On June 6, 1944, Allied soldiers descended on the beaches of Normandy for D-Day, an operation that turned the tide of the Second World War against the Nazis, marking the beginning of the end of the conflict.

Today, as many around the world prepare to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the landings, pictures of tourists soaking up the sun on Normandy's beaches stand in stark contrast to images taken around the time of the invasion.

Reuters photographer Chris Helgren compiled archive pictures taken during the invasion and went back to the same places to photograph them as they appear today.

June 5, 1944: The 2nd Battalion US Army Rangers march to their landing craft in Weymouth, England. They were tasked with capturing the German heavy coastal defence battery at Pointe du Hoc to the west of the D-Day landing zone of Omaha Beach
June 5, 1944: The 2nd Battalion US Army Rangers march to their landing craft in Weymouth, England. They were tasked with capturing the German heavy coastal defence battery at Pointe du Hoc to the west of the D-Day landing zone of Omaha BeachReuters
Tourists walk along the beach-front in the Dorset holiday town of Weymouth. The port was the departure point for thousands of Allied troops who took part in the D-Day landings
Tourists walk along the beach-front in the Dorset holiday town of Weymouth. The port was the departure point for thousands of Allied troops who took part in the D-Day landingsReuters
June 6, 1944: US reinforcements land on Omaha beach during the Normandy D-Day landings near Vierville sur Mer, France
June 6, 1944: US reinforcements land on Omaha beach during the Normandy D-Day landings near Vierville sur Mer, FranceReuters
Holidaymakers enjoy the sunshine on the former D-Day landing zone of Omaha beach near Vierville sur Mer, France
Holidaymakers enjoy the sunshine on the former D-Day landing zone of Omaha beach near Vierville sur Mer, FranceReuters
June 6, 1944: Members of an American landing party assist troops whose landing craft was sunk by enemy fire off Omaha beach, near Colleville sur Mer, France
June 6, 1944: Members of an American landing party assist troops whose landing craft was sunk by enemy fire off Omaha beach, near Colleville sur Mer, FranceReuters
A tourist carries a bucket and spade to her child on the former D-Day landing zone of Omaha beach, near Colleville sur Mer, France
A tourist carries a bucket and spade to her child on the former D-Day landing zone of Omaha beach, near Colleville sur Mer, FranceReuters
June 6, 1944: US Army soldiers of the 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, move out over the seawall on Utah Beach after coming ashore in front of a concrete wall near La Madeleine, France
June 6, 1944: US Army soldiers of the 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, move out over the seawall on Utah Beach after coming ashore in front of a concrete wall near La Madeleine, FranceReuters
Children walk over the remains of a concrete wall on the former Utah Beach D-Day landing zone near La Madeleine, France
Children walk over the remains of a concrete wall on the former Utah Beach D-Day landing zone near La Madeleine, FranceReuters
June 6, 1944: A Cromwell tank leads a British Army column from the 4th County of London Yeomanry, 7th Armoured Division, after landing on Gold Beach on D-Day in Ver-sur-Mer, France
June 6, 1944: A Cromwell tank leads a British Army column from the 4th County of London Yeomanry, 7th Armoured Division, after landing on Gold Beach on D-Day in Ver-sur-Mer, FranceReuters
A couple walk inland from the former D-Day landing zone of Gold Beach where British forces came ashore in 1944, in Ver-sur-Mer, France
A couple walk inland from the former D-Day landing zone of Gold Beach where British forces came ashore in 1944, in Ver-sur-Mer, FranceReuters
June 194: A crashed US fighter plane is seen on the waterfront some time after Canadian forces came ashore on a Juno Beach D-Day landing zone in Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer, France
June 194: A crashed US fighter plane is seen on the waterfront some time after Canadian forces came ashore on a Juno Beach D-Day landing zone in Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer, FranceReuters
Tourists enjoy the sunshine on the former Juno Beach D-Day landing zone, where Canadian forces came ashore, in Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer, France
Tourists enjoy the sunshine on the former Juno Beach D-Day landing zone, where Canadian forces came ashore, in Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer, FranceReuters
June 6, 1944: US Army troops make a battle plan in a farmyard amid cattle, killed by artillery bursts, near the D-Day landing zone of Utah Beach in Les Dunes de Varreville, France
June 6, 1944: US Army troops make a battle plan in a farmyard amid cattle, killed by artillery bursts, near the D-Day landing zone of Utah Beach in Les Dunes de Varreville, FranceReuters
Farmer Raymond Bertot, who was 19 when allied troops came ashore in 1944, poses on his property near the former D-Day landing zone of Utah Beach in Les Dunes de Varreville, France
Farmer Raymond Bertot, who was 19 when allied troops came ashore in 1944, poses on his property near the former D-Day landing zone of Utah Beach in Les Dunes de Varreville, FranceReuters
June 7, 1944: US Army troops congregate around a signal post used by engineers on the site of a captured German bunker overlooking Omaha Beach after the D-Day landings near Saint Laurent sur Mer
June 7, 1944: US Army troops congregate around a signal post used by engineers on the site of a captured German bunker overlooking Omaha Beach after the D-Day landings near Saint Laurent sur MerReuters
Tourists walk past a former German bunker overlooking the D-Day landing zone on Omaha Beach near Saint Laurent sur Mer, France
Tourists walk past a former German bunker overlooking the D-Day landing zone on Omaha Beach near Saint Laurent sur Mer, FranceReuters
June 18, 1944: US Army reinforcements march up a hill past a German bunker overlooking Omaha Beach after the D-Day landings near Colleville sur Mer, France
June 18, 1944: US Army reinforcements march up a hill past a German bunker overlooking Omaha Beach after the D-Day landings near Colleville sur Mer, FranceReuters
Youths hike up a hill past an old German bunker overlooking the former D-Day landing zone of Omaha Beach near Colleville sur Mer, France
Youths hike up a hill past an old German bunker overlooking the former D-Day landing zone of Omaha Beach near Colleville sur Mer, FranceReuters
June 8, 1944: A US flag lies as a marker on a destroyed bunker two days after the strategic site overlooking D-Day beaches was captured by US Army Rangers at Pointe du Hoc, France
June 8, 1944: A US flag lies as a marker on a destroyed bunker two days after the strategic site overlooking D-Day beaches was captured by US Army Rangers at Pointe du Hoc, FranceReuters
An Italian tourist views a bunker at a strategic site overlooking the D-Day beaches which had been captured by US Army Rangers at Pointe du Hoc, France
An Italian tourist views a bunker at a strategic site overlooking the D-Day beaches which had been captured by US Army Rangers at Pointe du Hoc, FranceReuters
July 1944: Canadian troops patrol along the destroyed Rue Saint-Pierre after German forces were dislodged from Caen
July 1944: Canadian troops patrol along the destroyed Rue Saint-Pierre after German forces were dislodged from CaenReuters
Shoppers walk along the rebuilt Rue Saint-Pierre in Caen, which was destroyed following the D-Day landings
Shoppers walk along the rebuilt Rue Saint-Pierre in Caen, which was destroyed following the D-Day landingsReuters
June 15, 1944: The body of a dead German soldier lies in the main square of Place Du Marche in Trevieres after the town was taken by US troops who landed at nearby Omaha Beach
June 15, 1944: The body of a dead German soldier lies in the main square of Place Du Marche in Trevieres after the town was taken by US troops who landed at nearby Omaha BeachReuters
Tourists walk across the main square of Place Du Marche in Trevieres, near the former D-Day landing zone of Omaha Beach
Tourists walk across the main square of Place Du Marche in Trevieres, near the former D-Day landing zone of Omaha BeachReuters
June 6, 1944: US Army paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division drive a captured German Kubelwagen at the junction of Rue Holgate and RN13 in Carentan, France
June 6, 1944: US Army paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division drive a captured German Kubelwagen at the junction of Rue Holgate and RN13 in Carentan, FranceReuters
Girls run across the street at the junction of Rue Holgate and RN13 in the Normandy town of Carentan, France
Girls run across the street at the junction of Rue Holgate and RN13 in the Normandy town of Carentan, FranceReuters
June 6, 1944: German prisoners-of-war march along Juno Beach landing area to a ship taking them to England, after they were captured by Canadian troops at Bernieres Sur Mer, France
June 6, 1944: German prisoners-of-war march along Juno Beach landing area to a ship taking them to England, after they were captured by Canadian troops at Bernieres Sur Mer, FranceReuters
A tourist sunbathes on a former Juno Beach landing area where Canadian troops came ashore on D-Day at Bernieres Sur Mer, France
A tourist sunbathes on a former Juno Beach landing area where Canadian troops came ashore on D-Day at Bernieres Sur Mer, FranceReuters
August 21, 1944: German prisoners of war captured after the D-Day landings in Normandy are guarded by US troops at a camp in Nonant-le-Pin, France
August 21, 1944: German prisoners of war captured after the D-Day landings in Normandy are guarded by US troops at a camp in Nonant-le-Pin, FranceReuters
A farm field remains where German prisoners of war were interned following the D-Day landings in Nonant-le-Pin, Normandy
A farm field remains where German prisoners of war were interned following the D-Day landings in Nonant-le-Pin, NormandyReuters