Page last updated at 16:07 GMT, Thursday, 4 June 2009 17:07 UK

D-Day landings: Your comments

Stuart Horner's grandfather (outlined in red) was at Dunkirk and Sword Beach

On 6 June 1944, tens of thousands of Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy to begin the long-awaited liberation of Europe.

Thousands of lives were lost in the campaign which was seen as a turning point in the battle against Nazi Germany.

65 years after the D-Day landings, BBC news website readers reflect on the campaign.


James Horner in uniform
James "Jim" Horner on the right

My grandad is a veteran of both Dunkirk and D-day, I believe he is one of the very few remaining. He served with the Royal Engineers. He escaped Dunkirk on the day before the Germans arrived.

He then went on to land on Sword Beach on D-Day. He went on all the way up to Bremen and through the Reichswald battles, then on to Palestine. He also received an award from Montgomery.

He would have liked to have gone back to Normandy on the anniversary but he is too frail these days.
Stuart Horner, Barnsley, South Yorkshire

I am 35 years old. The D-Day landings gave me the freedom I enjoy every day. We soon forget that our darkest hours today are nothing compared to what those brave men faced and fought against. If you are a veteran or a family member of a veteran - thank you and God bless you.
William Smith, Oxford

I can only speak from my Grandfather's view but it was like charging into hell. The men from my grandad's regiment believed that if they did not go in, then all their loved ones would perish under the evil dark rule of the Nazis. I'm so proud of him and all the men and boys who did so well to defend our freedom in our darkest hour. God bless them all and thank you.
Mason Sinclair, York

William Dysart
William Dysart served with the R.A.S.C

I am so proud of my father, William (Bill) J Dysart, who is a surviving D-Day veteran. He ran on to Gold Beach on the morning of his 22nd birthday, June 6 1944, defending our country with his fellow soldiers in their R.E.M.E platoon.

He helped liberate the French coastal towns. Even now, at the age of 87 he wears his medals with pride every D-Day, and at every Remembrance day ceremony.
Bob Dysart, Molesey, Surrey

My father took part in the D-Day landings and served with the British Army of the Rhine. He fought to preserve freedom and democracy. D-Day to Berlin reminds all of us of a certain age why our parents fought, it is a story that we and especially those born after 1970 need to hear and see on primetime television every year on not just the history channel.
Val Hills, Harrogate, UK

It's heart rending to remember even after so much time has passed by
George Harrison, Parksville BC, Canada

I am 50 years old so the D-Day landings happened many years before I was born. But I know I owe a great debt to these brave men and all the others who took part in WW II. My father was a St Dunstaner and he was blinded during the war; I know some of the sacrifices that were made. I just want to say how grateful I am and how much I admire this generation who gave so much for me, my children and grandchildren. It isn't much but thank you.
Ruth, Bristol

I was born 20 years to the day and time the invasion began. My gramps supervised the building of the landing craft and bridging equipment used. He devised the system of them being built in kit form enabling fast assembly. He trained the army to put them up. I had an uncle in the first wave of landings, an uncle embedded in Holland and a US relative also in the landings. I also had great uncles who served in the RAF in the skies above.

A soldier paid with his life for every day of freedom we have enjoyed. What does it mean to me? Everything

Joe Brown, Pontefract, UK

A soldier paid with his life for every day of freedom we have enjoyed. What does it mean to me? Everything. I wish I was 25 and going up those beaches. I would gladly trade places with one of those kids aged 19 so he could live the life of peace and freedom he bought for us. They loved us so much they gave up their lives. It is our duty to love them back and cherish them, their memory and their sacrifice with equal measure.

What a great bunch of guys they were and always will be. Thanks for my life of liberty chaps, thank you for four generations who are now living in the freedom you gave us and paid for with your lives. I'm humbled.
Joe Brown, Pontefract UK

George Harrison
George Harrison was on the HMS Azalea

I was on HMS Azalea in the afternoon landing on Omaha beach. We had escorted a convoy from Plymouth to the beach head. There was much firing from the capital ships and lots of young bodies of US soldiers. It's heart rending to remember even after so much time has passed by.
George Harrison, Parksville BC, Canada

On Saturday May 27 1944 my family travelled north by train from Huyton on Merseyside to Dumfries in Galloway to visit my mother's sister for the Whitsun half-term. I was still pre-school. We changed trains at Wigan and Carlisle. At both points we all remarked about the extraordinary frequency of southbound trains full of soldiers. There were no delays on the comparatively empty northbound trains but nobody had a hope of boarding the trains heading south. I remember still the frozen horror and concern on my mother's face and her endlessly repeating 'God help them'.
Gerard Mulholland, Paris, France

My dear grandad served as a Sergeant in the Royal Artillery and landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. Like a lot of veterans, he never spoke of this experience as it was, understandably, one of the most horrific experiences of his life.

It wasn't until he died in 2002 that my great aunt told us that on the one occasion he'd spoken to her about some of what he'd gone through, he told her that as the evacuation was taking place, the boat that was carrying him and several other men had holes shot through it and started to sink. My grandad and a lieutenant used their own bodies to form a bridge between the sinking boat and a neighbouring one so the men could get across to safety.

My grandad was the same age at Normandy as I am now and I know I could never be as brave as he was.
Clare, Chelmsford

Veterans arrive in Normandy
Veterans arrive in Normandy

I was nine years old in 1944 and remember what seemed like thousands of aircraft flying over London for the D-Day landings. I had two brothers in the army at the time, unfortunately one was later killed in action. When we heard about the invasion I thought that it meant that the war was already over and all my friends were cheering.
Danny Stupple, Hastings, England

My father fought on D-Day and I have visited the beaches and cemeteries in Normandy. I could not help thinking when I saw the distance these troops had to cross to reach anything like cover if I would have had that kind of courage. Thankfully for me and subsequent generations it has never been tested.
Dave, Peterborough, England

My father Lt. Colonel Vance H. Taylor was one of seven pilots and seven radiomen who may have turned the tide of the Normandy invasion. Ken Burns covered a lot of the action in his documentary, but he simply glossed over the historic change where the Germans were pushed back from their bunkers by the infantry landing and the pilots and bombers. The tide turned when the seven volunteer pilot (all American) entrenched with a radio man on the beach and radioed back to the oncoming pilots where to strafe, bomb and destroy the bunkers housing the machine guns and artillery. These seven pilots and seven radiomen are not in any books but their service documents prove their service. My father Lt. Colonel Taylor was the only American to receive the "Medal of Honour" from Belgium. He wrote 300 letters to his sweetheart in San Francisco and she saved every one, tied in bunches in fading pink ribbons. Dad passed away in 1980. Mom passed away in 2007. D-Day memories are an example of how a few can change the world.
Susan Taylor, Longview, Washington USA

My Father landed on D-Day on Sword Beach. He was a member of the Third Infantry Division. He told me that after a rough crossing in the ships some of the landing craft landed short and men jumped off in full kit and drowned in deep water. He said the worst thing he saw were the flame throwers being used on the enemy. He saw bloated bodies of men and animals and had to sleep on his motorbike at night to avoid the swarms of rats. He remembered the paras landing on rooftops and some hanging from church spires. I asked, if he ever shot a German, he replied: "We all ran for cover hid under tables in farmhouses and fired." He told me that the real heroes never came back.
Jim Young, Norwich

I was born 1941 and I've seen the bombed out houses here in Portsmouth and in London and Coventry. We can always remember and talk with respect about the events of D-Day and the days after but one has to go to the cemeteries littered around Caen and stand there and cry, to fully understand the ultimate sacrifice which these young men took to free us and all countries of Nazism.
David Reeves, Fareham

I have inherited a small box containing a medal, a small black-and-white photograph and many letters and postcards detailing my great uncle's life in the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry before he was sent to Dunkirk. There is also the letter with the date sixth of June 1944 saying that he is missing. He was 19.
Jacqui Woolsey, Luton, Beds

My late father was a staff sergeant in the 6th airborne division, my father was very proud of D-Day and of his fellow comrades, dad came back and was dropped in March 1945 on the Rhine were he was wounded, again he came back thank god. My fathers name was Alec Harper 1919-1996
Michael Harper, Bloxwich Walsall, West Midlands

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