D-Day on the BBC
Introduction - 60
years on, the BBC brings D-Day alive across the nation
D-Day was the battle the Allies
could not afford to lose. The assault was so huge and daring that to
this day the term D-Day is synonymous with an event of 'make or break'
The attack, by 156,000 Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy
on 6 June 1944, was the beginning of the end of World War Two
more than two million servicemen and women took part in the planning
and execution of the campaign.
Sixty years on, the BBC is marking the anniversary with
a broad range of programmes, events and interactive activities across
the nation, including an online archive of people's war memories which
will create a unique and permanent heritage for future generations.
BBC ONE offers viewers D-Day - a major two-hour
drama-documentary which tells the extraordinary tales of those Allied
and enemy comrades and soldiers involved in both the secret planning
for D-Day and the reality of conflict for Allied and enemy soldiers
fighting on the beaches of Normandy.
The war-time tale continues with D-Day To Berlin,
a three-part series which examines the strategic decisions taken by
Montgomery and Eisenhower in the 11 months following D-Day that were
to shape the new, post-war Europe.
Huw Edwards anchors BBC ONE's live coverage of the D-Day
commemoration events in Normandy, including a special service at
the war graves at Bayeux and the emotional march past of 8,000 British
veterans at Arromanches.
In the week leading up to 6 June, he presents a special
daily programme from Southwick House the very room where
the final stages of the D-Day campaign were planned.
He'll be talking to special guests and veterans about
the build-up to D-Day and its aftermath.
BBC News also marks the anniversary, with a series of
reports on BBC Breakfast from Normandy and the UK, and extensive
coverage on the main bulletins.
There are also a number of religious programmes including
Choral Vespers direct from Caen in Normandy.
Radio 4 tells the story of the build-up to D-day, from
the deliberations of the politicians and military through to the everyday
experiences of civilians.
Book Of The Week, the Woman's Hour Drama
and Any Questions? begin the coverage, leading into the day-long
programming which includes From Dunkirk To D-Day, presented by
Charles Wheeler, who landed on the beaches of Normandy with a secret
naval intelligence unit 60 years ago.
Other programmes include two major dramas, The Biggest
Secret and The Long Wait and a two-hour documentary, The
BBCi offers digital viewers the facts and personal stories
behind D-Day and a count-down to 6 June, with the chance to watch veterans'
There is also an exciting interactive mission using
mobile phone technology, in which players take on the role of a secret
agent in the Special Operations Executive using encoded text messages.
As a lasting legacy to the nation, the BBC's People's
War website - bbc.co.uk/ww2 - continues to capture and preserve
the personal and family stories of the people who lived and fought in
World War Two.
It can be accessed via bbc.co.uk/ww2 and is still looking
for military or homefront memories - every account is vital.
Interactive movies, maps, articles and galleries on
bbc.co.uk/history provide a compelling historical narrative to the events
of D-Day and World War Two.
D-Day on the BBC also includes a wide range of regional output, from
documentaries and news coverage to magazine programmes and phone-ins,
both on radio and television.
There are also a series of World War Two roadshows being
organised by the BBC at key museum sites, where visitors will be able
to share their wartime experiences, meet veterans, view films and attend
lectures and talks.
The BBC's unique contribution to D-Day will be marked
this June at the Chateau of Creuilly near Bayeux, where it broadcast
daily reports of the Normandy Campaign in 1944.
BBC dignatories will be presenting an original BBC
crystal radio set to the museum, which now occupies the chateau.