I recently helped at a fund raising day for Veterans planning on returning to Normandy and the greatest privilege was to be able to chat with these guys and listen to them share their experiences. I made a point of shaking each mans hand and sincerely thanking them for their bravery and their service. I come from a generation that on the whole has not experienced war or hardship and we owe a large part of that to the courage of men (and women) on that "day of days" 70 years ago.
With the D-Day 70th Anniversary commemorations taking place today I thought I'd share a few pictures of my favourite D-Day related wargames that I have seen over the years. Operation Overlord is one of those events in history that is such a massive undertaking and of such huge importance that sometimes it can be hard to take in. Massive amounts have been written about the Normandy Landings and there are countless personal stories, diaries, unit histories, photographs and documents for historians to ponder over for decades to come. But one way in which this period in history can be broken down and understood is through the medium of Wargaming. I'm not for a minute suggesting that wargaming D-Day is somehow more important than the great and scholarly work of historians, but they are another way of understanding a particular moment in the battle and really 'connecting' with those events.
|"Normandy Firefight" in 20 mm by Herne Bay and Whitsable at Skirmish in September 2012|
|Battlegroup Normandy - 20mm Skirmish game earlier this year at Skirmish|
|At last years Salute "When Chaos Reigns" a 28mm Normandy 44 game by Nantwich Gamers|
|Glider Assault - Pegasus Bridge 6 Jun 1944 - Honnington Wargame Group. A 20mm recreation of the assaults on Pegasus and Morsa Bridges prior to the D-Day Landings (Salute 2010)|
|The truly awe inspiring beach landing. "30 Seconds to Dog Green" demonstrating the Battlegroup Overlord rules. |
I have never seen a beach assault depicted in such detail and scale before.
|Another game from Salute 2013 also using the Battlegroup Overlord rule called "Inland from Utah"|
|This wasn't a game as such, it's a Diorama of Omaha Beach in the D-Day Museum in Portsmouth.|
|Another display, this time from Nothe Fort in Weymouth.|