‘Before and After D-Day’: See LIFE Magazine’s Rare, ‘Masterfully Restored’ Color Photographs
On its 68th anniversary, many are remembering the storming of the beaches of Normandy by 160,000 Allied soldiers. Calling to mind iconic films like “Saving Private Ryan” and stunning images of troops wading through the water or parachuting from the sky, many are well aware that more than 9,000 of these men were killed on D-Day in France when troops bravely stormed the beaches of Normandy.
LIFE Magazine has pulled together images — in color — from before and after the invasion, offering a different perspective on what the events surrounding D-Day looked like.
The photographs by the magazine’s Frank Scherschel, who died in 1981, were “masterfully restored” and many had never before been published in the magazine itself.
Scherschel’s portrayal of the events surrounding D-Day shows more than just the storming of the beach. He captures “American troops training in small English towns; the French countryside, implausibly lush after the spectral landscape of the beachheads; the reception GIs enjoyed en route to the capital; the jubilant liberation of Paris itself.”
Here are a few of those images:
To put the rarity of color photos of this historic event into context, color photography, although available in the 1940s, only really became common in the 1960s. Even then though, given its price, it was largely reserved for special occasions.
Find more of Scherschel’s images in LIFE here.
The U.S. Army’s website also puts together what Kenneth Kesner for Alabama’s Huntsville Times calls “online museums of sacrifice and history.” Check out its website documenting D-Day here for more photographs, maps, posters and audio.
Watch this D-Day the video from the Army’s website:
(H/T: Yahoo! News)
This story has been updated to correct numbers.
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