Rare Color Photos Of D-Day: The Beginning Of The End Of World War II

An endless onslaught of machine gun fire rains from above as explosions shake the ground. You have nowhere to go except forward, toward the enemy who is determined to make you another lifeless body on the beach. This was the reality for the first 156,000 American, British, and Canadian soldiers that landed on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, D-Day. Take a rare glimpse into the reality of D-Day in color. From the painstaking preparations to the months of fighting at the Battle of Normandy, see what happened first-hand during one of the most pivotal and horrific battles of World War II.

Heading Onto The Ships

Photo Credit: Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images
Photo Credit: Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images

Here, U.S. troops are marching to board ships in Weymouth, Dorset in England. These soldiers are bound for Omaha Beach for the D-Day invasion. Unfortunately, very little planning went into the landing at Omaha. There were difficulties with navigation, and many ships ended up landing in the wrong spot, spreading disorganized troops throughout the beach.

The defenses were also particularly strong at the Omaha Beach drop and inflicted astronomical casualties on the landing American troops. Because the soldiers suffered such massive losses when landing, they had an even harder time clearing the defenses and obstacles on the beach.