‘D-Day Has Come’

In spring 1944 the Allied invasion of France seemed inevitable. D-Day’s success was contingent on deception of the enemy. For that, officials turned to the press.

British forces on Sword Beach shortly after landing during the invasion of Normandy, 6 June 1944. Imperial War Museum (B 5114).

No event during the Second World War was more eagerly awaited on the British home front than D-Day. Ever since the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 a motley group spearheaded by the Daily Express, the British Communist Party and a range of trade union leaders had lobbied loudly for a second front. The invasions of North Africa in 1942 and Italy in 1943 had quelled some of this agitation, but they were no substitute for a massive assault on the French coast which, the optimists hoped, would be a prelude to Anglo-American forces sweeping rapidly towards Berlin and ending the war.

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