engaged a professional guide to give us a tour of the Normandy
beaches associated with D-Day. What we saw was both
eye-opening and humbling. Many men lost their lives in
those first day of the invasion that was the precursor to the
fall of the Nazi empire.
The photos below are what we saw.
famous church at St. Mer Eglaise. There was a museum
near-by that was filled with relics from the era.
The invasion resulted in plenty of damaged or abandoned
An M-1 Sherman tank
which was a poor match against the German Panzer with their
tanks were of WWI design and lacked the anti-tank gun that made
the Panzer so effective on the battlefield.
American anti-aircraft gun.
propeller geared hub from a crashed C-47.
mock-up of some of the typical uniforms and equipment "kit" from
radial power plant.
museum, we traveled in the guide's van to Utah beach where we
spotted the German command bunker above. The bunker had
been converted to civilian use.
Utah beach itself was
nice and flat and made for a successful landing. Happily
for the Allied forces, it was not heavily defended, unlike
stopped at a local museum for lunch and spotted this German
soldier's helmet. He did not have a good day. There
was a large exit hole on the other side of the helmet.
museum had some interesting displays and the owner's own
personal collection of artifacts.
stop was Pont du Hoc where we spotted this 1917 vintage 155mm
shore gun. Rommel had most of these guns removed from this
area before the Allies attacked. These guns were quite
accurate for their day.
the German fortifications at Pont du Hoc that was damaged during
the pre-attack shelling and bombing.
155mm gun would have been on a mount inside this concrete
personnel bunker at Pont du Hoc.
American Ranger battalion attacked by climbing up these cliffs.
crater left over from one of the many naval shellings of Pont du
Ranger assault came up the cliff in the area where matting has
group inspects the targeting bunker at Pont du Hoc.
group checks out the observation port that allowed targeting of
the shore batteries.
A direct strike by a 1,000 bomb.
Pont du Hoc, we got in the van and went to Omaha Beach.
Omaha is a narrow beach at high tide and the Germans had a
number of gun emplacements that provided defensive
strength. The Allies encountered many problems and made
many mistakes at Omaha. This, combined with the strength
of the German defensive position resulted in a very high
casualty rate. This is a machine gun emplacement on one of
the only beach exit point at Omaha Beach.
the pontoon bridges that allowed rapid construction of an
artifical harbor and road to allow dockage of supply ships at
this monument is a German 88mm gun that was used to shoot the
attacking forces. This gun had a clear line of fire along
the entire beach. The muzzle of the gun is visible behind
Beach today is, not surprisingly, a tourist atttraction.
Most of the beach has a road over it as well as a rock
seawall. This is, of course, not anything like what the
Allied Expeditionary Force saw when it went ashore under intense
generation "tank killer" with an effective anti-tank cannon.
Omaha, we went to the American Cemetary. Above is one of
the monuments at the cemetary.
in the monument shows the path of the D-Day invasion
forces. The 3 arrows at the lower left were Juno, Sword
and Gold Beaches. The center was Omaha and thet right
view of the statue at the monument.
were over 9,000 Americans killed and interred at the cemetary.
every soldier interred was identified.
a lot of headstones.
the wind was blowing at me resulting in a less than optimal flag
reflecting pool at the American Cemetary.
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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2013,
all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.