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This year will mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day: the landings of Allied forces on the Normandy coast during the Second World War. On 6 June 1944, the Allies launched a combined naval, air and land attack on Nazi-occupied France. Codenamed Operation ‘Overlord’, the landings on the beaches of Normandy marked the start of a “long and costly campaign” to liberate north-west Europe from German occupation. On the morning of D-Day, airborne forces parachuted into drop zones across northern France and ground troops landed across five assault beaches. Naval vessels escorted and landed ground troops, carried out bombardments on German coastal defences and provided artillery support for the invading troops. By the end of the day, the Allies had established a foothold along the coast and began their advance into France. By the end of August 1944, the “Germans were in full retreat out of France”.

To mark the 75th anniversary, the Ministry of Defence in collaboration with the Royal British Legion and Portsmouth City Council have planned a series of events to take place in Portsmouth and Normandy in June. This will include a specially-chartered ship, which will carry 300 D-Day veterans.

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