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Revisiting the beaches of Normandy, 70 years later
Then-and-now photographs illustrate the inextricable links to D-Day
 

June 6, 1944: Tens of thousands of soldiers arrived on the beaches of Normandy, ready to turn the tides on a war that, until that point, had been going anything but well for the Allied forces.

The largest seaborne invasion had an impressive if tragic start, as at least 9,000 Allied soldiers were killed or wounded during the day's fighting. But over the coming months, the operation gained a foothold, setting in motion the beginning of the end of World War II. Today, 70 years later, we look back on photographs from the 1944 invasion, each presented with a modern-day shot of the same location.

The striking disparity of each pair shows how far we've come while the occasional, surprising similarity reminds us how close this history lurks in our collective past.


Weymouth, England: U.S. Army Rangers were tasked with capturing Germany's coastal defense battery at Pointe du Hoc. Today, tourists walk along the beachfront. | (OLD: REUTERS/US National Archives/Handout via Reuters, NEW: REUTERS/Chris Helgren)



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Omaha Beach, France: U.S. troops wade ashore from a Coast Guard landing craft. Today, tourists take part in a sailing class. | (OLD: REUTERS/Robert F. Sargent/US National Archives/Handout via Reuters, NEW: REUTERS/Chris Helgren)



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Caen, France: Canadian troops patrol the destroyed Rue Saint-Pierre. Today, shoppers walk along the long-since rebuilt streets. | (OLD: REUTERS/National Archives of Canada/Handout via Reuters, NEW: REUTERS/Chris Helgren)



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Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer, France: A crashed U.S. fighter jet sits on the waterfront of Juno Beach. Today, tourists enjoy the sunshine on the former landing zone, where Canadian forces came ashore. | (OLD: REUTERS/National Archives of Canada/Handout via Reuters, NEW: REUTERS/Chris Helgren)



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Omaha Beach: Members of an American landing party help troops whose craft was sunk by enemy fire. Today, a tourist carries a beach bucket back toward her child. | (OLD: REUTERS/Weintraub/US National Archives/Handout via Reuters, NEW: REUTERS/Chris Helgren)



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Omaha Beach: U.S. Army reinforcements march up a hill, past a German bunker. Today, kids hike up the same hill after visiting the beach. | (OLD: REUTERS/US National Archives/Handout via Reuters, NEW: REUTERS/Chris Helgren)

 
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