With most visitors unable to travel to Normandy for the 76th Anniversary of DDay due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, a filmmaker and battlefield tour guide in Normandy is bringing DDay and the story of the Invasion of Europe in 1944 direct to peoples’ homes.
From 9.00am to 11.30pm (French Times) Paul Woodadge will be hosting a live Zoom meeting on his WW2TV YouTube channel that all can watch free of charge. https://youtu.be/IYHY5clcamk.
Paul will be in his home studio all day joined online by historians and experts from around the world to discuss Operation Overlord.
To accompany the interviews and presentations Paul will have a small team of battlefield guides out and about at the landing beaches and battlefields sending back live images of the locations under discussion.
“This type of project, really hasn’t been done before” said Paul Woodadge.” “In a normal year all the WWII authors and tour guides are busy on June 6th with lectures, tours and media work.”
With this year being so different Paul had the idea of calling on all his historian friends and contacts and putting on a YouTube show instead. “The support from historians has been absolutely amazing, and frankly very humbling”
Paul added. “It’s a packed show, for example. we have American author Patrick K. O’Donnell talking about the assault by US Rangers at Pointe du Hoc, Linda Hervieux sharing her knowledge of a black American medic on Omaha beach and TV presenter Jules Hudson sharing his passion for the Mulberry artificial harbours.”
The talent roster is a virtual Who’s Who of WWII military history. From the UK, the show will include best-selling authors James Holland, Andrew Roberts, Giles Milton and Peter Caddick-Adams.
Later in the day Canadian historians Mike Bechthold and Mark Zuehlke beam in to talk about the assault on Juno Beach, and from the USA authors Joe Balkoski, John McManus and Ed Ruggero will talk about the American battles and endeavors.
In addition, the livestream will even have Adam Lunney joining from the other side of the World in Australia to talk about Aussie Spitfire pilots, so support is really coming in from across the globe.
“Although, I am thrilled to get all the ‘Big Guns’ of military writing involved, I’m just as pleased to give a voice to those who are bringing history to people via battlefield touring.
Experts like Ben Mayne, Colin Taylor, Sean Claxton, Kevin Hymel, Joe Muccia, Romain Bréget and a lot of the contributors would normally be working hard guiding groups around Normandy. This year they have volunteered to help me with this show. I cannot thank them enough.”
In addition to physically wearing one of his customary newsboy caps, Paul will metaphorically be wearing multiple hats during the 14 hour show.
“Yes, I will hosting the show, controlling the e-mails and Zoom invitations, co-ordinating the live footage coming back from the sites and coping with any computer issues.” “Mag, my partner will be helping me as much as she can, but she’s a battlefield guide too, and is one of my team of live-reporters out at the sites.
” I really couldn’t ask her to sit in my office all day just helping me!” It’s really quite a task and after the mammoth June 6th show, Paul has shorter livestreams planned all through the summer on the anniversaries of the inland Normandy battles. More historians have agreed to take part in these discussions which will follow the same format.
For a full listing of the scheduled appearances on Paul’s June 7th show (subject to technical glitches on the day) please see Paul’s WW2TV website https://www.ww2tv.com/dday-
Paul’s WW2TV channel encourages people to contribute via the Patreon platform https://www.patreon.com/WW2TV