As the bells toll for the 60th anniversary of D-Day, the eyes of much of the world will turn to the stretch of coastline in northern France where thousands of servicemen lost their lives during World War II in what Winston Churchill called the "most difficult and complicated operation ever to take place."
Two years in the planning, D-Day was a turning point in the war. On June 6, 1944, some 175,000 Allied troops landed on five beaches in Normandy to take the German troops by surprise. The bloody battle resulted in 10,000 Allied and as many as 9,000 German casualities.
Sixty years on, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder will be the first German leader to join the Allied veterans on the former battleground. DW-WORLD looks back and examines the events in the light of modern day.