The Soldiers' Story
Author: Michael Kloft
Length: 4 x 50'
In early June 1944, 1.5 million Allied soldiers stand ready in southern England to embark on the largest amphibious
assault in military history: Operation Overlord. For tens of
thousands of young U.S. soldiers, this war against the Nazis seems almost like an adventure. Only very few, if at all, have any combat experience.
The sixth day of June 1944 is "D-Day", "Decision Day".
American troops land on the coast of Normandy to bring the Third Reich to its knees from here. Platoon after platoon go ashore without any cover. Only now does the horror awaiting them begin to dawn on many of them. From the dunes above them, the Germans open fire on the GIs from bunkers and foxholes. They have orders to keep their positions whatever the cost. The bloody carnage continues into the afternoon hours. Two to three thousand American soldiers are killed or injured on the "Omaha Beach" landing section alone.
The successful landing in Normandy accelerates the downfall of the Third Reich. The war continues for another eleven months, after which the Germans are defeated.
SPIEGEL TV filmmaker Michael Kloft meticulously records the
sequence of events by means of original footage, photos and documents. He visited the original sites in Normandy and
interviewed the last surviving witnesses. In an interview, the military historian Antony Beevor, author of "D-Day - The Battle for Normandy" reconstructs in an interview the "longest day" of the war.
year of production: 2011