A Letter From The Publisher: May 28, 1984

Frederick Painton, the Paris-based senior writer who worked on this week's cover stories marking the 40th anniversary of Dday, got his first glimpse of France in June 1945. Painton, then an 18-year-old private first class, eventually wound up in Germany as part of an intelligence unit, where he edited rambling interrogation reports on high-ranking German prisoners. "I found my year of occupation duty unpleasant," says Painton. "I still retain a sense of shock at the spectacle of a broken, defeated nation."

For his story on the Normandy battlefield, Painton crisscrossed the 60-mile stretch...

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