Commemorating the D-Day landings | 80th Anniversary


Commemorating the D-Day landings | 80th Anniversary


6th June 2024 we remember the largest amphibious invasion in the history of warfare; the Normandy Landings, 'Operation Overlord', D-Day. On 6th June 1944, Allied forces launched a combined naval, air and land assault on Nazi-occupied France overseen by supreme commander of the operation, General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

It was decided that the landings would take place on the long, sloping beaches of Normandy, allowing the Allies the element of surprise; the German high command were expecting an attack to come in the Pas de Calais region, where the English Channel is most narrow. Having being 'tipped off' by Allied undercover agents posing as German sympathisers, Adolf Hitler had chosen to put the bulk of his panzer divisions in this Pas de Calais region.

We remember the service and sacrifice of all those involved in the largest amphibious invasion in the history of warfare. An assault that would lead to the beginning of the liberation of France and Western Europe; a major turning of tides in the Second World War. Read on to take a look back at the interesting lots relating to D-Day that we've previously offered at auction.


A Look Back at D-Day Related Lots Previously Sold at C&T:


Lot 179

Three Original D-Day maps; ST.PIERRE-DU-MONT; Omaha Beach defences showing Charlie, Dog and Easy sectors and the well known Pointe du hoc (hoe) and the surrounding defences; DEAUVILLE; East of Caen showing Beach Defences. ISIGNY; Area inland between Utah and Omaha beaches, all numbered and dated 19 May 1944. Drawn up just two weeks before the momentous operation, these maps gave the military commanders the most contemporary reports of the state of the five Normandy beaches.

Lot 179 in our Ephemera, Books & Photographs auction in 2016, hammered at £2,200. View the full lot listing



Lot 361

Produced for the decoy operation, known as 'Operation Titanic, part of the larger operation for the deception of the allied landings, 'Operation Bodyguard'. The allied forces dropped hundreds of these sacking dummies across parts of France on the 5th / 6th June 1944 in an attempt to deceive the Germans into moving their forces away from the actual invasion force on the Normandy drop zones. 

Although these dummies are much smaller than a human being, when at a height, they did fool the German forces. The dummies were packed with an incendiary which would ignite once they'd hit the ground, in the hope of destroying the evidence of the decoy before the Germans cottoned on! These dummies were given the nickname 'Rupert's'.

This mint condition example of the burlap sacking 'Rupert' dummy with the silk parachute to the inside was Lot 361 in our auction back in February this year, selling for £5,800.



Lot 109

Highly Important and Extremely Comprehensive D-Day Archive of Ephemera and Photographs to Lieutenant Stephen C. Malenoir - Vickers (MC, MID.), Lieut Malenoir-Vickers was an Engineer Officer responsible for clearing mines and paths across Juno Beach at Courcelles, with his Armoured bulldozers, and he landed on D-Day. The collection includes Restricted "Defence Overprint" maps of the Beach area, his Diary for 1944, "War Diary" from June 44 to May 45, Personal Photograph Album with original D-Day photographs and others through France and Belgium etc. We consider it almost unique to find Maps, a Diary, Photographs, War Diary, documents and contemporary letter, all for the same Officer for one of the most important wartime events in the 20th Century, namely D-Day. Of particular interest is a full page handwritten letter Dated June 17th 1944 to his parents describing D-Day.

Lot 109 in our Military Books, Ephemera & Photographs auction​ in 2020, hammered at £6,200. View the full lot listing.



Lot 181 

Written in pencil, this interesting BBC message on Naval Message headed paper from the start of the D-Day landings was sold in our last Coins, Watches & Jewellery auction of 2022 (which also included some antiques & ephemera). The text reads, 'BBC News 1300. Early this morning allied troops were landed on the coast of Normandy Beach. Landings were still going on at midday. Airborne troops have been landed behind enemy's front line. Commanders report everything going to plan. 4000 ships and smaller vessels have already crossed the channel. 4000 aircraft are covering land sea operations. Destructive fire from shore batteries has been quelled. 7 June 1944'.



All our auction results can be found on the auction results page, or you can find featured lots under the various categories on our department pages. Items from historical events are always very popular with both private collectors and institutions. If you've any ephemera or military items from an historical event of notoriety and you'd like to know its value or perhaps consign it to us for auction, why not get in touch? Fill out an online valuation request or contact our office! ​

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