Director Roland Emmerich has made some beloved movies about America: "The Patriot," "Independence Day" and "White House Down." He's long wanted to make a film about the Battle of Midway, and "Midway" will finally arrive in theaters on Nov. 8.
We've got an exclusive first look at the movie's poster, and Emmerich took time to speak with us about the film from the editing room as his team races to meet deadlines.
It arrived overnight and disappeared just as fast.
That's how historians have described North Carolina's Laurinburg-Maxton air base, a hub for military training during World War II. The vast majority of the United States' glider pilots were trained there, including the forces who played an unsung role in the D-Day invasion 75 years ago.
About 500 glider planes were used in the invasion, and 312 of those were from the United States. Of this number, almost all of them trained at Laurinburg-Maxton, about 90 miles east of Charlotte, said Frank Blazich, lead curator of military history at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
But despite the important role gliders played in transporting men and equipment, the base's contributions have been largely forgotten.
At a D-Day commemoration ceremony on Wednesday, Queen Elizabeth II was introduced to "leaders ... representing the allied nations that took part in D-Day," according to a tweet from The Royal Family, which included, um...German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
"Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well-trained, well-equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely."
As the sun set on the blood-stained beaches of Normandy, France on June 6, 1944, Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower's message to the thousands of Allied troops dispatched to carry out the largest amphibious landing in military history rang true.
The invasion, codenamed Operation Neptune and remembered as D-Day, sent roughly 156,000 British, Canadian, and American troops to the Nazi-occupied French coast by air and sea, beginning the multi-month Battle of Normandy and the liberation of Western Europe from Hitler's Wehrmacht. This week, as millions gather in Normandy to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, National WWII Museum senior historian Rob Citino emphasized that the impact of the landings came at a tremendous human toll. By the end of the Normandy campaign, hundreds of thousands of Allied and Axis soldiers and civilians had died and been wounded, with those involved in the initial landings suffering disproportionately.
"Certain sectors and certain minutes, casualties were 100 percent," Citino said.
Citino described the most perilous jobs American troops performed to help make the D-Day landings a World War II turning point. "It was bad enough but would have been worse," he says.
LOS ANGELES, (Reuters) - A battle-scarred American flag believed to be the first planted on Omaha beach during the 1944 D-Day landings is expected to fetch more than $55,000 at auction next week, Heritage Auctions said on Monday.
The flag, with a distinctive gold fringe and a repair from an apparent bullet hole, was planted by a U.S. army engineer on Omaha Beach, the scene of some of the bloodiest battles when Allied forces stormed the Normandy coast of France in World War II.