The Ghosts of D-Day: Photographer Recreates Breathtaking Images of The Invasion, Then and Now

Image credit: Getty Images News

Scottish photographer Peter Macdiarmid took it upon himself to travel to the beaches of France, merging modern-day Normandy with the iconic photos from its past. His work is entitled: D-Day, Remembered. And his work is astounding…

Image credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Image credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

The color photo shows Omaha Beach on May 7, 2014, near Colleville sur Mer, France. The black and white photo shows American craft of all styles at Omaha Beach, during the first stages of the Allied invasion, June 6, 1944. (Color photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images. Black and white photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images.)

In this composite image a comparison has been made of La Breche, France. D-Day took place on June 6, 1944. *** COLOR 2014*** Image # 493783093.  LA BRECHE, FRANCE - MAY 8: A view of the seafront and Queen Red Beach on May 8, 2014 in La Breche, France. The Allied invasion to liberate mainland Europe from Nazi occupation during World War II took place on June 6, 1944. Operation Overlord, known as D-Day, was the largest sea borne invasion in military history.  (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) ***ARCHVE 1944*** Image # 154421428. Operation Overlord (The Normandy Landings): D-Day 6 June 1944, The British 2nd Army: Commandos of 1st Special Service Brigade landing from an LCI(S) (Landing Craft Infantry Small) on 'Queen Red' Beach, SWORD Area, at la Breche, at approximately 8.40 am, 6 June 1944. (Photo by Capt. J L Evans/ IWM via Getty Images)

(Photo by Capt. J L Evans/ IWM via Getty Images)

In this composite image a comparison has been made of La Breche, France. D-Day took place on June 6, 1944. *** COLOR 2014*** Image # 493783093. LA BRECHE, FRANCE – MAY 8: A view of the seafront and Queen Red Beach on May 8, 2014 in La Breche, France. The Allied invasion to liberate mainland Europe from Nazi occupation during World War II took place on June 6, 1944. Operation Overlord, known as D-Day, was the largest sea-borne invasion in military history. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) ***ARCHVE 1944*** Image # 154421428. Operation Overlord (The Normandy Landings): D-Day 6 June 1944, The British 2nd Army: Commandos of 1st Special Service Brigade landing from an LCI(S) (Landing Craft Infantry Small) on ‘Queen Red’ Beach, SWORD Area, at la Breche, at approximately 8.40 am, 6 June 1944.

Image credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Image credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

The color photo shows the Nan Red Beach in the Juno Beach area on May 6, 2014, in Saint Aubin sur Mer, France. The black and white photo shows Royal Marine Commandos of Headquarters, 4th Special Service Brigade, making their way from LCI(S)s (Landing Craft Infantry Small) onto ‘Nan Red’ Beach, St Aubin-sur-Mer around 9 a.m. on June 6, 1944. (Color photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images. Black and white photo by Lt. Handford/ IWM via Getty Images.)

(Photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)

(Photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)

In this composite image a comparison has been made of Bernieres sur Mer, France. D-Day took place on June 6, 1944. *** COLOR 2014*** Image # 493783651. BERNIERES SUR MER, FRANCE – MAY 8: A view of Juno Beach on May 8, 2014 in Bernieres sur Mer, France. The Allied invasion to liberate mainland Europe from Nazi occupation during World War II took place on June 6, 1944. Operation Overlord, known as D-Day, was the largest sea-borne invasion in military history. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) ***ARCHIVE 1944*** Image # 461919359. Operation Overlord: A large number of German prisoners are gathered on the beach of Bernières-sur-Mer. June 1944. They are guarded by British soldiers from the 2nd Army on Juno Beach (Bernières sector). Bernières-sur-Mer, Normandy, France.

Image credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Image credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Landing craft preparing to deliver more troops from the staging area.

(Photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)

(Photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)

In this composite image a comparison has been made of Trevieres, France. D-Day took place on June 6, 1944. *** COLOR 2014*** Images # 493782515. TREVIERES, FRANCE – MAY 6: A view of the market square on May 6, 2014 in Trevieres, France. The Allied invasion to liberate mainland Europe from Nazi occupation during World War II took place on June 6, 1944. Operation Overlord, known as D-Day, was the largest sea-borne invasion in military history. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) ***ARCHIVE 1944*** Image #461735359. The body of a German soldier belonging to the 2nd Infanterie Regiment lies on the Market Square. 15th June 1944. The two jeeps in the center of the photo and the two GIs at the left are part of the MP Platoon of the 2nd Infantry Division. Trevieres, Normandy, France.

(Photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)

(Photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)

The color photo shows the roadway on May 7, 2014, in Saint Lo, France. The black and white photo shows U.S. Army jeeps driving through the ruins of Saint-Lo, as American soldiers walk along the street, July 1944. (Color photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images. Black and white photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images.)

(Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) ***ARCHVE 1944*** Image # 461738455. A group of American soldiers stand at the village fountain. 12th June 1944. A woman is walking away with two pitchers while three children are watching the scene, and an old man is fetching water next to a GI expected to wash his bowls. Sainte-Marie-du-Mont was liberated by a group of paratroopers of the 501st and 506th Regiments of the 101st Airborne Division. Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, Normandy, France. (Photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)

(Photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)

In this composite image a comparison has been made of Saint Marie du Mont, France. D-Day took place on June 6, 1944. *** COLOR 2014*** Image # 493782217. SAINT MARIE DU MONT, FRANCE – MAY 7: A view of the old village fountain on May 7, 2014 in Sainte Marie du Mont, France. The Allied invasion to liberate mainland Europe from Nazi occupation during World War II took place on June 6, 1944. Operation Overlord, known as D-Day, was the largest sea-borne invasion in military history. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) ***ARCHIVE 1944*** Image # 461738455. A group of American soldiers stand at the village fountain. 12th June 1944. A woman is walking away with two pitchers while three children are watching the scene, and an old man is fetching water next to a GI expected to wash his bowls. Sainte-Marie-du-Mont was liberated by a group of paratroopers of the 501st and 506th Regiments of the 101st Airborne Division. Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, Normandy, France.

(Photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)

(Photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)

The background photo shows cliffs in Pointe du Hoc, France, on May 6, 2014. The front image shows a post established after the assault at the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc by the 2nd Ranger Battalion, June 1944. (Background photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images. Front photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images.)

(Photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)

(Photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)

The color photo shows a view of the seafront and Juno beach on May 5, 2014, in Bernieres-sur-Mer, France. Troops of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division land at Juno Beach on the outskirts of Bernieres-sur-Mer on D-Day, June 6, 1944. (Color photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images. Black and white photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images.)

(Photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)

(Photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)

The color photo shows the graveyard with the church of Saint Georges de Basly in the background on May 5, 2014 in Basly, France. The black and white photo shows soldiers of the 23rd Field Ambulance Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division placing flowers on graves at the church, June 1944. (Color photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images. Black and white photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images.)

(Photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)

(Photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)

The color photo shows the graveyard with the church of Saint Georges de Basly in the background on May 5, 2014 in Basly, France. The black and white photo shows soldiers of the 23rd Field Ambulance Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division placing flowers on graves at the church, June 1944. (Color photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images. Black and white photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images.)

In this composite image a comparison has been made of Vierville sur Mer, France. D-Day took place on June 6, 1944. *** COLOR 2014** Image # 493785751. VIERVILLE SUR MER, FRANCE - MAY 6: A view of Omaha Beach on May 6, 2014 near Vierville sur Mer, France. The Allied invasion to liberate mainland Europe from Nazi occupation during World War II took place on June 6, 1944. Operation Overlord, known as D-Day, was the largest sea borne invasion in military history. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) ***ARCHVE 1944*** Image # 3090129. June 1944: American troops stand by with stores on Omaha Beach after the D-day landings. (Photo by MPI/Getty Images)

(Photo by MPI/Getty Images)

In this composite image a comparison has been made of La Breche, France. D-Day took place on June 6, 1944. *** COLOR 2014*** Image # 493783093. LA BRECHE, FRANCE – MAY 8: A view of the seafront and Queen Red Beach on May 8, 2014 in La Breche, France. The Allied invasion to liberate mainland Europe from Nazi occupation during World War II took place on June 6, 1944. Operation Overlord, known as D-Day, was the largest sea-borne invasion in military history. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) ***ARCHIVE 1944*** Image # 154421428. Operation Overlord (The Normandy Landings): D-Day 6 June 1944, The British 2nd Army: Commandos of 1st Special Service Brigade landing from an LCI(S) (Landing Craft Infantry Small) on ‘Queen Red’ Beach, SWORD Area, at la Breche, at approximately 8.40 am, 6 June 1944.

(Photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)

(Photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)

In this composite image a comparison has been made of Weymouth, England. D-Day took place on June 6, 1944. *** COLOR 2014*** Image # 493783019. WEYMOUTH, ENGLAND – MAY 5: A view of the seafront on April 5, 2014 in Weymouth, England. The Allied invasion to liberate mainland Europe from Nazi occupation during World War II took place on June 6, 1944. Operation Overlord, known as D-Day, was the largest sea-borne invasion in military history. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) ***ARCHVE 1944*** Image # 107759481. US troops on the Esplanade at Weymouth, Dorset, on their way to embark on ships bound for Omaha Beach for the D-Day landings in Normandy, June 1944.

 

Image credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Image credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Image credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Image credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

(Photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)

(Photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)

In this composite image a comparison has been made of Bernieres-sur-Mere, France. D-Day took place on June 6, 1944. *** COLOR 2014*** Image # 493782767. BERNIERES-SUR-MERE, FRANCE – MAY 5: A view of the street area and Notre-Dame Nativity church on May 5, 2014 in Bernieres-sur-Mer, France. The Allied invasion to liberate mainland Europe from Nazi occupation during World War II took place on June 6, 1944. Operation Overlord, known as D-Day, was the largest sea-borne invasion in military history. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) ***ARCHIVE 1944*** Image #107758753. Operation Overlord Normandy, A Canadian soldier is directing traffic in Bernieres-sur-Mer. 6th June 1944. The Canadians landed at Juno Beach which is nearby. 14,000 Canadian soldiers were put ashore and 340 lost their live in the battles for the beachhead. France.

There is no doubt that Peter Macdiarmind took a lot of time to capture the new photos and then create these moving images that reflect back to a time when our world was in turmoil and some of those countries in complete ruin. These images have captured not only the place, but the feeling of resolve and strength of the men and women who endured those trying times.

We must never forget the times that shaped our world. We cannot forget history, we must embrace our past and learn from it, and hope that we never repeat it.

 

Patrick James
Patrick James has worked as a firefighter/EMT for several services throughout the years, as well as a custom metal fabricator, certified personal trainer and chef.

Growing up in the rural suburbs of Detroit, it was during his frequent trips to Northern Michigan where he learned of his love for hunting and fishing. Spending several of his adult years in upstate South Carolina, his love of extreme sports took root in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains as he learned to rock climb and kayak.

“Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and vanish into air.” ~ John Quincy Adams

About the Author

Patrick James
Patrick James
Patrick James has worked as a firefighter/EMT for several services throughout the years, as well as a custom metal fabricator, certified personal trainer and chef. Growing up in the rural suburbs of Detroit, it was during his frequent trips to Northern Michigan where he learned of his love for hunting and fishing. Spending several of his adult years in upstate South Carolina, his love of extreme sports took root in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains as he learned to rock climb and kayak. "Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and vanish into air." ~ John Quincy Adams
Facebook