Wednesday 13 June
We have been in talks with Gary on the phone and have agreed access to his Maisy site and to film some excavation work there with a digger.
Today James and I go to meet Dr Simon Trew, deputy head of war studies at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and the editor of the Battlezone D-Day book series. We discuss the programme and some of the angles that we should focus on. Simon says a new emphasis is on the Rangers at Omaha itself and how they turned the day. The arrival of this intact batallion of 500 plus men on the beach, diverted from Pointe du Hoc, came at a pivotal moment and helped turn near disaster to victory.
It is a nice irony that this group of men effectively ended up in the wrong place at the right time. James likes this angle because it puts people at the heart of our story – and he wants this to be a film driven by human stories rather than military discussion.
Simon is a great find – highly knowledgeable yet also young, enthusiastic and full of energy. This must come partly from years spent taking young Sandhurst cadets on battlefield tour guides. We ask him to be the main historian for the programme and as part of this he will conduct a peer review on Maisy.