D-Day: How the papers covered landmark World War Two operation in 1944 vs 2019 - Press Gazette

D-Day: How the papers covered landmark World War Two operation in 1944 vs 2019

D-Day may not have made every front page 75 years ago, but it has today with commemorative editions and pictures marking three-quarters of a century since the biggest land, air and sea invasion in history.

Readers of the Times on 7 June, 1944, saw only four words about D-Day on the front page: “Great assault going well” and these were tucked away in the top right hand corner of the then-broadsheet newspaper.

Until 1966, Times front pages were reserved for public notices and personal ads. Readers had to wait until page four for the first news reports of D-Day and until page eight, above the crossword, for the first photographs.

Scroll down to compare Times, Telegraph, Express, Mirror, Evening Standard, Scotsman and Yorkshire Post coverage from 1944 and 2019

Conversely the Daily Express devoted its front page entirely to news from the front, telling readers in a small notice box: “To give the maximum amount of news coverage on the historic events of today all advertisements have been held over. This step is made possible by the ready co-operation of advertisers and advertising agents.”

The newspaper also carried opinion and reports on the landings from the King and Prime Minister Winston Churchill on page two, eyewitness stories on page three, and further reporting on page four.

On the Daily Mirror the only advertising was a strip down the right hand side of the page, with the headline: “We hold beachhead,” declaring the success of the operation and at least six further pages of coverage inside.

The Daily Telegraph also only had one advert on its front page in the top right, with a packed page of news under the headline: “Allied invasion troops several miles into France.”

The Scotsman waited until page five for its full account where it declared “initial landings in France succeed” and quoted communiques that the assault was proceeding in a “thoroughly satisfactory manner” accompanied by two maps of the Normandy coastline.

The Yorkshire Post declared “all goes well so far” while the events overseas made the Londoner’s Diary pages in the Evening Standard with the paper’s front page reporting that “wave after wave of khaki-clad figures surged up the beaches”.

At celebrations marking the 75th anniversary of the Normandy beach invasion, which is credited with bringing the Second World War to an end, Prime Minister Theresa May joined French President Emmanuel Macron, US President Donald Trump and hundreds of veterans in Normandy.

More than 4,000 Allied soldiers died on D-Day alone.

And see below for some of today’s other national newspaper front pages:



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