D-Day, the first assault


Just after midnight, elements of British Airborne in gliders assaulted and seized the strategic bridge on the eastern flank of the Normandy area. Known as Pegasus Bridge, one of the officers involved was actor Richard Todd, who was there as part of the assault. In the Longest Day he played his commander, Major John Howard. Film clip below (apologize for the subtitles).

It's rare to find actors to put themselves into the action. Todd once said he was playing a part where he was with himself on the bridge during filming and it was all rather confusing. In the clip below, Todd is with an actor (wearing a beret) to his immediate left who is playing the real Todd.

“You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hope and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.”

General Dwight D. Eisenhower addresses Allied servicemembers in an order before D-Day, which occurred on this day in 1944.