Exactly 67 years ago, after a rough crossing of the English Channel, American troops landed in Normandy and launched a historic attack on German forces, shifting the tide of World War II. The images of D-Day are often stark, black-and-white pictures of violence and assault.
In honor of today’s anniversary, however, Life.com has a different take. It has put together a slideshow of images captured before the assault — quiet images of men preparing to face the great battle ahead — and photographs after the attack, as the troops triumphantly marched through France to reach the capital city.
“Paris is like a magic sword in a fairy tale — a shining power in those hands to which it rightly belongs, in other hands tinsel and lead. Whenever the City of Light changes hands, Western Civilization shifts its political balance. So it has been for seven centuries; so it was in 1940; so it was last week.” — LIFE after the French capital was liberated in August 1944.
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