D-Day Sacrifice

The Landings

Series 1 - Episode 1 The Landings



There’s one quote, from the soon-to-be-a-film director Samuel Fuller, that sums up the experiences of the soldiers involved in the Normandy landings: "Only a madman could find a rationale for being there."

In detailing the Allied operation to liberate France from the Nazis, this evocative two-part documentary mixes astonishing archive footage of the landings with the words of all sides affected by them, from French civilians to German soldiers and from Churchill to Eisenhower’s chauffeur – who describes a heady flirtation with the Allied commander in chief.

The colourised footage brings the bloody details to the fore, but it is the words that hold the power.


Two-part documentary originally shown to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings and the days of fighting that followed. The first film focuses on the June 6, 1944 landings themselves and begins 24 hours before, as preparations were being finalised for the biggest amphibious fleet in history to free France from the clutches of Nazi Germany. Soldiers, officers and civilians from all sides recall the real-life drama as it unfolded.