Life on the front lines: Extremely rare colour photos of U.S. troops before and after D-Day show World War II in brand new light
The full-colour images, taken by photographer Frank Scherschel, display anxious American soldiers as they prepared for Operation Overlord, the code name for the Battle of Normandy.
The photos also capture the celebratory tone upon the June 6 invasion’s success.
Dining out: American troops eat a meal set on top of boxes of ammunition amid preparation for the D-Day invasion of France
Life at war: The heavily damaged city of St Lo, France, is pictured at left, while a soldier eats dinner atop some ammunition prior to the Battle of Normandy, right
Vivid: The full-colour photographs show American forces in the days leading up to the historic Normandy invasion, nearly 70 years ago
American troops dine on boxes of artillery in one picture, while the stoic faces of German prisoners captured during the invasion in another.
The vivid snaps also demonstrate preparation for the historic battle – with GIs stacking cans of gasoline and soldiers marching in formation.
Some shots show crowds of French citizens lining the streets to greet the American soldiers after German troops were forced from the region and cities like Paris were liberated by Allied forces.
Thousands of Allied soldiers, mostly from the United States, Britain and Canada, landed in Normandy to begin the drive to break the German occupation of Europe.
Prisoners: American troops stand guard behind German soldiers captured near the town of Le Gast during the Normandy invasion
Before and after: An African-American soldier stacks gas cans prior to the D-Day invasion of France, left, while journalists ride in a parade after the liberation of the country, right
Ruins: A bombed-out Palais de Justice is shown in front of a heavily damaged fire engine in the town of St Lo, France, shortly after the D-Day offensive
The soldiers charged the shores of five beaches on France's northern coast, facing German land mines, machine guns and heavy artillery.
The invasion, a victory for the allies, is known as the key turning point of World War II.
Some 215,000 Allied soldiers, and roughly as many Germans, were killed or wounded during D-Day and the ensuing three months before the Allies captured Normandy, opening a path toward Paris that eventually took them to Germany and victory over the Nazis.
Maintenance: A crew works on an American P-47 Thunderbolt fighter plane in a makeshift airfield in the countryside following the invasion of Normandy, in August 1944
Victory: Crowds line the street to greet American soldiers after the liberation of Paris by Allied forces
Glory: French women and a little girl pose with a group of American troops shortly after they forced German soldiers out of the area