The Guardian

'Europe's hour': Britain's shifting perception of D-day

As D-day 75th anniversary commemorations begin, take a look back at news reports of the time and and how opinion of the allied invasion slowly altered over the decades
US Army troops wading ashore at Omaha Beach in north-western France, during the D-Day invasion, 6 June 1944. Photograph: -/AFP/Getty Images

Editorial: Europe’s hour

7 June 1944

For the great event of yesterday there is no precedent in history. Never has so vast a world held its breath in eager suspense waiting for news of the landing of an army …

There is not a country in Europe, except Germany, in which the mass of common people do not long for the victory of the Allies. No statesman has so united her peoples as this barbarous man untutored by the warnings that Greek poets and Christian teachers gave to savage power. If Europe looks to the soldiers of the West in hope and gratitude, the West looks to the spontaneous armies of Europe with sympathy and admiration.

(This is an edited extract).

The first day: “thoroughly satisfactory”

7 June 1944

The allied invasion of

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