Musselman Library, Gettysburg College
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Seventy years on from D-Day, we still marvel at the stoic heroism of the men who contributed to the success of what remains the greatest amphibious invasion in the history of warfare. The Normandy campaign would, in one way or another, prove a pivotal moment in the ongoing world war. A disaster in the campaign to liberate France would set back Allied hopes for crushing Nazism in Western Europe. It would also fray the alliance with the Soviet Union that was essential to defeating Hitler’s forces. By contrast, success would mark not just the end of the beginning of the conflict, but the beginning of the end.
There are as many Normandy campaign stories, from both sides, as there are participants. But absent some formal way of collecting them, those stories would disappear with the generation that made this history. That is where oral history comes in. Since the early 1990s, Gettysburg College has done its share to create an archive of World War II memories, covering the gamut of life experience of a generation that grew to maturity during the Great Depression and World War II.
Launched in a Historical Methods course in 1991, and continuing into the present day, the World War II oral history project has collected nearly 700 oral histories from the home and battle fronts and places in between. Recordings and transcriptions of each of these interviews are available in Special Collections at Musselman Library. At some point, if resources are sufficient, they will be digitized and available online. [excerpt]
World War II, United States, veterans, oral history, D-Day, Omaha Beach, Normandy, Utah Beach, Allied Powers, Axis Powers
European History | History | Military and Veterans Studies | Military History | Oral History | Public History | United States History
Musselman Library, "Voices from D-Day, June 6, 1944" (2014). Library Exhibits & Events. 4.