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Members of Operation IMPACT carry the flag draped casket of their fallen comrade, Sergeant Andrew Doiron, onto a CC-177 Globemaster for the final journey home during a ramp ceremony in Kuwait on March 9, 2015. 

Photo: OP Impact, DND
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Des militaires participant à l’opération Impact portent le cercueil recouvert d’un drapeau de leur camarade disparu, le sergent Andrew Doiron, vers un CC177 Globemaster à bord duquel la dépouille sera rapatriée, lors d’une cérémonie d’adieu au Koweït, le 9 mars 2015.

Photo : Op Impact, MDN
GD2015-0095-09
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The First D-Day Documentary

D-Day to D plus 3
Series : Moving Images Relating to Military Activities, compiled 1947 - 1964. Record Group 111: Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer, 1860 - 1985
(Compiled from multiple items)

Despite being cataloged, described, and housed at the National Archives for decades, the films created by the U.S. Military during World War II still hold unexpected surprises.

In a recent search for combat moving image footage to complement the Eisenhower Library’s commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the D-day landings, Steve Greene, the Special Media Holdings Coordinator for the Presidential Libraries System, identified four reels of a documentary on the landings prepared by the “SHAEF [Supreme Headquarter Allied Expeditionary Forces] Public Relations Division.”

These reels were assigned separate, nonsequential identifying numbers in the Army Signal Corps Film catalog, suggesting that the Army did not recognize them to be parts of single production. Rather than offering the perspective of a single combat photographer, the reels shifted perspective from the sea, to the air, to the beaches, suggesting careful editing to provide an overview. The 33 minutes of film were described on a shot card as “a compilation of some of the action that took place from D Day to Day Plus 3, 6-9 June 1944.” The production, with no ambient sound, music or effects, includes a single monotone narrator and gives the impression of a military briefing set to film.

This film is probably the first film documentary of the events of the first four days of the D-day assault, created within days of the invasion…

Keep Reading at The Unwritten Record » The First D-Day Documentary

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The Battle of the Bulge Begins – 70 Years Ago Today 

“To Every Member of the A.E.F.

The enemy is making his supreme effort to break out of the desperate plight into which you forced him by your brilliant victories of the summer and fall.  He is fighting savagely to take back all that you have won and is using every treacherous trick to deceive and kill you.  He is gambling everything, but already, in this battle, your gallantry has done much to foil his plans.  In the face of your proven bravery and fortitude, he will completely fail.”

In late December 1944, German forces staged a massive drive to recapture lost areas in the Ardennes region of Belgium, France and Luxembourg and turn the tide of the war.

The offensive lasted from December 16, 1944 to January 25, 1945 when the Allies won a decisive victory in the campaign. Although it became known as the Battle of the Bulge the Allies officially called this the Ardennes Counteroffensive.

Take a look at fascinating documents from the Battle of the Bulge, including General Eisenhower’s diary entries and top secret cables, and Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces (SHAEF) planning here.

-from the Eisenhower Library 

Photo Images:

Infantrymen of the 3rd Armored Division advance under artillery fire in Pont-Le-Ban, Belgium. 1/15/45.

A crashed plane near Remagne, Belgium. 1/15/45.

The 26th Division Engineers return to their normal assignments after a brief tour of duty as infantry. Belgium. 1/15/45.

The first tank of a tank battalion passes a knocked out German tank on the road from Bertogne to Houffalize, Belgium. 1/15/45.

The Planners of D-Day: Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force commanders at a conference in London, 2 January, 1944. From left to right: Lieutenant General Omar N. Bradley, Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, General Sir Bernard Montgomery, Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory and Lieutenant General Walter Bedell Smith.

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The Unconditional Surrender of the German Third Reich

Seventy years ago today, May 7, 1945, the European conflict of World War II ended when Germany signed an unconditional surrender at Eisenhower’s Allied headquarters in Reims, France.

Images:

Colonel General Gustaf Jodl, German Chief of Staff signs the documents of unconditional surrender, under which all remaining forces of German Army are bound to lay down their arms. 

On Jodl’s left is General Admiral Von Friedeburg of the German Navy, on his right is Major Wilhelm Oxenius of the German General Staff.  Photo from the FDR Library

Surrender of Germany, 1945. More at Our Documents