Seventy years ago today, 24,000 American, Canadian and British troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, France in what would prove to be a pivotal turning point in the Second World War. Operation Neptune, better known as D-Day, would begin the advance that eventually helped liberate Europe from its Nazi stranglehold, but not before 4,414 Allied men lost their lives in the surf and sand of northern France.
As people around the world take a day to remember the heroics and sobering casualties that occurred on June 6, 1944, Twitter is playing a surprising role in bringing us back. Though Twitter isn’t exactly known as an educational outlet, there are some Twitter accounts out there that do a great public service by live tweeting certain historical events to pay homage to them, and shed light on their significance.
Today, @RealTimeDDay, is one of these accounts, though it’s certainly not the only one.
The account and tweets from @RealTimeDDay are courtesy of The Portsmouth News, a British newspaper. However, as we mentioned, this isn’t the only Twitter account that is live tweeting the events of D-Day all day today.
@UKWarCabinet is also live tweeting the sequence of events. Though we can’t tell whether this account is officially affiliated with the U.K. government, the source of the information contained within the Tweets are reportedly derived from the government’s National Archives.
We of course often hear about the roles of the U.S. and U.K. in the Allies’ victory. We even generally know more about the role that the Soviet Union played on the Eastern Front, but what about the part that was played by our neighbor up north, Canada? Maybe your school was different, but when I was learning about World War II growing up, Canada’s role in the war against the Axis wasn’t touched on much.
To get a deeper insight on Canada’s contributions during D-Day, check out the CBC’s (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) “D-Day Live” Twitter account, which is officially called @CBCDDayLive. Though the account states that it puts a “focus on Canada’s role in the historic mission,” earlier Tweets mentioned the commencement of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler’s first internal meetings regarding the Allied invasion, as well as the landing of the U.S. 115th Regiment’s landing on Omaha Fox Green beach.
The official Twitter account of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is also live tweeting the events of D-Day, but this feed is focusing on larger events that occurred throughout the day, so the tweets will be more sporadic than what the other accounts offer.
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