Remembering D-Day through GamingJune 4, 2020
June 6, 1944. D-Day. It was the largest amphibious invasion in military history, over 150,000 men, over 6000 ships, and landing vehicles, and more than 2200 aircraft participated. The invasion actually started the night of June 5 with Allied paratroopers dropping well inland with the goal of cutting German supply lines to the coast.
It’s been 76 years since that day. Here are some things that you can do to remember the day.
Remembering Through Gaming – Here are a few games that will allow you to recreate some of the D-Day battles.
- Memoir ‘44 – I love Memoir ‘44. It’s an excellent WWII game. It’s easy to learn, easy to play, and has TONS of scenarios that simulate the actual battles of the war. These scenarios include setups for specific battles of D-Day like Pont-Du-Hoc, Pegasus Bridge, Sainte-Mere-Eglise, and Omaha Beach as well as Operation: Overlord, a massive depiction of the D-Day landings and battles that encompasses two full Memoir ‘44 game sets and up to 8 players.
- Undaunted: Normandy – This is a new entry in the WWII game genre. It debuted to rave reviews last year so I picked up a copy. I’ve played it a couple of times and enjoy it a lot. It is different from Memoir ’44. Where Memoir is a large scale battle game, Undaunted is a smaller, squad-based game. It has a deck-building mechanic, which I like, and is fairly easy to learn.
- D-Day Dice – D-Day Dice was a massive Kickstarter hit several years ago. It made tons of money and ended up with a lot of KS extras. The game is now available in retail. I have not played it but
Free Print and Play trial version of D-Day Dice – https://boardgamegeek.com/geeksearch.php?action=search&objecttype=boardgame&q=d%20day
D-Day Dice purchase here.
Wargames – These games are more intense and deeper than the ones above. D-Day at Omaha Beach as an example but so many more can be found at the below link.
BoardGameGeek’s list of D-Day games – Here is a massive listing of D-Day games from BGG.
Movies about D-Day: Many of the films about D-Day (and WWII in general) are based on autobiographies written by the men who participated in the fighting. Keeping this in mind will enrich your watching experience.
- The Longest Day – This is one of the biggest productions about D-Day and the weeks leading up to it. It has a huge, all star cast comprised of some of the biggest names in Hollywood – John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, Sean Connery, Peter Lawford, and many, many more.
- Saving Private Ryan (mature content) – Academy Award winning account of the search for one soldier in the days after the invasion. This film is true in its depiction of war’s brutality.
- Band of Brothers (mature content) – The series inspired by Saving Private Ryan. This is probably the closest dramatization of WWII. It is harsh, ugly, but shows the brotherhood developed in the crucible of war. This is my favorite WWII movie.
- Storming Juno – This film covers the Canadian forces storming of Juno Beach during the invasion told through dramatization and interviews with those who were there.
There are dozens of other films covering this subject. A quick Google search will lead you to them.
Documentaries: There are literally tons WWII documentaries available to stream on Amazon Prime, Netflix, History.com some examples are:
- WWII in HD
- World War Two: Through German Eyes
- World War Two: I Was There
Websites: More interesting information can be found at these sites
I hope you find this article useful in your studies of this fascinating time in history. I’m developing a whole series on World War Two so stay tuned.