The University of Portsmouth, in partnership with Global War Studies, Brécourt Academic and in association with The D-Day Story and the Navy Records Society, hosted the Normandy 75 conference from 22 – 25 July 2019.

The international event brought together scholars, students, and the public to explore this historic event and to promote an interdisciplinary and international study of the Normandy Campaign. It also served as a space for Second World War historians to discuss and debate the wide-ranging, international effects of the campaign.

Conference sessions took place in the University of Portsmouth’s Richmond Building with site tours to the D-Day Museum, HMS Warrior and National Museum of the Royal Navy key highlights.

History

Portsmouth and the nearby areas of Gosport and Southsea were very important areas for the Normandy Campaign. In 1944, it was the gathering area for approximately 30,000 British and Canadian troops involved in the invasion. Hundreds of warships, support craft, landing boats and other assault vehicles left the area for France in early June. 

The Dockyard in Portsmouth, which contains several historic ships, like the Mary Rose and HMS Victory, provided building, repairs and management of the invasion force. It was also in charge of building important parts of the famous Mulberry Harbours; artificial harbours that were sailed across the channel and used for offloading equipment into France.

Highlights

  • The D-Day Story hosted a conference-sponsored drinks reception at the museum
  • The National Museum of the Royal Navy provided informal guided tours of HMS Warrior
  • The National Museum of the Royal Navy sponsored a reception on board HMS Warrior

Keynote speakers

  • Richard B. Frank, ‘June 1944: Calendar of Triumph, Calendar of Tragedy’
  • John C. McManus, ‘The American Experience at Normandy’
  • Marc Milner, ‘Normandy, Politics, and the Press’
  • Julie Summers, ‘A Month in the Country: June 1944 on the Home Front’
  • Geoffrey Till, ‘The Normandy Landings and their Antecedents’
Explore more details of the Normandy 75 event here >

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