75th anniversary D-Day commemorations

Thursday 6 June marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

Over 156,000 American, British and Canadian forces came together to land on five beaches along a 50-mile stretch of heavily fortified coast in Normandy, France. The invasion is well documented as one of the largest amphibious military assaults ever in history.

The Royal Navy played a key role in this battle and the Battle of Normandy, which lasted from June 1944 to August 1944.

Codenamed Operation Overlord, D-Day became a tipping point in the War resulting in the liberation of France, and later Europe, from Nazi Germany’s control. The Normandy landings are often referred to as the beginning of the end of war in Europe.

Portsmouth will take centre stage on 5 June, the day before the actual anniversary.  A national commemorative event, sponsored by one of our key clients BAE Systems, will be held on Southsea common in the presence of more than 300 D-Day veterans.

The Historic Docklands at Portsmouth is hosting mass celebrations today; joining them is the American President, Donald Trump, Her Majesty the Queen and outgoing Prime Minister Mrs Theresa May.  The story of the Normandy landings will be told through testimonials, music and military displays, with veterans boarding a ship to France to attend further events there.

Setting sail from Portsmouth tomorrow will be HMS Queen Elizabeth, the largest ever ship build by the Royal Navy.  The crew will pay homage to, and be accompanied by, D-Day veterans as they sail from Portsmouth to Normandy to mark the 75th anniversary of the landings. 

Matchtech, and the wider Gattaca Group, has a very close relationship with the warship, and other projects built on the shipyard.  We have placed thousands of engineers over a period of 20 years or so and continue to enjoy a strong relationship with BAE Systems - the proud sponsor of these commemorative events.

“The eyes of the world will be on Portsmouth for the D-Day 75 commemorations and it’s a real privilege to share in the recognition of the brave men and women who gave so much to protect our country and help liberate Europe,” said Glynn Phillips, Group Managing Director (Acting) for Maritime and Land UK.

“BAE Systems has a long history supporting the UK’s armed forces, stretching back to D-Day, the Second World War and beyond. We are committed to serving those who serve and protect us and that is a source of great pride to everyone who works at BAE Systems.”

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