Posts Tagged ‘live’

Did a deathbed confession reveal the location of Nazi gold train?: live

August 28th, 2015
  1. A deathbed confession revealed the existence of the train. We don’t know who made that confession.
  2. The train’s location was then pinpointed with ground-penetrating radar.
  3. The train is along a 4km stretch of track on the Wroclaw-Walbrzych line.
  4. The train’s contents are not certain. However, it could contain gold, art, jewellery and documents.

13.42

More from Piotr Zuchowski, the head of conservation.

He also said.

Quote We do not know what is inside the train.

Probably military equipment but also possibly jewellery, works of art and archive documents.

13.36

Piotr Zuchowski, head of conservation at the culture ministry, described the find as “unprecedented”.

Quote The train is 100 metres long and is protected.

The fact that it is armoured indicates it has a special cargo.

Nazi gold train announcement

13.34

Poland’s culture ministry says that whatever is on the train will be returned to the rightful owners, if they can be found.

13.26

13.22

According to Radio Wroclaw, the train is located along a four kilometre stretch of track of the Wroclaw-Walbrzych line near Walbrzych.

13.18

Wow!!

13.14

OK – we have news now from the press briefing.

Matthew Day, our man in Poland, says they have announced that evidence of the existence of the train came from photographs taken using GPR.

What is GPR?

Wikipedia tells me:

Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) is a geophysical method that uses radar pulses to image the subsurface. This nondestructive method uses electromagnetic radiation in the microwave band (UHF/VHF frequencies) of the radio spectrum, and detects the reflected signals from subsurface structures. GPR can have applications in a variety of media, including rock, soil, ice, fresh water, pavements and structures. In the right conditions, practitioners can use GPR to detect subsurface objects, changes in material properties, and voids and cracks.

13.03

While we wait for the details from this press conference, here is a look at Polish tunnels…

12.55

It looks like even this press conference – which we thought was happening at 12.30pm – could be a myth.

We’ll let you know…!

12.48

Some people have speculated that the train could be below Ksi?? Castle in Wa?brzych.

Ksiaz Castle in Walbrzych, Poland

12.46

Legend has it that a train set off from the western city of Wroclaw (then known as Breslau) during the final days of World War II before mysteriously disappearing around Walbrzych (Waldenburg at the time).

Walbrzych officials have said the train was found on city land but are keeping its exact location under wraps – ditto for the identities of the two men.

12.30

We believe the press conference will be held by Piotr Zuchowski, Poland’s head of national heritage.

Yesterday he said:

Quote I’m certain the train exists, but it might contain dangerous materials from World War Two.

12.09

As we wait for the press conference to start, you may like to read this background article on the legend of the train.

Has a lost Nazi ghost train carrying gold finally been found? Two treasure hunters think so

12.05

There remain so many unanswered questions with this story.

What we are hoping to find out is:

- Does this train exist, and if so has it definitely been found?

- What does it contain?

- What happens next?

An old miner shaft at the Old Mine Science and Art Centre in Walbrzych, Poland

12.01

A press conference is due to be held at 12.30 UK time (1.30pm in Poland) with the latest details.

So to recap:

  1. Poland’s deputy culture minister says he is “convinced” the train exists.
  2. He has warned people not to search for it, because it could be booby trapped or mined.
  3. Experts are warning that the gold could be tooth fillings, rather than pristine gold blocks.
  4. The identity of the two men claiming the 10 per cent fee remains unclear.
  5. The location – or even existence – of the train remains unclear.

12.00

Hello, and welcome to The Telegraph’s live coverage of the possible discovery of a legendary Nazi gold train.

Part of a subterranean system built by Nazi Germany in what is today Gluszyca-Osowka, Poland


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Nazi gold train ‘found’ in Poland: live

August 27th, 2015

Latest

07.00

How could you hide a train for 70 years? Trains are big things.

For more answers to some of your questions, here’s a handy explainer.

06.00

Summary

Here is a brief summary of what we know (and what we don’t) so far after a regional mayor’s office in southern Poland confirmed that a train of a “military nature” had been found.

  1. “Significant discovery” made in the Polish city of Walbrzych
  2. Zygmunt Nowaczyk, deputy mayor of Walbrzych, said “the discovery was in the town’s district”
  3. Two unidentified men are claiming through a lawyer that they have found the legendary Nazi gold claim
  4. Arkadiusz Grudzien, a spokesman for Walbrzych council’s legal office, said: “The train is of a military nature. There is no mention of valuables: just military equipment”
  5. The lawyer for the two men, Jaroslaw Chmielewski, said: “This is a find of world significance, on a par with [discovering] the Titanic”
  6. The Polish state treasure and culture ministry has been informed in case the find contains anything of value

04.15

Patrick Ney, director of the British Business Centre in Warsaw, wrote a blog a couple of years ago about the tunnels the Nazis built in south-west Poland. He wrote:

Quote Somewhere, under the hills and mountains of Lowers Silesia, lie seven underground complexes. The Project Reise network, built by Organisation Todt, comprise hundreds of kilometres of underground tunnels, bunkers and research facilities. Unseen from the air by the thick Silesian forests above them, and protected by the dense rock, thousands of slave labourers toiled with basic equipment to create the network, attached to the magnificent Baroque castle of Ksia?, as either a research station or as one of several Fuhrer headquarters.

Apparently there are Nazi artefacts littering the tunnels to this day:

02.33

Part of a subterranean system built by Nazi Germany in what is today Gluszyca-Osowka, Poland. According to Polish lore, a Nazi train loaded with gold, and weapons vanished into a mountain at the end of World War II.

It was reported last week that Polish authorities held a crisis meeting in which they warned treasure hunters against trying to unravel the mysteries of the train, warning it may have been boobytrapped by the Nazis:

Quote Jacek Cichura, the local governor in Walbrzych, where the train allegedly was found, said the meeting was to explore how authorities can safely handle the train if it is located.

“Our priority is the safety of the public,” Mr Cichura said. “If the gold train actually exists, then it is probably mined. There is also the possibility of methane.”

00.50

The Telegraph’s Matthew Day has put together this helpful explainer on what we know – and don’t know – about the rumoured Nazi gold train find:

Quote How did the “gold train” legend begin?

Not long after the war a Pole spoke with a German miner who was about to leave the area because it was to become part of post-war Poland. The miner spoke of how a train laden with treasure had been parked in a secret siding in the last days of the war. Since then people have been looking for that train. There is no documentary evidence supporting the “gold train” legend.

23.57

The hills around Walbrzych are home to some of the Project Riese tunnels – the code name for a construction project of Nazi Germany in 1943–45, consisting of seven underground structures. The purpose of the project remains uncertain.

23.48

The legend goes that as the Nazis treated from the Red Army in 1945, several tons of gold held in the German city of Breslau (now Wroc?aw in Poland) were piled onto a train. Reports state the train may contain the gold fittings from the Amber Room of Frederick I of Prussia – considered the Eigth Wonder of the World.

However, the train never reached its destination and went missing in south-west Poland.

If this has indeed been found in the countryside around Walbrzych, it would be of priceless value and one of the most important historical discoveries ever.

23.31

Is this where the train is buried?

23.25

Arkadiusz Grudzien, a spokesman for Walbrzych council’s legal office, said:

Quote The letter (from the ‘finders” lawyer) does not give the exact location but there is no doubt the location is within the limits of our district.

The train is of a military nature. There is no mention of valuables: just military equipment.

23.10

It could take up to six months to dig the train up, some experts have said – assuming it’s buried.

23.02

At a press conference Zygmunt Nowaczyk, deputy mayor of Walbrzych, said “the discovery was in the town’s district”.

The Polish state treasure and culture ministry have been informed in case the find contained anything of value, Matthew Day reports.

23.00

The train, according to legend, is 500 feet long, armoured, with gun platforms and a cargo of precious metals. Not so easy to hide.

Hunt begins for legendary £1billion in Nazi gold

22.43

An old miner shaft at the Old Mine Science and Art Centre in Walbrzych, Poland

All we know for sure so far from today’s developments is a press officer in the Polish town confirming a military train has been found and the Walbrzych’s deputy mayor saying there was “formal information”.

22.07

The Telegraph’s Matthew Day visited Walbrzych last week. Marek Marciniak, the owner of a cafe adjacent to Walbrzych town hall, told him:

Quote People are talking about it. They are talking about in the town. My clients talk about it and we’ve had a lot of journalists coming by.

And when I go home and flick on the television I see a lot of news about the about the ‘gold train’.

Ksiaz Castle in Walbrzych, Poland

Mr Marciniak, like many others, is quick to stress everybody has heard stories about the train and its gold before, and how people have tried and failed in the past to gain their fame and fortune by finding it. What sets this time apart from the others, he pointed out, is that the two claimants have taken a legal step by filing a claim with the local authorities in Walbrzych in the hope of attaining a finder’s fee of 10 per-cent of the value of the find.

21.56

The legendary Nazi ghost train that disappeared without trace into the mountains around Walbrzych in April 1945 with a cargo of gold as it fled the advance of the Red Army.

21.36

The two men who have apparently found the Nazi gold train said through their lawyer that they would only reveal the location of their alleged find if they were guaranteed to eventually receive a finders’ fee of 10 per cent of its value.

Workers Inspects Gold Bars Taken From Jews By The Nazis And Stashed In The Heilbron Salt Mines

21.31

A deputy mayor in Poland says lawyers for two men who claim to have found a Nazi gold train have told him that it is somewhere in the southwestern city of Walbrzych.

Zygmunt Nowaczyk said on Wednesday that the lawyers have not offered any proof of the alleged discovery. Nonetheless, Mr Nowaczyk said he will pass on the information he has to the national government because if found, the train would be state property. Speaking at a press conference, he said:

Quote The city [of Walbrzych] is full of mysterious stories because of its history. Now it is formal information — [we] have found something.

21.30

Hello and welcome to our live coverage it emerges that “something significant” has been found in the Polish city of Walbrzych, where searchers are looking for a lost Nazi gold train.


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Children play with live World War Two bomb on Welsh beach

August 20th, 2015

And stunned dad Gareth, 34, tweeted his surprise when he learned of the news and shared photos of Erin, six, and Ellis, four, and their close call online.

Gareth posted: “So the bhoy my kids were jumping on all weekend turns out to be a WW11 bomb. Oops.”

Kelly said: “The tide was up so we discovered what we later learned was the bomb – we just thought it was a bhoy.

“We were more interested in the barnacles on it and the kids were looking at them while Gareth noticed that it had a chain on.

“I even made the joke that it was a big bomb at the time but did not think anything of it.

“It’s only afterwards when the reality has set in that we were actually very lucky.

“We were close to disaster – it’s shocking.”

Despite the close call Gareth and Kelly, who run a waste management firm and also coach the town’s rugby union team, they insist that they would return to the beach.

Kelly said: “I wouldn’t be worried about going back but we will definitely be more cautious when we do.

“I’ve heard of things being washed up on the beach before but nothing like this.

“We’ll definitely think twice before messing with something like that in future and we went down for a look to see it get blown up.”

Cllr Meryl Gravell, executive board member for leisure for Carmarthenshire Council, said: “I would like to reassure the public that we have taken the appropriate action, we apologise for any inconvenience whilst the beach is temporarily closed.”


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Britain remembers VJ Day 70 years on – live

August 15th, 2015

Veterans are now laying wreaths as they march past the Cenotaph. A veteran standard bearer collapsed and received medical attention from nearby soldiers before being stretchered away from Horseguards Parade.


David Cameron sits alongside Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall at the Horseguards Parade ceremony (IMAGE: PA)

15.10

Recap: Hundreds of veterans gathered on Horse Guards Parade for a Drumhead commemoration to celebrate Victory in Japan, attended by the Prime Minister and Prince of Wales.

Royal Marine buglers and percussionists from Portsmouth piled up their drums to form a ceremonial altar at the centre of the parade, replicating the practise used by troops on the front line.

The Right Reverend Nigel Stock, bishop to HM Armed Forces, led the service and paid particular tribute to those who served in the Far East who played a pivotal role in Japan’s defeat.

Viscount Slim, the son of Field Marshal Slim, read a passage from his father’s memoir Defeat Into Victory.

He read: “To the soldiers of many races who, in the comradeship of the 14th Army, did go on, and to the airmen who flew with them and fought with them and fought over them, belongs the true of achievement.

“It was they who turned defeat into victory.”

15.05

Charles Dance, who earlier read Kipling’s Mandalay, said: “It was rather nerve-wracking, it was like ten first night’s in a row. This is remembering people who don’t pretend. I tell you it’s nerve-wracking. I could see people mouthing the words. Christ, it’s part of history.”

14.55

A Swordfish was unable to join the flypast a of a Hurricane and a Typhoon over central London earlier.

14.50

The average age of those participating in the procession is more than 90, according to the BBC.

14.45

The Lord’s Prayer is followed by Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer.

14.40

Prince Charles has laid a wreath at the drum head, followed by the Prime Minister.

14.35

A minute’s silence across Horse Guards.

14.30

The last post is now being played.

14.25

Drumhead altar being built at the #VJDay70 service

14.10

Charles Dance is reading Kipling’s Mandalay. “On the road to Mandalay, where the flying-fishes play. / An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ‘crost the Bay.”

14.10

Flypast of an RAF Typhoon and a Hurricane delights the crowds at Horseguards Parade.

13.50

The procession on Horseguards Parade is about to start.

13.15

THE SOLDIER

Dan Chapman, 92, speaks to Patrick Sawer about his experiences fighting the Japanese in Malaya.

Mr Chapman was among thousands of British troops at sea preparing to invade Malaysia when he heard it was all over.

As the men of his 26th Indian Division braced themselves for the bitter fighting that would follow Operation Zipper’s imminent seaborne assault on Port Swettenham, south west of Kuala Lumpur, word spread that Japan had surrendered.

Mr Chapma, said: “This time 70 years ago we were waiting on board ship to land against the Japanese in Malaya. We were about to do the landing when the atom bomb was dropped and Japan surrendered. We were saved from invading at the critical last minute, saving many Japanese and Indian Army lives. I felt somewhat relived, to put it mildly. I think we were all pleased that it was over.”

With the planned invasion averted, the 26th Indian Division was diverted to Indonesia to take the surrender of the Japanese in Sumatra.

“We weren’t sure whether we were going to be met by bullets or surrender, so we were a bit apprehensive,” said Mr Chapman. “But it went off all right and eventually all the Japanese surrendered and were sent back to Japan.”

But Mr Chapman’s war continued for another 12 months, as the 26th Indian Division took part in anti-insurgency operations on behalf of the Dutch colonial government. “My war just carried on,” he said.

Born and bred in Barking, east London, he had joined the British Army in September 1941, just before his 18th birthday, having already experienced the terror of the Blitz and served in the Local Defence Volunteers and Home Guard.

After a year in the Royal Corps of Signals and the Royal Army Service Corps he was transferred to the South Staffordshire Infantry Regiment and posted to Bangalore, where he was commissioned as an officer in the Royal Garhwal Rifles, reaching the rank of Captain.

Mr Chapman, who was awarded the Burma Star and left the Army in 1947, went on to have three children and six grandchildren with Eileen, his wife of 65 years.

Seventy years on the retired bank manager joined other veterans at the Wivenhoe Branch of The Royal British Legion in remembering those who did not survive the war,

“I will mostly be thinking about lost comrades and some of the good times,” he said. “And just being alive.”

13.10

From Tokyo: Japanese Emperor Akihito expressed rare “deep remorse” over his country’s wartime actions in an address Saturday marking the 70th anniversary of Japan’s World War II surrender, a day after the prime minister fell short of apologizing in his own words to the victims of Japanese aggression.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, meanwhile, stayed away from a contentious Yasukuni shrine that honors war criminals among other war dead. He instead prayed and laid flowers at a national cemetery for unnamed fallen soldiers ahead of the annual ceremony at Tokyo’s Budokan hall.

That ceremony started with a moment of silence at noon to mark the radio announcement by Emperor Hirohito, Akihito’s father, of Japan’s surrender on Aug. 15, 1945.

12.55

Rare colour footage of VJ Day from the archives.

12.15

Ahead of the VJ Day commemorations, The Telegraph’s Patrick Sawer has spoken to several veterans of Britain’s campaign in the Far East to record their stories.

THE AIRMAN

John Giddings, 92

John Giddings’ war did not end with the Allied victory over Japan on 15 August 1945.

For four long years he had fought in Singapore, Burma and India as British forces confronted the Japanese across south east Asia.

But following the Japanese surrender, Mr Giddings was dispatched to assist the Dutch colonial government in Indonesia, then facing a nationalist insurgency for independence.

Back in 1940, at the start of it all, he had lied in order to do his bit. Aged 17, Mr Giddings headed to his nearest RAF recruitment station, in Gloucester, and told them he was 18 – allowing him to sign up. He said: “ After the Battle of Britain I thought ‘I’ve got to get in there, the Air Force needs me.’”

Following basic training in Skegness the teenager was among the first to put his name down when the call came for volunteers for overseas duty and in December 1941 he was posted to Air Headquarters Singapore.

He was lucky not to be captured before his war had even begun. On its way to Singapore his ship fortuitously broke down and when the rest of the convoy – which had sailed ahead to the British colony – was captured by the Japanese, it managed to make its way to Burma instead.

Here Mr Giddings fought with 17 Squadron, flying a Hawker Hurricane fighter. Overwhelmed by the Japanese in 1942, British forces retreated to India, where Mr Giddings took part in the four-month long defence of Agatala.

But his most dangerous mission was yet to come. In 1944 he signed up for “volunteers for hazardous duty” and found himself pitched into the battle of Kohima, north east India, where the Japanese were attempting to capture a key ridge held by British and Indian troops.

It was the task of Mr Giddings and his fellow volunteers to keep the defenders supplied, something they managed to do until the Japanese retreated on June 22 that year.

He rejoined 17 Squadron, this time flying Spitfires, and took part in the battle of Mandalay, which saw the Japanese overwhelmed by Allied forces – thanks in part to British supremacy in the air.

The battle, which raged from January to March 1945, proved a turning point in the war in the Far East and Mr Giddings and his squadron were subsequently ordered to take part in the recapture of Singapore, which had fallen to the Japanese in ignominious circumstances three years earlier.

By the time the men got to Singapore however, the Americans had dropped the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Shortly after the Japanese surrendered, bringing the war to an end, and Mr Giddings and his comrades were met with no opposition.

With the war over Mr Giddings was given two weeks leave and hitchhiked back to Britain, only to be sent back to the far east to help Dutch forces fight what was ultimately a losing battle against Indonesian independence. It was, the 92-year-old now says, “almost as bad as Burma”.

After leaving the RAF in 1947 Mr Giddings, who joined fellow veterans in Saturday’s VJ parade along Whitehall, worked in engineering and insurance, while also serving as a civilian volunteer in the Royal Observer Corps as part of Britain’s Cold War defences. He went on to become Mayor of Banbury and is now the chairman of the Burma Star Association. In 2003 he was made an MBE for his services to the association.

11.55

The Queen is meeting veterans outside St-Martin-in-the-Fields. She came down from Balmoral castle and was said to be particularly keen to attend today’s proceedings.

She is greeted by an eager crowd as she returns to her motorcade in Trafalgar Square. A flypast and a procession on Horseguards Parade with more than 1,000 VJ Day veterans will follow later. Join us here for both.

11.50

Tom Boardman is reading the Far East Prisoner of War Prayer.

• VJ Day 70th anniversary: Britain remembers, in pictures


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D-Day anniversary: live

June 6th, 2014

Sussex Police were called at 7.15pm yesterday by staff at a nursing home in Hove who said an 89-year-old who lived there had gone out at 10.30am and had not been seen since.

Officers began searching the area, including checking hospitals in case something had happened to him, and spoke to bus and taxi companies, but none of them knew where he was.

The nursing home received a phone call from a younger veteran from Brighton at 10.30pm who said he had met the pensioner on a coach on the way to France and that they were safe and well in a hotel in Ouistreham.

In a statement, Sussex Police said they were “satisfied that the pensioner is fine”.


Two Chelsea Pensioners chat as veterans gather at Sword Beach in Ouistreham. Photo: AFP

14.45 A D-Day veteran, was just 18 years old when he waded ashore on Gold Beach in Normandy with the Royal Engineers on June 6, 1944, was presented with a special award by David Cameron this morning for his work organising pilgrimages to the landing sites for his comrades.

Grandfather-of-two George Batts, 88, the national secretary of the Normandy Veterans’ Association (NVA), was announced as the latest recipient of a Points of Light award for his voluntary work.

Mr Batts considers himself one of “the lucky ones”. With incredible recall, he described how he landed on Gold Beach, one of the five landing beaches used on D-Day. He said:

Quote The noise was fantastic. You’ve never heard anything like it. The Navy were shooting shells right at the Germans.

As they went overhead, they went ‘whoosh’. It sounds silly now, but you were left thinking, ‘I hope to God they got the range right’.

Then we went towards the beaches and when you get there the ramp went down, and away we went to get off the beach into the bit of cover at the back.

Knowing what war is like, you can imagine what the beaches were like. I won’t talk about it because I think it’s unfair on relatives to know too much.

There was a misty haze across the beaches – Germans firing machine guns, rifles – everything was coming in. We got off the beach okay, we lost a few obviously, and then we just kept going for as long as we could or for as far as we could.


Normandy veteran George Batts who was presented with a special award by David Cameron for his work organising pilgrimages to thelanding sites. Photo: PA

14.15 Archive shots show scenes from 70 years ago:


Injured American soldiers rest on the beach. Photo: Alamy


The town of Caen is bombed during Operation Overlord. Photo: Alamy

14.10 Gordon Rayner, in Bayeux, reports that the Prince of Wales told a D-Day veteran that he worries about the Duke of Edinburgh‘s insistence on still driving a car as he approaches his 93rd birthday.

The Prince revealed his concern when he met Ivor Thomas, a former Corporal in the Royal Engineers from Gloucester who landed on Gold Beach on D-Day.

Mr Thomas’s son, Philip, 61, told the Prince his father, who was sitting in a wheelchair, still insisted on driving his car, a 1985 Ford Sierra.

“So does my father. I’m always worried,” the Prince said, before gesturing towards Mr Thomas, and asking: “But his eyesight’s all right?”

The Duke of Edinburgh likes to drive an old London taxi cab when he is in the capital so he can remain incognito. He drives other vehicles during stays at Balmoral and Sandringham.

13.50 In a rather sweet photo, Barack Obama and Jerry Mateparae, New Zealand’s Governor-General, have been spotted guiding the Queen to her position for a group photo in Benouville:


Photo: AP

13.30 As world leaders gather in Caen to commemorate the D-Day landings, you can listen to the men and women who fought there after The Telegraph met ten veterans of the 1944 Normandy invasion.


A Dutch B-25 and a Dutch Spitfire take part in a flypast over Arromanches-les-Bains, Normandy. Photo: AFP

13.15 First Minister Peter Robinson, who was also at Bayeux Cathedral this morning, has said he is eternally grateful to the men and women from Northern Ireland who played their part in the D-Day landings.

The head of the Democratic Unionist Party said he was deeply honoured to be there for the 70th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe.

QuoteWe must never forget the bravery, courage and sacrifice of those thousands of soldiers who fought and for the many who ultimately gave their lives for all of us. It is right that those veterans are central to today’s commemorations.

Northern Ireland provided a staging platform for allied forces prior to the D-Day landings.

We are all eternally grateful to the men and women of Northern Ireland who played their part in one of the most significant engagements in military history.


U.S. WWII veterans salute during the playing of “Taps” at the Normandy American Cemetery. Photo: Getty Images

12.50 Henry Samuel has also been speaking to veterans at Arronmanche ahead of today’s commemorations. Here he is with Cecil Deller, from 1st Suffolk A-Company:

12.40 The Telegraph’s Paris correspondent Henry Samuel, who is in Normandy today, reports that while heads of state are due to convene on Sword beach, Gold beach has been stormed by thousands of “re-enactors” in the same Allied jeeps and tanks that landed here on June 6,1944.

The vehicles will later drive into Arromanches-les-Bains, via the artificial Mulberry harbour (whose remains can still be seen in the background of the photo below).

Later the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will arrive in Arromanches, followed by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall for a memorial ceremony with veterans.

12.25 Associated Press reports on Barack Obama’s speech this morning from the Normandy Cemetery and Memorial, where nearly 10,000 white marble tombstones sit on a bluff overlooking the site of the battle’s most violent fighting at Omaha Beach:

Seventy years after Allied troops stormed the beaches at Normandy, President Barack Obama returned Friday to this hallowed battleground in what he called a “powerful manifestation of America’s commitment to human freedom” that lives on in a new generation.

On a morning that dawned glorious and bright over the sacred site he called “democracy’s beachhead”, Obama said:

QuoteOur commitment to liberty, our claim to equality, our claim to freedom and to the inherent dignity of every human being – that claim is written in the blood on these beaches, and it will endure for eternity.

He described D-Day’s violent scene in vivid terms, recalling that “by daybreak, blood soaked the water” and “thousands of rounds bit into flesh and sand.”

Veterans of that fierce battle traveled long distances to the remote historic site and removed their hats as the audience delivered a long standing ovation when Obama recognized them.


US President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande look out over Omaha Beach. Photo: AFP

Mr Obama continued:

Quote These men waged war so that we might know peace. They sacrificed so that we might be free. They fought in hopes of a day when we’d no longer need to fight. We are grateful to them.

The president mentioned that his grandfather served in Patton’s Army and his grandmother was among the many women who went to work supporting the war effort back home, in her case on a B-29 bomber assembly line. Obama’s grandparents helped raise him, and he broke from his prepared text to observe wistfully that there was never a time he missed his grandfather more or would have loved to be with him.

He said:

QuoteSomeday, future generations, whether seventy or seven hundred years hence, will gather at places like this to honor them. And to say that these were generations of men and women who proved once again that the United States of America is and will remain the greatest force for freedom the world has ever known.

12.10 BBC weather have tweeted this fun picture of what the “D-Day forecast” might have looked had they used the graphics available to today’s forecasters:

Twitter Here’s what the #DDay forecast might have looked like if they had our graphics 70 years ago.

11.55 History enthusiasts from all over the world are gathering in Normandy to celebrate the D-Day anniversary:


History enthusiasts from Seaforth Highlanders of Holland march along former Canadian D-Day landing zone of Juno Beach at Bernieres surMer. Photo: Reuters


WWII military vehicles and enthusiasts muster on Gold Beach at Arromanche. Photo: Getty Images

11.40 Following the service at the cathedral, The Queen laid a wreath in Bayeux (see pictures further down the blog) for those who made the ultimate sacrifice for “freedom in Europe” at a ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

During a solemn open air ceremony at the Commonwealth War Graves cemetery, the Last Post was followed by an emotional minute’s silence under sunshine and clear blue skies.

Moments after the Queen arrived, a fly-past of historic aircraft – two Spitfires, a Dakota and a Lancaster bomber – roared overhead as they flew in formation.

11.30 Watch Prince Charles and David Cameron’s visit to Bayeux Cathedral, where biblical lessons were read and hymns sung, to mark the 70th anniversary of D Day here:

11.20 Today’s first pictures of the Queen – wearing a wonderfully bright lime green coat – have come in. She was attending a service of remembrance at the British military cemetery in Bayeux this morning


HM Queen Elizabeth II pays her respects after laying a wreath at the French-British ceremony held at the British Warcemetery in Bayeux, northern France on the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Photo: Reuters


The Queen stands with French Prime Minister Manuel Valls (left) and the Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwallat the bi-national France-UK D-Day commemoration ceremony at the British War Cemetery of Bayeux. Photo: AFP

11.10 Did you know that secret D-Day clues appeared in the ‘Telegraph’ crossword 70 years ago? Telegraph features writer Tom Rowley recalls here how wartime codes got into a newspaper puzzle.


US troops wade ashore from a Coast Guard landing craft at Omaha Beach. Photo: US National Archives/Handout via Reuters

10.55 The Telegraph’s Berlin correspondent Justin Huggler reports from Germany:

There is huge coverage here in Germany of D-Day. Bild, Germany’s biggest newspaper, is running a “live” ticker of the day in realtime on its website: it just clicked up Churchill being briefed in London at 1015 CET, and Hitler being woken at 10am after going to bed late. Die Welt is running something similar. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has made much of the fact the leaders meeting to commemorate D-Day are also trying to defuse the new crisis in Ukraine.

David Cameron’s meeting with Putin has been heavily reported. Otherwise some of the papers have downplayed British involvement in D-Day — whether this has anything to so with anger over the European Commission chief row is not clear.

All eyes are on Angela Merkel in Normandy, and the difficult path she has to tread, honouring the dead while not being seen in any way to commemorate the SS dead: Helmut Kohl famously refused to take part in D-Day commemorations, saying there was nothing to commemorate in so many German dead. Gerhard Schroder set the path followed by Angela Merkel today.

There has been coverage in recent days of SS crimes in occupied France, particularly a notorious massacre in which more than 600 men, women and children were murdered in a single village.


Normandy Veteran Tony Snelling, 91, and his grandson William Holmes arrive at Bayeux Cathedral. Photo: PA

10.40 In commemoration of this week’s 70th anniversary of D-Day, The Telegraph has explored the statistics behind one of the most significant victories in World War Two. Watch the video here:

10.30 David Cameron has been speaking to the Press Association in Bayeux, where he said he felt a mixture of “awe and gratitude” as he met veterans of the D-Day landings at the 70th anniversary commemorations.

The Prime Minister said it was “incredibly moving” to be at the events in Normandy and it was “humbling” for people of his generation who had not had to do anything like the heroic actions of June 6 1944.

With Russian president Vladimir Putin’s presence highlighting current divisions in Europe over Ukraine, Mr Cameron stressed the role played by Russia in liberating the continent from Nazi tyranny. He said:

QuoteI think the clear evidence of what happened in 1944 and 1945 is the importance of standing up together for freedom and security.

And we should remember that, and the importance of Nato and thinking forward to the Nato summit in Wales in September.

“But I think it’s right today, of all days, to remember all those who served and all those who died.

Yes, of course we have our disagreements today with Russia, but we should never forget that Russia – the Soviet Union – was an ally of Britain and America, the Free French, Canadian and Australian forces, that liberated this continent from the tyranny of Nazism.

Mr Cameron became the first Western leader to hold face-to-face talks with Mr Putin since the Ukraine crisis began when they met in Paris last night.


(Left to right) Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, the Prince of Wales, British Prime Minister David Cameron and FrenchPrime Minister Manuel Valls walk in Bayeux, northern France, after attending a ceremony at the town’s cathedralcommemorating the Allied landings on D-Day. Photo: AFP

10.15 Gordon Rayner, in Bayeux, has been speaking to some of the veterans who landed on Sword Beach on D-Day.

Cecil Butters, 90, who arrived with 41 Commando, Royal Marines at 7.10am, described the reception from those who clapped him and his comrades on the walk from the Cathedral to the cemetery as “wonderful”.

He said: “In 1944 they welcomed us with an arm round the shoulder and by bringing the wine bottles out, but this is a different kind of gratitude, because most of these people weren’t born in 1944.

“It is a wonderful reception.”

His grandson Michael Butters, 37, walking alongside him, said: “It’s overwhelming really. I’m so proud.”

Cecil, who was shot in the back in Holland in February 1945, bringing his war to an end, said: “It means the world to be here today. I’ve got mates buried in this cemetery and I’ll be thinking a lot about the day we landed and the friends I lost.”

Steve Garrard, 92, a former glider pilot who landed one of the aircraft at Pegasus Bridge in the first action on D-Day, was making his first visit to Normandy since 1944.

He said: “I wanted to come because it will be the last time I get the chance. It means everything to be here. I will be thinking about my best mate and co-pilot, who was killed at Arnhem on the same day as I was taken prisoner.”

US President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande stand during a joint French-US D-Day commemoration ceremony atthe Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-mer, Normandy. Photo: AFP

10.00 If you’re interested in hearing how the radio would have sounded on D-Day 70 years ago, Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch is one of a trio of stars who are recreating the original D-Day bulletins for Radio 4 listeners.

The reports began on the Today programme (which you can listen to below) and will continue through the weekend, finishing on Sunday with Broadcasting House and The World This Weekend.

Two hundred pages of D-Day broadcasts, from what was then called the Home Service, have also been published online, including reports by correspondents following the forces on land, air and sea.


Soldiers stand during a joint French-Dutch D-Day commemoration ceremony in Arromanches, Normandy. Photo: Gettyimages

09.45 The only known Allied colour footage of World War Two was uncovered in the attic of a Hollywood director by his son. Director George Stevens was on board the warship HMS Belfast when it fired the shot that launched the D-Day landings, making this unique 16 millimetre colour film journal:

09.35 Telegraph chief reporter Gordon Rayner reports from Bayeux Cathedral:

As veterans made their way from Bayeux Cathedral to the Commonwealth Cemetery ten minutes’ walk away, locals formed an honour guard on either side of the road and clapped them, many of them saying “merci” and shaking hands with the veterans in a moment that evoked the soldiers being welcomed as liberators in 1944.

Many of the veterans, now too frail to manage the journey on foot, were being pushed in wheelchairs or using mobility scooters to make the journey to the cemetery, where some of them were due to meet the Queen. David Cameron chose to make the journey on foot with a group of veterans who told him about their D-Day experiences as they went.


Normandy veterans arrive at Bayeux Cathedral for the service. Photo: PA

09.15 Henry Samuel is in Caen where François Hollande has kicked off D-Day commemorations by inaugurating a memorial stone to pay “national tribute” to the 20,000 French civilians who lost their lives in the battle for Normandy.

Henry reports that it is the first such official French recognition of the heavy civilian losses endured between D-Day, on June 6, 1944 and September 12, when the region was finally freed from Nazi occupation.

Speaking at the war memorial at Caen, where Allied bombers reduced three quarters of the city to rubble to stop the Germans mounting a counterattack, he said:

Quote In every conflict, it is civilians who pay the price.

This battle was also a civilian one. These fighters in the shadows enabled, facilitated the Normandy landings.

I want the role of the Normans to be recognised. They opened their doors to the liberators. They protected them, fed them.

09.00 In his address to the congregation at Bayeux Cathedral, the Rt Rev Nigel McCulloch, National Chaplain of the Royal British Legion, described the commemoration as “a time of profound emotion” summed up by:

Quote That quiet moment when an elderly serviceman stands by the grave of a fallen comrade who in the mind’s eye is still young.

08.50 A few interesting facts about Bayeux Cemetery:

- It is the largest Commonwealth cemetery of the Second World War in France and contains the burials brought in from the surrounding districts and hospitals.

- The Cemetery contains 4,144 Commonwealth graves of which 338 are unidentified and 504 are from other Nationalities, mainly German.

- The Bayeux Memorial stands opposite the cemetery and bears the names of more than 1,800 Commonwealth soldiers who died during the Normandy landing and advance to the Seine and have no known grave.

- On D-Day itself, 83,115 British soldiers landed in Normandy, including 24,000 on Gold Beach, 28,000 on Sword Beach and 7,900 by air.

- A total of 4,413 Allied soldiers were killed, around a quarter of them British.


Landing craft from the Royal Marines arrive on Arromanche beach at sunrise

08.40 Gordon Rayner, the Telgeraph’s chief reporter, is in Bayeux where the Queen will meet veterans when she attends a service of remembrance at the British military cemetery this morning.

Gordon reports that the Queen has paid tribute to the “immense and heroic endeavour” of the soldiers who took part in the Normandy landings on the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

In a message published in the official brochure of the 70th anniversary events which is being given to all veterans, she wrote:

QuoteI am very pleased to be able to join veterans here in Normandy to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

On 6th June 1944 after months of planning and training, the largest amphibious assault in history was launched to secure freedom in Europe. Hundreds of thousands of servicemen made the journey across the Channel by sea and air, and through their brave actions and dogged determination, established a vital foothold in occupied Europe.

This immense and heroic endeavour brought the end of the Second World War within reach.

I am sure that these commemorations will provide veterans of the conflict and their families gathered here in France, along with their hosts, the people of Normandy, with an opportunity to reflect on their experiences and the incredible sacrifices that were made.


Arlette Gondree, right, owner of the Pegasus bridge cafe, makes her annual toast with British D-Day veterans in Benouville. Photo: Reuters

08.30 Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

Early this morning David Cameron joined D-Day veterans for what he described as a “humbling” midnight vigil at Pegasus Bridge to remember the airborne troops who took part in the first action of the Normandy landings.

Sitting in the dark on the chilly June night, Mr Cameron listened to a recording of Major John Howard, who led the assault on Pegasus Bridge at 12.16am on June 6, 1944, describing how he and his men flew silently in gliders to take the German defenders by surprise.

Mr Cameron said:

QuoteBeing here prompts three emotions – humility because people of my generation never had to do anything like our grandfathers’ generation; awe at thinking of the men preparing for the biggest invasion force ever assembled, and profound gratitude for what they did, which had a massive consequence not just for all of our futures but for the whole continent of Europe.

Because of the D-Day landings Europe has been able to choose its own future.


British Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha arrive for the British D-Day commemoration ceremony at Bayeux Cathedral inNormandy. Photo: AFP


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