Normandy landings: A day of reckoning, June 6

6 Jun 2014

June 6, 1944 was a day that challenged and defined the essence of what it means to live in freedom. The D-Day landings in Normandy saw the largest seaborne invasion in history and played a key role in the eventual Allied victory in the second world war. Looking back 70 years on the carefully planned exercise, it is tempting to see it as grand theatre, a bloody drama of epic proportions. But up close, the numbing events of that eerie dawn have reverberated through the decades, wreaking a heavy toll on the lives of the young, jangled troops who survived and their families. Casualty estimates for Allied forces on D-Day range from 2,500 to more than 5,000 dead. Photos: EPA, Reuters, AP