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D-Day: Infrared photos reveal WW2 bunkers in new light

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  • D-Day
image copyrightLynda Laird

On 6 June 1944, World War Two allied forces launched one of the most ambitious amphibious attacks in history, landing along 50 miles of the heavily fortified Normandy coast in France and creating a significant dent in Hitler's Atlantic Wall.

More than 70 years later, Lynda Laird photographed the remnants of Normandy's bunkers using infrared film, a medium used by the military in WW2 to detect camouflage by exposing a visual spectrum that's invisible to the naked eye.

The images were taken along the Normandy coast, from Utah beach to Deauville.

Accompanying Laird's photographs is Odette Brefort's diary entry from 6 June 1944. A member of the French Resistance, Brefort lived in Deauville throughout WW2, providing military intelligence on the German defences by drawing intricate maps to send to her comrades in Paris.

image copyrightLynda Laird

Diary of Odette Brefort, 6 June 1944

"Oh, what a night! My little head is all shell-shocked.

"Since midnight it's been impossible to sleep: the humming from planes, the anti-aircraft bombs, the machine gun noise.

"I went downstairs because I couldn't sleep and after 15 minutes it went quiet. Thinking it would be better, I went back to bed. What a mistake!

"All night, the humming from planes, it was non-stop."

image copyrightLynda Laird

"What a joy when waking this morning, someone announces there was a landing at Dives."

image copyrightLynda Laird

"At 8:20am a bomb falls on the Printemps store, another one on the Normandy."

image copyrightLynda Laird

"By rule we don't have the right to leave Deauville, or to ride our bicycles.

"The weather remained foggy until midday, the sun shone from 4pm. It must be the English who brought the clouds! The defence volunteers will be able to move freely tonight."

image copyrightLynda Laird

"Around 6:00pm, what a tremendous bang! It is the Mont Canisy. The English navy must have blown up a large artillery battery that was shooting at them. It had been deafening us since this morning. I think the shot hit the target, as we can't hear a thing anymore."

image copyrightLynda Laird

"What on earth will happen to us when the Navy and Air Force take care of our region?

"There is no electricity. Deauville is in the dark."

image copyrightLynda Laird

Photography by Lynda Laird as part of the Dans Le Noir installation.

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