NOVA: D-Day's Sunken Secrets

NOVA: D-Day's Sunken Secrets

Wed, 06/10/2015 - 9:00pm

Pictured: Under sea exploration

Credit: Courtesy of Pascal LeFloch

Examine one of the largest underwater archaeological sites, the seabed bordering the D-Day beaches.

On June 6, 1944, the Allies launched the D-Day invasion against the heavily defended Normandy beaches to liberate Europe from the Nazis. In less than 24 hours, more than 5,000 ships—the largest armada in history—crossed the English Channel, along with thousands of tanks and landing craft and 200,000 men. Throughout the operation, hundreds of ships sank while running the gauntlet of mines and bunkers, creating one of the world’s largest underwater archaeological sites.

Now, 70 years later, NOVA has exclusive access to a unique international collaboration between military historians, archaeologists, and specialist divers as they carry out the most extensive survey ever done of the seabed bordering the legendary Normandy beachheads. The teams use submersibles, underwater robots and the latest 3D mapping tools to discover, identify and plot the relics on the sea floor in a special 2-hour presentation on NOVA "D-Day Sunken Secrets" airing Wednesday, June 10, 2014 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV.