Text size
Reuters
American forces taking the shoreline west of Omaha Beach, June 1944. Photo by Reuters

On June 6, 1944, allied soldiers descended on the beaches of Normandy for D-Day - an operation that turned the tide of the Second World War against the Nazis, marking the beginning of the end of the conflict.

British and Canadian troops battled reinforced German troops holding the area around Caen for about two months following the D-Day landings in Normandy in 1944.

Today, as many around the world prepare to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the landings, pictures of Normandy's now-touristy beaches stand in stark contrast to images taken around the time of the invasion. But while the landscape has changed, the memory of the momentous event lives on.

Reuters photographer Chris Helgren compiled a series of archive pictures taken during the 1944 invasion and then went back to the same places, to photograph them as they appear today.

American forces taking the shoreline west of Omaha Beach

American forces taking the shoreline west of Omaha Beach, June 1944. Reuters

Tourists in Dorset, 2013

Tourists in Dorset, 2013. Reuters

German POWs being marched to a ship that will take them to England, Juno Beach June 1944.

German POWs being marched to a ship that will take them to England, Juno Beach June 1944. Reuters

A tourist tanning on Juno Beach, August 2013.

A tourist tanning on Juno Beach, August 2013. Reuters

A tank acompnaies British troops along Gold Beach, June 1944.

A tank acompnaies British troops along Gold Beach, June 1944. Reuters

A couple walks on Gold Beach on the D-Day landing site, August 2013.

A couple walks on Gold Beach on the D-Day landing site, August 2013. Reuters

American paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division driving a commandeered German vehicle in Carentan, June 1944.

American paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division driving a commandeered German vehicle in Carentan, June 1944. Reuters

Women crossing a street in Carentan in June 1944.

Women crossing a street in Carentan in June 1944. Reuters

The body of a German soldier in Trevieres, June 1944.

The body of a German soldier in Trevieres, June 1944. Reuters

Tourists walking in Trevieres, August 2013.

Tourists walking in Trevieres, August 2013. Reuters

Canadian soldiers patrolling a destroyed St-Pierre Street, June 1944.

Canadian soldiers patrolling a destroyed St-Pierre Street, June 1944. Reuters

St-Pierre Street on a typical summer day, August 2013.

St-Pierre Street on a typical summer day, August 2013. Reuters

An American aircraft on Juno Beach, after Canadian forces landed, June 1944.

An American aircraft on Juno Beach, after Canadian forces landed, June 1944. Reuters

Tourists enjoying the sun on Juno Beach, August 2013.

Tourists enjoying the sun on Juno Beach, August 2013. Reuters