Navy Art Gallery exhibit: The Invasion of Normandy

The Invasion of Normandy

Part of he invasion fleet in a British harbor

Pre-invasion: Planning and Preparation

The invasion of Normandy in June 1944 was the culmination of three years of planning and preparation gathering by Allied forces in Britain. Landing in the face of determined German resistance, units of the British Commonwealth and U.S. armies established a beachhead, defeated German counter-attacks, and eventually broke out into a fast-moving campaign in France. By September 1944, Allied forces had liberated most of France and were poised to cross the Rhine river into Germany itself. In conjunction with Allied forces in northern Italy, and Soviet armies moving into Poland and the Balkans, the total defeat of Nazi Germany was in sight.

Instrumental to Allied success was the American, British, and Allied naval and amphibious contingents at Normandy. In the year before D-Day, U.S. and Commonwealth forces trained and prepared for amphibious operations out of ports in southern England. In the weeks leading up to the invasion, minesweepers cleared the channel of mines while escorts and patrol aircraft attacked any German submarines that tried to operate in the English Channel. Battleships, cruisers and destroyers provided crucial bombardment of enemy fortifications both on the Normandy shore and, with the aid of Navy spotter teams, further inland. During the actual invasion, navy-manned landing craft shuttled troops ashore in the face of fierce enemy resistance. Once there, Navy beach battalions served under fire to facilitate the orderly flow of men, vehicles, and supplies from cargo and amphibious ships offshore. Navy field hospitals also provided aid to the wounded and transported them to ships for the voyage to hospitals in England.

Through all phases of the operation Navy combat artists Dwight Shepler, Mitchell Jamieson and Alexander Russo observed and recorded different aspects of this vast and complicated campaign. Though it was also filmed and photographed, the artwork they created helps convey a sense of the feelings and emotions behind the events. This exhibit presents all the art work produced before, during, and after the invasion by these three men.

There is a Traveling exhibit for Normandy which contains selected works and some addition works documenting London and other operations before the prepration of the invasion began. the exhibit contains a total of 64 works.

US Army solders resting

Beyond the Beach
Troops and equipment on the deck of an LST

Crossing the Channel

LST's unloading on the beach

Beach Activity
The USS Arkansas firing at German postions

D-Day, 6 June 1944
Mullberry crossing the channel

Mulberries
a group of wounded men being treated on an LST

The Wounded
landing craft batter by a storm

The Storm of 19-20 June, 1944
Men gathering the dead from the Battle field

The Dead
The Port-en-BAssin

Port-en-Bassin
A group of German Prisoners

The Prisoners
Wrecked crane at the port of Cherbourg

Cherbourg
A wreaked landing craft on the beach

Wreckage

Portrait of Admerial King

Portraits

 

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