6:00 p.m. Screening | 7:00 p.m. Panel Presentation
The mortal ferocity of the four-day battle for control of the small stone bridge over the Merderet River at La Fière in Normandy is testament to the bridge’s strategic importance in the D-Day invasion of June 1944. Without control of the bridge and its vital causeway, American forces coming from Utah Beach would not have been able to force their way inland.
Fought largely by paratroopers and glidermen from the 82nd Airborne Division, the battle to secure the bridge at La Fière is described as “probably the bloodiest small unit struggle in the experience of American arms.” Victory at La Fière cost more than 250 American lives, and yet the fateful engagement’s story is largely untold.
Capturing the La Fière story for the first time in documentary form, the production calls on military historian Colonel Kevin W. Farrell, PhD, and Executive Director of the Museum’s Institute for the Study of War and Democracy and Samuel Zemurray Stone Senior Historian Robert M. Citino, PhD, as on-camera analysts. The film also draws on historic and contemporary images and footage of the battle scene, as well as eyewitness accounts by WWII veterans who fought there. Mark Harmon (NCIS, The West Wing, Chicago Hope) serves as narrator.
The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Tessa Jagger and Seth Paridon of The National WWII Museum, and Christina Melton, Deputy Director of Louisiana Public Broadcasting.
Presented by the Louisiana Department of Economic Development in partnership with The National WWII Museum and Louisiana Public Broadcasting.