrectly refers to the Combined Bomber Offensive as "saturation bombing", an anachronistic term that can only be accurately applied to RAF Bomber Command. The period term was "area bombing".
  • The opening scene suggests that Great Britain and the United States had not seriously considered the possibility of a supreme allied commander prior to planning the D-Day invasion. In fact, appointing supreme commanders for the various theaters was seen as a given as it had proved beneficial in the last days of World War I with the appointment of Ferdinand Foch in 1918 over the Allied forces in Western Europe. The reason Eisenhower's appointment took some negotiation was the fact that the original supreme commander for the European Theater of Operations, Frank Maxwell Andrews, was killed in an airplane crash.
  • The scene at the end of the film showing the visit to the 101st airborne troops is presented to the viewer as being on June 6, 1944. This particular gathering took place on the eve of D-Day on June 5, 1944, prior to the take-off to France. The airborne phase of Overlord began late in the evening of June 5 and into the early hours of June 6. Thus by daylight on June 6 Allied airborne troops were already on the ground in France.
  • The film incorrectly talks about "DD" – "duplex drive landing craft". No landing craft had DD drive. The "DD's" actually were Sherman tanks modified with a waterproof underbody and skirt, allowing the tank to float in calm water, and a propeller to propel the tank from LCT launching craft to shore. On Omaha, most of them sank in rough seas, meaning the troops on the beach had no armored support. The raid by German torpedo boats on a large practice landing did happen, but did not involve DD (duplex drive craft) and was extensively "hushed up".
  • Contrary to the film, LST's (landing ship tank) were not used on the initial hours of D-Day; they came in after the beaches were secured.
  • General Montgomery's "dagger like thrust" into Berlin was not presented to Eisenhower before D-Day, it was part of his plan for operations following the breakout of Normandy and was presented during the first week of September. In fact the landings were enlarged from three beaches to five by Montgomery.
  • In the film, Churchill said "no-one in Britain lives more than 150 miles from the sea". In fact, it's 65 miles.
  • They are watching Olivier's Henry V which was released in London on 22 November 1944.

Historical accuracy[edit]

  • The movie accurately depicts the incident which nearly torpedoed Overlord. In a drunken scene at a restaurant, Major GeneralHenry Jervis Friese Miller — a West Point classmate of Eisenhower and his chief of the Materiel Command, USAFE — blurted out the general time and place of Overlord. A lieutenant of the 101st Airborne overheard this and reported it up the chain of command. Miller was sent home in his permanent establishment rank of Colonel. Lt. Gen. Bedell Smith spoke to the lieutenant and reported that the officer felt bad about doing what he did, but that he was worried enough about the lives of his men on the day they went to war without letting the Germans know when and where. Eisenhower on hearing this said the officer was better than Miller. He told Miller that it was their longstanding friendship that prevented him from court-martialing him.
  • The film also makes reference to a message composed by Eisenhower to be given to the press corps in the event the invasion failed. This message was found, years later, in a pocket of General Eisenhower's old uniform. In this speech, Eisenhower accepted full responsibility for any failure of the assault.
  • In the US Armed Forces at the time, general officer ranks were not always permanent and many were temporarily granted to senior officers through the use of Army of the United States ranks. This was comparable to the National Army in World War I, and the Volunteer Army in wars of the 19th Century; it was not the same as brevetting which could occur in the Regular Army, the Volunteer Army, or the National Army, but had become less common after Senate confirmation for brevet ranks became required. This situation was necessary because of the massive expansion of the Army for the war. The Regular Army numbered a few hundred thousand, but the combination of the Regular Army, the National Guard, and the Army of the United States peaked at over 8 million in the summer of 1944, creating a need for a significant number of senior officers, much more than required by the Regular Army itself. When relieved of an assignment requiring the higher rank (either for cause or simply a transfer), the officer would return to his rank in the Regular Army. As Bedell Smith put it: "You'd lose your theater rank. They'll take three of those stars." Miller was sent home in his regular rank of Colonel. (In the movie, however, it is Omar Bradley that tells Ike he would lose three of those stars, right before they begin discussing the composition of the sand on the Normandy beaches).
  • There was indeed a shortage of Higgins boats (LCVP).
  • Unlike many movies and written accounts of the Normandy invasion, the movie accurately references the role of the Canadian First Army (Juno Beach) instead of simply rolling it into a generic reference to the "British". The accuracy extends to appropriate use of the Canadian Red Ensign (the flag in use at the time) rather than the current maple leaf flag.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ike:_Countdown_to_D-Day

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Saving Private Ryan

1998 film by Steven Spielberg

For the soundtrack, see Saving Private Ryan (soundtrack).

Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American epicwar film directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Robert Rodat. Set during the Invasion of Normandy in World War II, the film is known for its graphic portrayal of war, especially its depiction of the Omaha Beach assault during the Normandy landings. The film follows United States Army RangersCaptain John H. Miller (Tom Hanks) and his squad (Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Barry Pepper, Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel, Adam Goldberg, and Jeremy Davies) as they search for a paratrooper, Private first class James Francis Ryan (Matt Damon), the last surviving brother of four, the three other brothers having been killed in action. The film was a co-production between DreamWorks Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, and Mutual Film Company. DreamWorks distributed the film in North America while Paramount released the film internationally.

In 1996, producer Mark Gordon pitched Rodat's idea, which was inspired by the Niland brothers, to Paramount, which eventually began development on the project.[2] Spielberg, who at the time was forming DreamWorks, came on board to direct the project, and Hanks joined the cast. After the cast went through training supervised by Marine veteran Dale Dye, the film's principal photography started in June 1997 and lasted two months. The film's D-Day scenes were shot in Ballinesker Beach, Curracloe Strand, Ballinesker, just east of Curracloe, County Wexford, Ireland, and used members of the Irish Army reserve as infantry for the D-Day landing.

Released on July 24, 1998, Saving Private Ryan received acclaim from critics and audiences for its performances (particularly from Hanks), realism, Janusz Kaminski's cinematography, score, screenplay, and Spielberg's direction, and was placed on many film critics' 1998 top ten lists. It was also a box office success, becoming the highest-grossing film of 1998 in the United States with $216.8 million domestically and the second-highest-grossing film of 1998 worldwide with $481.8 million worldwide.[3] Additionally, it grossed $44 million from its release on home video in May 1999. The film won several accolades, including Best Picture and Director at the Golden Globes, Producers Guild of America, Directors Guild of America, and Critics' Choice Awards. The film was nominated for eleven Academy Awards at the 71st Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actor (Hanks), and Best Original Screenplay, and won five: Best Director (Spielberg's second), Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Sound, and Best Sound Effects Editing.

Since its release, Saving Private Ryan has been considered one of the greatest films of all time and has been lauded as influential on both the war and action film genres, primarily due to its use of desaturated colors, hand-held cameras, and tight angles.[4][5][6] It has been credited for renewing interest in World War II media, particularly World War II-themed first-person shooter games that became popular in the 2000s. In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked Saving Private Ryan as the 71st-greatest American movie in AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) and in 2014, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".[7]

Plot[edit]

An elderly veteran walks through a cemetery, accompanied by his family. Coming across a specific grave, he is overcome with emotion and recalls his time as a soldier. On the morning of June 6, 1944, the U.S. Army lands at Omaha Beach as part of the Normandy invasion. Captain John H. Miller leads a breakout from the beach, overwhelming fierce German resistance. Meanwhile at the United States Department of War in Washington, D.C., it is learned that James Francis Ryan of the 101st Airborne Division is the last of four brothers presumed alive but missing. General George C. Marshall orders Ryan to be found and sent home.

Miller soon receives orders to lead a unit to find Ryan. Arriving in the contested town of Neuville between the German defenders and the 101st Airborne, it is learned that Ryan is defending a key bridge in the fictional town of Ramelle. While assisting the 101st in Neuville, one of Miller's men is shot by a German sniper and is killed in action. En route to Ramelle, Miller decides against the judgment of his unit to neutralize a German machine gun nest, resulting in the loss of the unit's Medic. A surviving German soldier is spared by the intervention of Upham; Miller blindfolds the soldier, who had been nicknamed "Steamboat Willie", and orders him to surrender himself to the next Allied patrol. When Reiben threatens to desert, Miller defuses the situation by revealing his civilian background as a teacher.

Soon arriving in Ramelle, the remaining unit make contact with Ryan and inform him of his brothers' deaths. Though upset by the news, Ryan refuses to abandon his current posting, which soon comes under siege by attacking German armor. Miller and his unit fight alongside the 101st though the German armor advantage soon starts to take its toll on the Americans. In the ensuing battle, Jackson, Mellish and Horvath are killed. In an attempt to destroy the bridge with pre-placed explosives, Miller is fatally wounded by "Steamboat Willie", the German soldier he earlier spared. As the Germans approach the bridge, P-51 Mustangs as well as advancing American Shermans with infantry rout the Germans. Steamboat Willie is personally executed by Upham, who spares his comrades.

As a result of his wounds, Miller dies, but first tells Ryan to "earn this," referring to the postwar life that he will hopefully be able to experience. Ryan is revealed to be the elderly veteran from the beginning of the film and the grave belonging to Miller. Ryan expresses his gratitude for the sacrifices made by Miller and his men and states that he hopes he indeed earned it, before saluting Miller's gravestone.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

In 1994, Robert Rodat's wife gave him the bestseller D-Day: June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II by historian Stephen Ambrose. While reading the book during an early morning walk in a small New Hampshire village, Rodat was "struck by a monument dedicated to those who had died in various wars, particularly because of the repeated last names of brothers who were killed in action". He was inspired by an actual family in Ambrose's book named the Nilands, which had lost two sons in the war and was thought to have lost a third, whose fourth son was "snatched" out of Normandy by the War Department.[8]

Rodat proposed the pitch to producer Mark Gordon. Gordon then pitched Rodat's idea to Paramount Pictures, whose executives liked the idea and commissioned Rodat to write the script.[9][8] Carin Sage at Creative Artists Agency read Rodat's script and made Steven Spielberg, who was one of the agency's clients, aware of it. At the same time, Spielberg, who was at the time establishing DreamWorks Pictures, picked up the script and became interested in the film.[10]

Spielberg had already demonstrated his interest in World War II themes with the films 1941, Empire of the Sun, Schindler's List, and the Indiana Jones series. Spielberg later co-produced the World War II themed television miniseriesBand of Brothers and its counterpart The Pacific with Tom Hanks. When asked about this by American Cinematographer, Spielberg said, "I think that World War II is the most significant event of the last 100 years; the fate of the Baby Boomers and even Generation X was linked to the outcome. Beyond that, I've just always been interested in World War II. My earliest films, which I made when I was about 14 years old, were combat pictures that were set both on the ground and in the air. For years now, I've been looking for the right World War II story to shoot, and when Robert Rodat wrote Saving Private Ryan, I found it."[11]

After Spielberg signed on to direct the film, Paramount and DreamWorks, who agreed to finance and produce the film together with Amblin Entertainment and Mutual Film Company, made a distribution deal whereby DreamWorks would handle the film's domestic distribution, while Paramount would release the film internationally. In exchange for distribution rights for Saving Private Ryan, Paramount would retain domestic distribution rights to Deep Impact, while DreamWorks would acquire international distribution.[9]

Pre-production[edit]

In casting the film Spielberg sought to create a cast that "looked" the part, stating in an interview, "You know, the people in World War II actually looked different than people look today," adding to this end that he cast partly based on wanting the cast "to match the faces I saw on the newsreels."[12]

Gordon and co-producer Gary Levinsohn were interested in having Tom Hanks appear in the film as Captain Miller. Gordon recounted, "Tom was enormously excited about it and said, 'Steven and I have always wanted to work together."[13]Pete Postlethwaite,[14]Harrison Ford and Mel Gibson were initially considered for the role of Miller.[15]

Edward Norton turned down the role of Private Ryan to do the film American History X.[16]Noah Wyle also passed on the role of Private Ryan, due to not being able to get out of his contract for ER.

Lisa Sanderson alleged in a 2013 lawsuit that Garth Brooks was offered a role in the movie but turned it down as he did not want to be outshone by superstars like Tom Hanks and Matt Damon.[17]

Before filming began, several of the film's stars, including Edward Burns, Tom Sizemore, Barry Pepper, Vin Diesel, Adam Goldberg, Giovanni Ribisi, and Tom Hanks, endured ten days of "boot camp" training led by Marine veteran Dale Dye and Warriors, Inc., a California company that specializes in training actors for realistic military portrayals.[18]Matt Damon was trained separately, so the rest of the group, whose characters are supposed to feel resentment towards Damon's character, would not bond with him.[19] Spielberg had stated that his main intention in forcing the actors to go through the boot camp was not to learn the proper techniques but rather "because I wanted them to respect what it was like to be a soldier."[12] During filming, Sizemore was battling drug addiction and Spielberg required him to be drug tested every day. If he failed a test, he would be dismissed and all of his scenes would be reshot with a different actor.[20]

The film's second scene is a sequence over 20 minutes long recounting the landing on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. Spielberg chose to include this particularly violent sequence in order "to bring the audience onto the stage with me," specifically noting that he did not want the "audience to be spectators," but rather he wanted to "demand them to be participants with those kids who had never seen combat before in real life, and get to the top of Omaha Beach together."[12]

Filming[edit]

Filming began June 27, 1997, and lasted for two months.[21][22][23] Spielberg wanted an almost exact replica of the Omaha Beach landscape for the movie, including sand and a bluff similar to the one where German forces were stationed and a near match was found in Ballinesker Beach, Curracloe Strand, Ballinesker, just east of Curracloe, County Wexford, Ireland.[24][25][26] Production of the sequence depicting the Omaha Beach landings cost US$12 million and involved up to 1,500 extras, some of whom were members of the Irish Reserve Defence Forces. Members of local reenactment groups such as the Second Battle Group were cast as extras to play German soldiers.[27] In addition, twenty to thirty actual amputees were used to portray American soldiers maimed during the landing.[28] Spielberg did not storyboard the sequence, as he wanted spontaneous reactions and for "the action to inspire me as to where to put the camera."[29] Hanks recalled to Roger Ebert that although he realized it was a movie, the experience still hit him hard, stating, "The first day of shooting the D-Day sequences, I was in the back of the landing craft, and that ramp went down and I saw the first 1-2-3-4 rows of guys just getting blown to bits. In my head, of course, I knew it was special effects, but I still wasn't prepared for how tactile it was."[30]

Some shooting was done in Normandy, for the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer and Calvados. Other scenes were filmed in England, such as a former British Aerospace factory in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, Thame Park, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire. Production was due to also take place in Seaham, County Durham, but government restrictions disallowed this.[31] According to both Gordon and Levinsohn, the producers were hardly involved in the production as Spielberg was entrusted with full creative control of the film. Both producers were only involved in raising foreign financing and handling international distribution. Gordon, however, said that Spielberg was "inclusive and gracious and enormously solicitous in terms of the development of the screenplay".[32]

Portrayal of history[edit]

Saving Private Ryanis noted for its recreation of the Omaha Beachlandings.

The historical representation of Charlie Company's actions, led by its commander, Captain Ralph E. Goranson, is considered to be well-maintained in the opening sequence. The sequence and details of the events are very close to the historical record, including the sea sickness experienced by many of the soldiers as the landing craft moved toward the shoreline, the significant casualties among the men as they disembarked from the boats, and their difficulty linking up with adjacent units on the shore.

The distinctive "ping" of the US soldiers' M1 Garand rifles ejecting their ammunition clips is heard throughout the battle sequence. Many details of the company's actions were depicted accurately; for instance, the correct code names for the sector Charlie Company assaulted, and adjacent sectors, were used. Included in the cinematic depiction of the landing was a follow-on mission of clearing a bunker and trench system at the top of the cliffs which was not part of the original mission objectives for Charlie Company, but which was undertaken after the assault on the beach.[33]

The landing craft used included twelve actual World War II examples, 10 LCVPs and 2 LCMs, standing in for the British LCAs that the Ranger Companies rode in to the beach during Operation Overlord.[33][34] The filmmakers used underwater cameras to better depict soldiers being hit by bullets in the water. Forty barrels of fake blood were used to simulate the effect of blood in the seawater.[28] This degree of realism was more difficult to achieve when depicting World War II German armored vehicles, as few examples survive in operating condition. The Tiger I tanks in the film were copies built on the chassis of old, but functional, SovietT-34 tanks.[35] The two vehicles described in the film as Panzers were meant to portray Marder III tank destroyers. One was created for the film using the chassis of a Czech-built Panzer 38(t) tank[36] similar to the construction of the original Marder III; the other was a cosmetically modified Swedish SAV m/43 assault gun, which also used the 38(t) chassis.[37]

There are some historical inaccuracies in the film's depiction of the Normandy campaign. At the time of the mission, US forces from the two American beach areas, Utah and Omaha, had not yet linked up.[38] In reality, a Ranger team operating out of the Omaha Beach area would have had to move through the German-occupied city of Carentan, or swim or boat across the estuary linking Carentan to the English Channel, or transfer by boat to the Utah landing area. On the other hand, US forces moving out of Utah Beach would have had direct and much shorter routes, relatively unencumbered by enemy positions, and were already in contact with some teams from both US airborne divisions landed in the area.[39]

In contrast, the Utah Beach landings were relatively uncontested, with assault units landing on largely unoccupied beaches and experiencing far less action than the landings at Omaha.[40] The filmmakers chose to begin the narrative with a depiction of the more dramatic story of Omaha, despite the historical inaccuracies it would create. In addition, the film depicts the 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich as the adversary during the fictional Battle of Ramelle; in fact, the 2nd SS was not engaged in Normandy until July, and then at Caen against the British and Canadians, 100 miles to the east (160 km).[41] Furthermore, the Merderet River bridges were not an objective of the 101st Airborne Division but of the 82nd Airborne Division, part of Mission Boston.[42]

Much has also been said about various "tactical errors" made by both the German and American forces in the film's climactic battle. Spielberg responded by saying that in many scenes he opted to replace sound military tactics and strict historical accuracy for dramatic effect.[43] Some other technical errors were also made, such as the reversed orientation of the beach barriers and the tripod obstructions with a mine at the apex.

In the ruined village of Ramelle, a spelling mistake in French can be observed on a mural advertisement, as the word estomac is erroneously spelled as estomach.[44]

Cinematography[edit]

To achieve a tone and quality that were true to the story as well as reflected the period in which it is set, Spielberg once again collaborated with cinematographerJanusz Kamiński, saying, "Early on, we both knew that we did not want this to look like a Technicolor extravaganza about World War II, but more like color newsreel footage from the 1940s, which is very desaturated and low-tech."

Kamiński had the protective coating stripped from the camera lenses, making them closer to those used in the 1940s. He explains that "without the protective coating, the light goes in and starts bouncing around, which makes it slightly more diffused and a bit softer without being out of focus." The cinematographer completed the overall effect by putting the negative through bleach bypass, a process that reduces brightness and color saturation. The shutter timing was set to 90 or 45 degrees for many of the battle sequences, as opposed to the standard of 180-degree timing. Kamiński clarifies, "In this way, we attained a certain staccato in the actors' movements and a certain crispness in the explosions, which makes them slightly more realistic."[45]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Saving Private Ryan was released in 2,463 theaters on July 24, 1998, and grossed $30.5 million on its opening weekend, opening to number one and remained at the top for four weeks until Blade topped the film in its fifth week of release.[46] The film grossed $216.5 million in the US and Canada and $265.3 million in other territories, bringing its worldwide total to $481.8 million. It was the highest-grossing US film of 1998, and was the second-highest-grossing film of 1998 worldwide, finishing behind Armageddon.[1]Box Office Mojo estimates that the film sold over 45.74 million tickets in the United States and Canada.[47]

Critical response[edit]

Saving Private Ryan received acclaim from critics and audiences; much of the praise went to Spielberg's directing, the realistic battle scenes,[48] the actors' performances,[49] John Williams's score, the cinematography, editing, and screenplay. On Rotten Tomatoes the film holds an approval rating of 93% based on 143 reviews, with an average rating of 8.60/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Anchored by another winning performance from Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg's unflinchingly realistic war film virtually redefines the genre."[50]Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 91 out of 100, based on 35 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[51] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.[52]

Many critics associations, such as New York Film Critics Circle and Los Angeles Film Critics Association, chose Saving Private Ryan as Film of the Year.[53]Roger Ebert gave it four stars out of four and called it "a powerful experience".[49]Janet Maslin of The New York Times called it "the finest war movie of our time".[4]Gene Siskel, Ebert's co-host and critic of Chicago Tribune, said that the film "accomplishes something I had been taught was most difficult—making an action-filled anti-war film or, at least, one that doesn't in some way glorify or lie about combat".[54] On their program At the Movies, Siskel and Ebert each named the film as the fourth- and third-best film of 1998, respectively.[55][56] Writing for TIME, Richard Schickel said that was "a war film that, entirely aware of its genre's conventions, transcends them as it transcends the simplistic moralities that inform its predecessors, to take the high, morally haunting ground".[57]Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly praised the film, saying that "Spielberg has captured the hair-trigger instability of modern combat."[58]Kenneth Turan of Los Angeles Times praised the film as well, calling it "a powerful and impressive milestone in the realistic depiction of combat, Saving Private Ryan is as much an experience we live through as a film we watch on screen."[59]

The film earned some negative reviews from critics. Writing for Chicago Reader, Jonathan Rosenbaum gave the film two stars and felt that "it has a few pretty good action moments, a lot of spilled guts, a few moments of drama that don't seem phony or hollow, some fairly strained period ambience, and a bit of sentimental morphing that reminds me of Forrest Gump."[60]Andrew Sarris of Observer wrote that the film was "tediously manipulative despite its Herculean energy".[61] The film also earned some criticism for ignoring the contributions of several other countries to the D-Day landings in general and at Omaha Beach specifically.[62] The most direct example of the latter is that during the actual landing, the 2nd Rangers disembarked from British ships and were taken to Omaha Beach by Royal Navy landing craft (LCAs). The film depicts them as being United States Coast Guard-crewed craft (LCVPs and LCMs) from an American ship, the USS Thomas Jefferson (APA-30).[33][63][64] This criticism was far from universal with other critics recognizing the director's intent to make an "American" film.[65] The film was not released in Malaysia after Spielberg refused to cut the violent scenes;[66] however, the film was finally released there on DVD with an 18SG certificate in 2005.

Many World War II veterans stated that the film was the most realistic depiction of combat they had ever seen.[67] The film was so realistic that some combat veterans of D-Day and Vietnam left theaters rather than finish watching the opening scene depicting the Normandy invasion. Their visits to posttraumatic stress disorder counselors rose in number after the film's release, and many counselors advised "'more psychologically vulnerable'" veterans to avoid watching it.[68] The Department of Veterans Affairs set up a nationwide hotline for veterans who were affected by the film, and less than two weeks after the film was released it had already received over 170 calls.[69]

The film has gained criticism from some war veterans. Film director and military veteran Oliver Stone has accused the film of promoting "the worship of World War II as the good war," and has placed it alongside films such as Gladiator and Black Hawk Down that he believes were well-made, but may have inadvertently contributed to Americans' readiness for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.[70] In defense of the film's portrait of warfare, Brian De Palma commented, "The level of violence in something like Saving Private Ryan makes sense because Spielberg is trying to show something about the brutality of what happened."[71] Actor Richard Todd, who performed in The Longest Day and was among the first Allied soldiers to land in Normandy (Operation Tonga), said the film was "Rubbish. Overdone."[72] American academic Paul Fussell, who saw combat in France during World War II, objected to what he described as, "the way Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan, after an honest, harrowing, 15-minute opening visualizing details of the unbearable bloody mess at Omaha Beach, degenerated into a harmless, uncritical patriotic performance apparently designed to thrill 12-year-old boys during the summer bad-film season. Its genre was pure cowboys and Indians, with the virtuous cowboys of course victorious."[73] Historian Jim DiEugenio took note that the film was actually "90 percent fiction" and that Tom Hanks knew this, with his goal being to "commemorate World War II as the Good War and to depict the American role in it as crucial".[74][75]

Awards[edit]

The film was nominated for eleven Academy Awards at the 71st annual ceremony, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Tom Hanks, and Best Original Screenplay. The film won five of these, including Best Cinematography, Best Sound, Best Sound Effects Editing, Best Film Editing, and Best Director for Spielberg, his second win in that category. In a controversial upset, the film lost the Best Picture award to Shakespeare in Love, joining a small number to have won the Best Director award without also winning Best Picture.[76][77] The Academy's decision not to award the film with the Best Picture Oscar has resulted in much criticism in recent years, with many considering it as one of the biggest snubs in the ceremony's history.[78][79] In a poll in 2015, Academy members indicated that, given a second chance, they would award the Oscar for Best Picture to Saving Private Ryan.[80] As of 2021, it is one of only three films to ever win the PGA, DGA, Golden Globe, and Best Director Oscar while not winning Best Picture at the Academy Awards, the others being Brokeback Mountain and La La Land.

The film also won the Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture – Drama and Director, the BAFTA Award for Special Effects and Sound, the Directors Guild of America Award, a Grammy Award for Best Film Soundtrack, the Producers Guild of America Golden Laurel Award, and the Saturn Award for Best Action, Adventure, or Thriller Film.[53]

Legacy[edit]

Today, Saving Private Ryan is widely considered to be one of the greatest films ever made.[4][5][6] The film has been frequently lauded as an influential work in the war film genre and is credited with contributing to a resurgence in America's interest in World War II. Old and new films, video games, and novels about the war enjoyed renewed popularity after its release.[81] The film's use of desaturated colors, hand-held cameras, and tight angles has profoundly influenced subsequent films and video games.[82][83]

The American Film Institute has included Saving Private Ryan in many of its lists, ranking it as the 71st-greatest American movie in AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition),[84] as well as the 45th-most thrilling film in AFI's 100 Years...100 Thrills,[85] the 10th-most inspiring in AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers,[86] and the eighth-best epic film in "AFI's 10 Top 10".[87] In 2014, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".[7]Saving Private Ryan was voted as the greatest war film in a 2008 Channel 4 poll of the 100 greatest war films. In a readers’ poll for Rolling Stone, it was voted as the 18th-best film of the 1990s.[88]Empire named the film as the 39th-greatest film of all time.[89]

Saving Private Ryan has also received critical acclaim for its realistic portrayal of World War II combat. In particular, the sequence depicting the Omaha Beach landings was named the "best battle scene of all time" by Empire magazine and was ranked number one on TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest Movie Moments".[90] Filmmaker Robert Altman wrote a letter to Spielberg stating, "Private Ryan was awesome – best I've seen."[91] Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino has expressed admiration for the film and has cited it as an influence on his 2009 film, Inglourious Basterds.[92] Prior to making Dunkirk, filmmaker Christopher Nolan consulted with Spielberg on how to portray the war scenes.[93]

Television broadcasts[edit]

On Veterans Day in 2001, 2002 and 2004, ABC aired the film uncut and with limited commercial interruption. The network airings were given a TV-MA rating, as the violent battle scenes and the profanity were left intact. The 2004 airing was marred by pre-emptions in many markets because of the language, in the backlash of Super Bowl XXXVIII's halftime show controversy.[94] However, critics and veterans' groups such as the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars assailed those stations and their owners, including Sinclair Broadcast Group (which owned fourteen ABC affiliates at the time), Hearst-Argyle Television (which owned twelve); Scripps Howard Broadcasting (which owned six); Belo (which owned four); and Cox Enterprises (which owned three) for allegedly putting profits ahead of programming and honoring World War II soldiers, saying the stations made more money running their own programming instead of being paid by the network to carry the film, especially during a sweeps period.[citation needed]

A total of 65 ABC affiliates—28% of the network—did not clear the available timeslot for the film, even with The Walt Disney Company, ABC's parent, offering to pay all their fines for broadcasting the movie's strong language to the Federal Communications Commission.[95] In the end, however, no complaints were lodged against ABC affiliates who showed Saving Private Ryan, perhaps because even conservative watchdogs like the Parents Television Council supported the unedited rebroadcast of the film.[96] Additionally, some ABC affiliates in other markets that were near affected markets, such as Youngstown affiliate WYTV (channel 33, which is viewable in parts of the Columbus, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh markets, none of which aired the film), Gainesvile affiliate WCJB-TV (channel 20, which is viewable in parts of the Orlando and Tampa markets), and the network's affiliates in Hartford and Providence (which are viewable in parts of the Boston and Springfield markets) still aired the film and gave those nearby markets the option of viewing the film.[97]TNT and Turner Classic Movies have also broadcast the film. AMC holds broadcast rights to the film as of 2021.[98][99]

Home video[edit]

The film was released on home video in May 1999 with a VHS release that earned over $44 million.[100] The DVD release became available in November of the same year,[101] and was one of the best-selling titles of the year, with over 1.5 million units sold.[102] The DVD was released in two separate versions: one with Dolby Digital and the other with DTS 5.1 surround sound. Besides the different 5.1 tracks, the two DVDs are identical. The film was also issued in a limited 2-disc LaserDisc in November 1999, making it one of the last feature films to be issued in this format, as LaserDiscs ceased manufacturing and distribution by year's end.[103]

In 2004, a Saving Private Ryan special-edition DVD was released to commemorate the 60th anniversary of D-Day. This two-disc edition was also included in a box set titled World War II Collection, along with two documentaries produced by Spielberg, Price For Peace (about the Pacific War) and Shooting War (about war photographers, narrated by Tom Hanks).[104] The film was released on Blu-ray Disc on April 26, 2010 in the UK and on May 4, 2010 in the US, as part of Paramount Home Video's premium Sapphire Series.[105] However, only weeks after its release, Paramount issued a recall due to audio synchronization problems. The studio issued an official statement acknowledging the problem, which they attributed to an authoring error by Technicolor that escaped the quality control process, and that they had already begun the process of replacing the defective discs.[106]

On May 8, 2018, Paramount Home Entertainment released Saving Private Ryan on Ultra HD Blu-ray to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of the film.[107]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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