Passports please! British paratroopers met by French customs after D-Day airdrop

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British paratroopers recreating an airdrop behind German defences to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day were met by French customs officials at a makeshift border checkpost.

Moments after the paratroopers had hit the ground and gathered up their chutes, they formed an orderly queue and handed over their passports for inspection by waiting French customs officials in a Normandy field.

Some 320 British, Belgian and US paratroopers took part in the jump on Wednesday to recreate the events of June 6, 1944.

"It is something we haven’t experienced before," Brigadier Mark Berry, the British paratroopers' commander, was quoted by the Sun newspaper as saying.

"But given the royal welcome we have had from every other feature, it seems like a very small price to pay for coming to France," he added.

Since Britain left the European Union, its citizens no longer have the right to move freely within the bloc and face stricter immigration checks.

The British paratroopers jumped out of three A400M military aircraft over Sannerville, mirroring the airdrop made eight decades earlier out of RAF Dakota aircraft. Military aircraft from the United States and Belgium followed in formation.

Early on June 6, 1944, thousands of Allied airborne forces parachuted into drop zones along the Normandy coast. Ground troops then landed along five assault beaches.

The paratroopers landed behind German lines, tasked with disrupting German defences, capturing strategic bridges and establishing defensive positions. They faced navigational challenges in the dark and some came under intense enemy fire.

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