On June 6th 1944, some 185,000 British troops stormed ashore on Gold and Sword Beaches in Normandy. More landed behind enemy lines in assault gliders to secure vital objectives. 7,000 ships supported the landings, while Allied aircraft flew 14,000 combat sorties overhead. D-Day, the greatest amphibious assault in history, was underway... This is the definitive film history of British forces in action from D-Day to the Normandy Breakout, commissioned especially to mark the historic 60th anniversary of the original D-Day landings. Featuring newly discovered film from the Imperial War Museum archives and never before seen newsreel material from the 'Movietone' archive, it covers all the major British engagements, as well as battles fought by American and Canadian forces. Expert analysis and commentary is provided by Colonel John Hughes Wilson, one of the world's leading military historians, who provides a 'Battlefield tour' of no less than twenty one significant D-Day locations, from the Beaches to Falaise. British soldiers, sailors and airmen who took part in the campaign provide vivid, first hand accounts of the action, and there is full coverage of both the build up to the invasion and the 'secret weapons' devised to help ensure its success.
1. Left of the Line (25 mins) - 1945: This was no stab in the back. Here was an army outgeneralled and outfought....This was lightning war indeed, beyond anything the Germans dreamed of. A film record of the British and Canadian Armies fighting from the Normandy beaches to Brussels. The film shows the build-up to the invasion, the landings and the sweep through to Caen and onto Brussels. Showing the role of Typhoons, the Battle of the Falaise Pocket and the Canadians taking Dieppe
2. Pipeline Under the Ocean Newsreel (4 Mins) - Shown In Cinemas 24/05/1945: Operation Pluto is another of those "top secret" which can only now be revealed. The pipe line was laid under the Channel to carry petroleum to the Allied Forces landing on D-Day and to keep the supply going for the drive across Europe
3. Mulberry Harbours Newsreel (4 Mins) - Shown In Cinemas 24/10/1944: The problem of landing reinforcements and supplies for the Second Front was solved by huge pre-fabricated harbours. The caissons which made up the harbours began to be moved into position on D-Day and by D-Day plus twelve more than half were in place
4. D-Day 2nd Anniversary Newsreel (1 Min) - Shown In Cinemas 17/06/46: Beaches of Normandy littered with our wrecked tanks. A commemorative procession through streets of Courseuiles. A simple ceremony in Normandy paid tribute to those who fell two years ago on D-Day
5. Invasion Exercises Newsreel (2 Mins) - Shown In Cinemas 12/05/52: The post-war peace-time exercise was not only a realistic D-Day landings reconstruction, it was also the biggest amphibious assault at that time that had been carried out in Britain since the war