14 May 2008
One of Britain's most celebrated moments of history will be re-enacted on the HMS Belfast this month.
The D-Day landings of June 6, 1944, will be re-lived on the cruiser, which took part in the dramatic invasion of French beaches.
Visitors will be able to experience what life was like for the crew of the 613ft ship during the landings. They will be told stories by actors, who will talk about their roles in the invasion.
The naval museum is holding a week of activities which will include a series of 4-inch gun drills, using the guns which would have protected the ship against attack by enemy aircraft during the Normandy landings.
There will even be a raffle to win a rare opportunity to fire one of the 4 inch guns.
Visitors will also be able to interact with the actors, and receive old fashioned stamps to be added to their Second World War Security Pass from them. They will also be called to 'action stations' as the ship prepares for attack and witness damage control sessions.
History fans will also be able to view film clips and news reels from the Normandy landings.
D-Day artefacts used by the men who landed on the Normandy beaches over 60 years ago, and original documents relating to HMS Belfast's involvement will be on display.
Brad King, director of HMS Belfast commented: "The invasion of Normandy was the largest amphibious assault ever launched and it marked the turning point in the war for the Allies. It involved five army divisions in the initial assault, over 7,000 ships and 11,000 aircraft. In total 75,215 British and Canadian troops and 57,500 US troops were landed by sea on D-Day. Another 23,400 were landed by air. The event is one of the most important in wartime history and it is being brought to life on board HMS Belfast in an interactive and informative way so that people will not forget the part of that naval history played in the Second World War."
HMS Belfast, Morgan's Lane, Tooley Street, London, SE1 2JH
The week runs from Monday, May 26, to Saturday, May 31.
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