D-Day and the Liberation of Europe


On 6 June 1944 Allied forces – principally from Britain, Canada and the United States – landed on the beaches of Normandy. This vast seaborne invasion had been meticulously planned, but success was far from guaranteed: German forces were well prepared for the invasion, and much depended on the vagaries of the weather in the English Channel. The subsequent battle for Normandy would last until late August, when allied forces finally broke out towards Paris.

This event marks the 80th anniversary of the Allied landings and the beginning of the liberation of Europe from Nazi rule.

We will look at how this feat of arms was achieved, focusing on aspects such as intelligence operations and relations between the allied powers. We will also look at what liberation meant for the peoples of occupied Europe, who had experienced four years of Nazi rule, alongside both armed resistance and collaboration with the occupying forces.

Please note: this event will close to enrolments at 23:59 BST on 5 June 2024.

Programme details

Registration at Rewley House reception (for in-person attendees)

From D-Day to the Falaise pocket: military victory in Normandy, 1944
Gary Sheffield

Tea/coffee break

Support from the shadows: intelligence and D-Day
Sarah-Louise Miller

Lunch break

Special relationship? Anglo-American relations and operation OVERLORD
Andrew Stewart

Tea/coffee break

The long-awaited moment: the liberation of Belgium, September 1944
Martin Conway

End of day


Description Costs
Course Fee - in-person attendance (includes tea/coffee) £99.00
Course Fee - virtual attendance £90.00
Baguette Lunch £6.50
Hot Lunch (3 courses) £17.60


If you are in receipt of a UK state benefit or are a full-time student in the UK you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.

Concessionary fees for short courses


Prof Gary Sheffield


Gary Sheffield is Visiting Professor in Defence Studies at King’s College London, and Emeritus Professor at the University of Wolverhampton. He has published widely on military history, especially of the two world wars. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, The Royal Society of Arts, and the Army Historical Society, and the President of the Western Front Association. Sheffield is currently writing Civilian Armies: The Experience of British and Dominion Soldiers in the Two World Wars for Yale University Press. 

Dr Sarah Miller


Dr Sarah-Louise Miller is a historian of war and conflict, specialising in the Second World War and the use of military intelligence. She is currently a visiting scholar at the University of Oxford’s Faculty of History, and is a member of Kellogg College, Oxford. She is also a full-time lecturer in the Defence Studies Department at King’s College London. Sarah writes widely on intelligence and the Second World War, and appears regularly on British television, having featured on various history documentaries for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky History.

Prof Andrew Stewart


Having spent nearly twenty years in King’s College London’s Defence Studies Department, including three years seconded as Director of Academic Studies at the Royal College of Defence Studies, in 2020 Andrew Stewart moved to the Australian National University as Professor of War Studies. Now an honorary professor, in March 2023 he joined the faculty of the Royal Danish Defence College based in Copenhagen in the Institute for Military Operations.

Dr Martin Conway


Martin Conway is Professor of Contemporary European History at the University of Oxford, and a fellow of Balliol College. He has long had an interest in Belgian history, and his study of the liberation period in Belgium, The Sorrows of Belgium: Liberation and Political Reconstruction, 1944–1947, was published in 2012. His most recent book is Western Europe’s Democratic Age 1945-68 (Princeton University Press, 2020).


Please use the 'Book' button on this page. Alternatively, please contact us to obtain an application form. 


Accommodation is not included in the price, but if you wish to stay with us the night before the course, then please contact our Residential Centre.

Accommodation in Rewley House - all bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished and each room has tea and coffee making facilities, Freeview television, and Free WiFi and private bath or shower rooms.  Please contact our Residential Centre on +44 (0) 1865 270362 or email res-ctr@conted.ox.ac.uk for details of availability and discounted prices.

IT requirements

For those joining us online

We will be using Zoom for the livestreaming of this event. If you’re attending online, you’ll be able to see and hear the speakers, and to submit questions via the Zoom interface. Joining instructions will be sent out prior to the start date. We recommend that you join the session at least 10-15 minutes prior to the start time – just as you might arrive a bit early at our lecture theatre for an in-person event.

Please note that this course will not be recorded.