Professor Emeritus of History
Visiting the battlefields, beaches, and cemeteries on Normandy on the anniversary of the landing on 6 June 1944 has been an important experience to me over the last decades. I have deep memories of those moments on Yale alumni tours.
This lecture is aimed both at those who have walked the beaches with me and those who have yet to do so. My aim is to place the D-Day landings in the context of the Second World War and to show how the invasion of Normandy was the product of five years of war. Still, despite all the staggering preparations that went into it, it almost failed.
That alone should make us even more indebted to those who broke through the barrier to Fortress Europe and began the hard slog to victory on 8 May 1945. They could not have achieved victory without the previous contribution of British bloody-mindedness and Soviet sacrifices.
Let’s remember that D-Day was an Allied victory when we meet online on 6 June this year.