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May 21, 2014
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL RELIVES HISTORIC BATTLE AT NORMANDY TO COMMEMORATE THE 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF D-DAY
Two-Hour Special, D-Day Sacrifice,
Premieres Wednesday, June 4, at 9 PM ET/PT
The day is June 6, 1944, and World War II has entered its fifth year of combat. Thousands of allied paratroopers storm the northern coast of France in what became the largest military invasion fleet in history, striking the unsuspecting German defenses by land, sea and air.
In an epic battle stretching across five heavily guarded beaches, the allied troops are besieged by enemy fire, bracketed by artillery and facing almost certain death. Years of meticulous planning and countless casualties have come down to this historic moment. This is D-Day … and it’s only day one.
In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the historic storming of the beaches at Normandy, National Geographic Channel (NGC) takes viewers to the front lines for a look at the most crucial moments of World War II in a dramatic special, D-Day Sacrifice, premiering Wednesday, June 4, 2014, at 9 p.m. ET/PT. D-Day Sacrifice also premieres globally on NGC beginning in June 2014, in 171 countries and 45 languages.
In keeping with NGC’s tradition of unparalleled storytelling, D-Day Sacrifice incorporates exclusive testimonies and remastered archival footage to breathe new life into the story of the turning point of World War II in one of the most comprehensive retellings to date. Hear the famous words of Supreme Allied Commander and future President Dwight D. Eisenhower as he prepares his troops for battle. Feel the fear of young soldiers as they faced enemy fire at Omaha Beach. And with newly colorized archival video, witness the liberation of Europe as it was experienced by the exhausted survivors 70 years ago.
The special begins five months before the Normandy landings. Eisenhower, 53 years old, has been appointed commander-in-chief of the American task forces, which represent more than half of the Allied troops in France. His mission is to relieve the Russians, who have suffered tremendous losses, and to free German-occupied European countries in order to finally corner the Germans. The task is daunting, but with more than a year’s worth of meticulous groundwork already in motion, the fateful launch of the secretive campaign creeps closer with each passing day.
D-Day Sacrifice explores in depth the 80
days between the D-Day landings and the Liberation of Paris, during which an estimated 400,000 individuals were killed or injured in the battle to overthrow Adolf Hitler’s quest for global Nazi domination. Relive the tense moments before and after the invasion of the Normandy coast, the devastating bombing of Saint-Lô and the assassination attempt on Hitler as they lead up to the dramatic surrender of the German commander of Paris, Gen. Dietrich von Choltitz.
Told through the voices of the civilians, soldiers and leaders whose testimonies were recorded in books or family archives, D-Day Sacrifice reveals incredible tales of bravery, tragedy and triumph and provides an intimate new take on the beginning of the end of World War II. The history is real, the stories are incredible and the losses following D-Day are heavy. But the reward of freedom is priceless.
D-Day Sacrifice is produced by CC&C and Louis Vaudeville for National Geographic Channel and TF1. For CC&C, writers/directors are Isabelle Clarke, Daniel Costelle and Frederic Lumiere.