US

Before and after D-Day: Rare color photos

Everyone knows what happened on the beaches of Normandy as the Allies unleashed an historic assault against German defenses on June 6, 1944. In rare color photos taken before and after the invasion, LIFE magazine’s Frank Scherschel captured countless lesser-known scenes from the run-up to the onslaught and the heady weeks after. For the full gallery, see Life.com.

LIFE_D_Day_color_5.jpg

American combat engineers eat a meal atop boxes of ammunition stockpiled for the impending D-Day invasion, May 1944.
Frank ScherschelTime & Life Pictures/Getty Images

LIFE_D_Day_color_2.jpg

Along the coast of France, June 1944.
Frank ScherschelTime & Life Pictures/Getty Images

LIFE_D_Day_color_3.jpg

"All the civilized world loves France and Paris. Americans share this love with a special intimacy born in the kinship of our revolutions, our ideas and our alliances in two great wars." LIFE on the relationship between the U.S. and its longtime European ally.
Frank ScherschelTime & Life Pictures/Getty Images

LIFE_D_Day_color_1.jpg

"I wish they'd get started over there. It will be the turning point of everything. Maybe it will mean our boy will come home again." An Indiana farmer speaking to LIFE in 1944 about his 21-year-old son who was stationed in England before the invasion.
Frank ScherschelTime & Life Pictures/Getty Images

LIFE_D_Day_color_4.jpg

Maintenance work on an American P-47 Thunderbolt in a makeshift airfield in the French countryside, 1944.
Frank ScherschelTime & Life Pictures/Getty Images

LIFE_D_Day_color_6.jpg

Troops and civilians pass the time on the River Thames in the spring of 1944.
Frank ScherschelTime & Life Pictures/Getty Images

LIFE_D_Day_color_7.jpg

An abandoned German machine gun, France, June 1944. For countless other, lesser-known scenes from the run-up to the onslaught and the heady weeks after -- American troops training in small English towns to the jubilant liberation of Paris itself -- see the full gallery at Life.com.

Frank ScherschelTime & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Before and after D-Day: Rare color photos

Everyone knows what happened on the beaches of Normandy as the Allies unleashed an historic assault against German defenses on June 6, 1944. In rare color photos taken before and after the invasion, LIFE magazine’s Frank Scherschel captured countless lesser-known scenes from the run-up to the onslaught and the heady weeks after. For the full gallery, see Life.com.

More From Our Sponsors