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Published on Jun 5, 2014
As survivors of the Allied bombings of Caen recall the devastating raids that reduced the city to rubble, French resentment persists over the operation to "flatten" towns and villages in the battle for Normandy in which 20,000 civilians died.
While thousands of veterans gather in Normandy to honour their fallen comrades, France will begin the 70th anniversary of D-Day remembering the civilian casualties of what some regard as "criminal" Allied bombing raids.
Some French locals still have "a problem" with the actions of the British, who were referred to as "bastards" by some shortly after devastating RAF raids on the city of Caen and other Norman towns and villages.
On Friday, president François Hollande will kick off what is likely the last major D Day anniversary for most veterans with a national ceremony -- the first of its kind -- to honour the 20,000 French civilians who died in the battle for Normandy.
It will be held in Caen, which the French call "a city martyred for peace" because of the terrible damage and loss of civilian life wreaked by massive British and American bombardment.
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