On the eve of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, world leaders paid tribute to those who took part.
However,as CGTN’s Richard Bestic reports from Portsmouth, the home of the British Royal Navy, the prize came at a huge cost in lives.
The Second World War offensive, the biggest military operation in world history, began the liberation of mainland Europe from Nazi domination.
Looking back to the biggest military offensive in history, world leaders paid tribute to the bravery of those 150,000 young men who began the Liberation of Europe with the D-Day landings.
Britain’s Monarch Queen Elizabeth spoke personally for the wartime generation.
On the June 6 1944, allied forces stormed the Normandy coast to take back occupied France.
An unprecedented seaborne invasion paved the way for the end of Hitler’s Nazi regime.
Four and half thousand brave young men were killed in a single day.
Ninety-three year-old Frank Devita, a crew member on a Higgins landing craft, remembers a bloodbath.
“I cry every time I come here. I cry. These young kids,18,19, 20-years-old,” said Devita.
For all the emotion of this remarkable occasion in the home of Britain’s Royal Navy and in the company of that now dwindling band of brothers who witnessed it, this is in reality just a curtain raiser for the main event in Normandy.
Veterans from all over Europe will join political leaders and remember the searing poignancy of D-Day itself on June 6.