Monnaie de Paris marks D-Day 80th anniversary


15 June 2024
The Monnaie de Paris has issued a set of 4 coins to mark the D-Day landings of 6th June 1944, a decisive moment in World War II which resulted in the liberation of France and Europe.

About the coins

Previous D-Day issues have brought all the forces together, this coin release however, focusses on 4 individuals from the 4 major Allied nations who landed in Normandy in 1944. 

Léon, a Second Maitre (Petty Officer) of the Commando Kieffer, was 1 of the 177 Frenchmen who took part in the Normandy landings, on what is known as Sword Beach, alongside British forces as part of Commando No. 4 is featured on one of the coins. Depicted on the coin, he poses in front of 1 of the Ouisreham bunkers. His comrades are shown in the background holding the flag of the Free French Naval Forces. 

Above: The first in the series shows a French soldier on Sword Beach

The second coin features Richard, a British Glider with the Airlanding Brigade, who landed on the night of 6th June on Sword Beach. On his featured coin, Richard is shown in front of Pegasus Bridge after the successful completion of Operation Deadstick and the glider which he landed in can be seen under the trees. 

Related article: 80th Anniversary of D-Day commemorated by The Royal Mint

Above: The British soldier is shown in front of Pegasus Bridge after the successful completion of Operation Deadstick

The third coin shows American officer James, a member of the 1st infantry division who landed on Omaha Beach. He is shown in front of the beach at the end of the day, the background shows bunkers and numerous barges and ships offshore that provided support for the beachhead. 

The fourth and final coin shows Fred, a lieutenant with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, was a member of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division and landed on Juno Beach. Fred can be seen in front of the beach, where there is a Churchill AVRE tank, 2 soldiers from his unit hold the Canadian flag of the time and a traditional house from the Côte de Nacre landscape is also depicted. 

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Above: The US Soldier is shown on Omaha Beach, nicknamed Bloody Omaha

The other side of these coins shows all the Allied countries that officially took part in the Normandy landings via land, sea and air. The stars that can be seen under the flags are a tribute to the ‘Road to Freedom’, the milestones marking the route taken by the 3rd American Army to liberate France as far as Luxembourg. 

The coins can be purchased from Monnaie de Paris, with prices starting at €7.60

Above: The Canadian soldier is shown on Juno Beach

Related article: New 50p coin marks VE Day anniversary

About D-Day

D-Day, code-named Operation Overlord, was the culmination in the co-ordinated efforts of 12 nations, commanded by General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Set to take place on the sloping beaches of Normandy on 5th June 1944, it was delayed by 24 hours due to bad weather over the English Channel. 

Above: The other side of the coin shows all the Allied countries that took part in D-Day

Just after midnight on 6th June 1944, Allied troops began dropping behind enemy lines, their aim was to blow up bridges, sabotage railways and take other measures to ensure enemy reinforcements from rushing to the beaches. The landing zone was separated into 5 beaches, with American forces landing on Utah and Omaha, whilst British and Canadian Forces landed at Gold, Juno and Sword Beaches. Omaha saw the fiercest fighting and though the Americans had taken Omaha Beach by midday, more than 7% of their number was lost.