Grainy, blurry, overexposed… the eleven photos taken by Robert Capa during the Normandy landings, at Omaha Beach, are nevertheless legendary. Captured as close as possible to the fighting, on one of the D-Day hot spots, they give the measure of the anguish and the courage of the Allied soldiers on June 6, 1944.
Behind the lens: Robert Capa, the most famous photojournalist of his time. Under the bursts of machine guns, water to mid-chest, Capa triggers his camera. How many times ? More than a hundred, according to the photoreporter and his Life, the magazine that sent it there. But if only eleven pictures have come down to us, it is because a young laboratory assistant from London would have missed a stage in the development of dandruff, causing almost all of them to burn.
Too good a story? An American reporter from the New York Times has been investigating for several years, which questions the official version.
- Robert Capa during the Normandy landings, Allan Douglass Coleman’s investigation
- The first publications of Robert Capa’s photos on the Normandy landings, an article by PatrickPeccatte: associate researcher at the Laboratory of Contemporary Visual History (Lhivic / EHESS)
- The photos of Robert Capa at the time of the Normandy landings, on the Magnum agency website
- PhotoNormandy, more than 5,000 photos of the Battle of Normandy, from June 6 to the end of August 1944
Third episode of our “Flashback” video series, about the stories behind the world’s most famous photos.
Find our previous episodes:
- Paris Commune: the first photos manipulated? – Flashback # 1
- How Congo’s severed hands shook colonial Europe – Flashback # 2