From London, on the afternoon of 6 June 1944, General de Gaulle broadcast: ‘The Supreme Battle is under way. Of course, this is the Battle of France and the Battle for France. For the sons of France, wherever they are, and whoever they are, the simple and sacred duty is to fight the enemy by all the means at their disposal.’  

De Gaulle ENTering BAYEUX

At midday, Eisenhower broadcast the message: ‘In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.’

Défilé véhicules militaires - D-Day Festival
© M. Quemener / Bayeux Bessin Tourisme

BRITISH TROOPS WALKed INTO BAYEUX UNOPPOSED oN THE MORNING OF 7 JUNE

The British troops off Gold Beach entered the town without a fight at around 9am on 7 June. At the same time, the German gun battery at Longues sur mer was captured and the gun crew there quietly surrendered. You can see here Maurice Schumann, the spokesman for the Free French (who had broadcast regularly on the BBC as well), and who had come ashore at Asnelles-sur-Mer (Gold Beach).  

On 14 June, General de Gaulle disembarked from the destroyer La Combattante to step ashore at Juno Beach, on the edge of Courseulles-sur-Mer and Graye-sur-Mer. After visiting Montgomery, de Gaulle was driven off to Bayeux where he attracted enthusiastic crowds.