Trudeau arrives in the United Kingdom for start of D-Day commemorations

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in the United Kingdom with U.S. President Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Theresa May and other world leaders to begin two days of commemorations for the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

It was exactly 75 years ago today that thousands of Canadian, American and British soldiers loaded into ships in the city of Portsmouth for the fateful assault on Nazi-occupied France on June 6, 1944.

The assault on the beaches of Normandy, the largest seaborne invasion in history, marked a major turning point in the Second World War and spelled the beginning of the end of Nazi rule in Europe.

But the battle came at a heavy cost: 359 Canadians were killed and another 715 wounded or captured on D-Day, while more than 5,000 would die in fierce fighting over the next two months.

In a ceremony today in Portsmouth, from which the invasion was launched, Trudeau and the other leaders will remember the bravery and sacrifice of those who fought on D-Day.

They will then head to France on Thursday to mark the actual anniversary of the invasion, when Allied soldiers braved German mines and gunfire to begin the liberation of Europe.