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This apparently tranquil spot in south Devon was involved in one of the biggest disasters in the Second World War. This area was used as a rehearsal for the D-Day landings, as it resembles part of the Normandy coast. There were tragic results. Over 900 American servicemen were killed out of some 30,000 who participated in the rehearsal for the D-Day landings at Utah Beach. Over 600 were lost at sea following an attack by German E-boats, while more than 300 were killed on the beach and just inland from so-called friendly fire.

 

Arromanches-les-Bains, Normandy. The coastal town is in the heart of the area where the Normandy landings took place on D-Day, on 6 June 1944.

 

Godersi il sole ad Arromanches-les-Bains, Normandia, uno dei principali siti del D-Day, 6 giugno 1944.

The Dolphins are the last remains of the pier head used to load ships departing for Normandy on 6th June 1944 for the D-Day landings. There is another just out of shot.

 

The beach hardening mats which resemble huge bars or chocolate, were help held in place by a series of iron hooks. They were laid out to strengthen the beach enough to take the weight of the tanks and other vehicles being driven onto landing craft

ⓒRebecca Bugge, All Rights Reserved

Do not use without permission.

 

The Romanesque church of Notre-Dame de l'Assomption (Our Lady of the Assumption - referring to the Catholic idea of the assumption of the Virgin Mary, that is that she was taken to Heaven alive after her life here on Earth) in Colleville. The church was built in the 12th and 13th century and became a historical monument in 1840.

 

The church suffered heavy damages in the Normandy landings in 1944 when seven German soldiers sat there giving coordinates to the German batteries at the coast - the tower was just a pile of rubble after the war. The church was rebuilt 1946-1951, to look like it had done before the war.

ⓒRebecca Bugge, All Rights Reserved

Do not use without permission.

 

Known as Utah Beach during the Normandy landings on June 6 1944 (D-Day) - by the village of La Madeleine.

If you ever saw the movie the Longest Day, the story of the D-Day landings in Normandy in World War 2, you will remember the American parachutist that got caught on one of the spires of a church. Well this is it and they still commemorate the soldier, John Steele, with a model of him hanging there. He was captured by the Germans when daylight came but amazingly escaped, rejoined his unit, and survived the war.

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sainte-Mère-Église

Site of the US First Division landings on D-Day June 1944.

The rainbow appeared as we waited for the rain to clear (three image pano). And the sand is that amazing orange colour.

 

Normandie, March 2015

First b&w roll with the diana (actually first b&b roll that I didnt fuck up because i hav'nt read the manual before ;-).

If youd like an advice, the P pause on the diana is really only for stenope, and nothing else, now Im aware )

 

3 june edit : Ive just learnt that that was the place where Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy will take off saturday 6 june for the 65th Anniversary of the Normandy Landings. Poor dandelions, and no bike for us on saturday

ⓒRebecca Bugge, All Rights Reserved

Do not use without permission.

 

Details from the Romanesque church of Notre-Dame de l'Assomption (Our Lady of the Assumption - referring to the Catholic idea of the assumption of the Virgin Mary, that is that she was taken to Heaven alive after her life here on Earth) in Colleville. The church was built in the 12th and 13th century and became a historical monument in 1840.

 

The church suffered heavy damages in the Normandy landings in 1944 when seven German soldiers sat there giving coordinates to the German batteries at the coast - the tower was just a pile of rubble after the war. The church was rebuilt 1946-1951, to look like it had done before the war.

ⓒRebecca Bugge, All Rights Reserved

Do not use without permission.

 

The Romanesque church of Notre-Dame de l'Assomption (Our Lady of the Assumption - referring to the Catholic idea of the assumption of the Virgin Mary, that is that she was taken to Heaven alive after her life here on Earth) in Colleville. The church was built in the 12th and 13th century and became a historical monument in 1840. The church suffered heavy damages on the Normandy landings in 1944 when seven German soldiers sat there giving coordinates to the German batteries at the coast - the tower was just a pile of rubble after the war. The church was rebuilt 1946-1951, to look like it had done before the war.

- Omaha, Gold, Juno et Sword sont avec Utah Beach les 5 plages du Débarquement. Alors que les troupes américaines débarquent à Utah et Omaha Beach, les Britanniques se concentrent sur Sword et Gold Beach et les Canadiens posent le pied sur le sol Normand à Juno Beach.

Cette plage a été voulue par le général anglais Bernard Montgomery qui souhaitait que soit établie une tête de pont directement dans le Cotentin, afin que la capture de Cherbourg et de son port en eau profonde soit plus rapide.

6 juin 1944 – 6h30

 

- Utah Beach, Landing Beach.

Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword are with Utah Beach the 5 beaches of the D-Day. While US troops land in Utah and Omaha Beach, the British focus on Sword and Gold Beach and Canadians set foot on Norman soil in Juno Beach.

This beach was wanted by the English General Bernard Montgomery who wanted a bridgehead set up directly in the Cotentin, so that the capture of Cherbourg and its deep-water port is faster.

June 6, 1944 – 6:30 am

 

Website | Twitter | Google+ | Join me on Facebook here WW2 Concrete barges resting in the River Thames Essex/London

 

The number of participants at the Normandy landings ;

 

Omaha beach (American)

34.250

Utah beach (American)

23.250

Gold beach (Brittain)

24.970

Juno beach (Canada)

21.400

Sword beach (Brittain)

28.845

  

The town lies along the stretch of coastline designated as Gold Beach during the D-Day landings , one of the beaches used by British troops in the Allied invasion. Arromanches was selected as one of the sites for two Mulberry Harbours built on the Normandy coast, the other one built further West at Omaha Beach. Sections of the Mulberry Harbour at Arromanches still remain today with huge concrete blocks sitting on the sand, and more can be seen further out at sea.

Today Arromanches is mainly a tourist town. Situated in a good location for visiting all of the battle sites and War Cemeteries, there is also a museum at Arromanches with information about Operation Overlord and in particular, the Mulberry harbours.

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arromanches-les-Bains

this plane is now in the colors of the Israeli Army (desert camo).....but the plane has history with the Normandy D-Day landings.....they are going to repaint it in the Normandy colors, as the final part of the restoration.....the Israeli Army wouldn't disclose any of the plane's history while it was in their possession ( imagine that..)

One of the honeycomb paving slabs which were laid to re-enforce the beach at Lepe to assist in the loading of heavy vehicles for the D-Day landings in Normandy. The iron structures known as the dolphins are the remains of the jetty and make a great focal point and a permanent reminder of a momentous date in history.

ⓒRebecca Bugge, All Rights Reserved

Do not use without permission.

 

Inside the Romanesque church of Notre-Dame de l'Assomption (Our Lady of the Assumption - referring to the Catholic idea of the assumption of the Virgin Mary, that is that she was taken to Heaven alive after her life here on Earth) in Colleville. The church was built in the 12th and 13th century and became a historical monument in 1840.

 

The church suffered heavy damages in the Normandy landings in 1944 when seven German soldiers sat there giving coordinates to the German batteries at the coast - the tower was just a pile of rubble after the war. The church was rebuilt 1946-1951, to look like it had done before the war.

Nash is a World War II U.S. Army Large Tug (LT) class seagoing tugboat built as hull #298 at Jakobson Shipyard, Oyster Bay NY as a Design 271 steel hulled Large Tug delivered November, 1943. Originally named Major Elisha K. Henson (LT-5), in 1946 she was renamed John F. Nash by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Since retirement from the Corps of Engineers, LT-5 has been renamed Major Elisha K. Henson. LT-5 is the last functional U.S. Army vessel that participated in Normandy landings.

Coordinates: 43°27′48.5″N 76°30′56.2″W

Built:1943 Jakobson Shipyard, Oyster Bay NY

Architect:Cox & Stevens

Governing body:H. Lee White Marine Museum

NRHP Reference#:91002059

Two guys, having fun on the beach in Arromanches / Normandy. The dark elements in the background are part of the "Mulberry Habour", a floating harbour, towed over from Britain in separate elements to support the allied landings in 1944.

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mulberry_harbour

"Mulberry harbours were temporary portable harbours developed by the British during World War II to facilitate the rapid offloading of cargo onto beaches during the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944. After the Allies successfully held beachheads following D-Day, two prefabricated harbours were taken in sections across the English Channel from Britain with the invading army and assembled off Omaha (Mulberry "A") and Gold Beach (Mulberry "B").[1][2]"

...

  

~ Ernest Hemingway, American novelist and short-story writer, Won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954, 1899-1961)

 

Henry is an incredibly cute Barn Owl and resides at the Avian Reconditioning Center in Apopka.

He was the star attraction at the annual Owl Fest :)

Please view him in the largest size ~

 

Ernest Hemingway ~

 

Wikipedia

 

Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) was an American author and journalist. His economical and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He published seven novels, six short story collections and two non-fiction works. Three novels, four collections of short stories and three non-fiction works were published posthumously. Many of these are considered classics of American literature.

 

Hemingway was raised in Oak Park, Illinois. After high school he reported for a few months for The Kansas City Star, before leaving for the Italian front to enlist with the World War I ambulance drivers. In 1918, he was seriously wounded and returned home. His wartime experiences formed the basis for his novel A Farewell to Arms. In 1922, he married Hadley Richardson, the first of his four wives. The couple moved to Paris, where he worked as a foreign correspondent, and fell under the influence of the modernist writers and artists of the 1920s "Lost Generation" expatriate community. The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway's first novel, was published in 1926.

 

After his 1927 divorce from Hadley Richardson, Hemingway married Pauline Pfeiffer. They divorced after he returned from the Spanish Civil War where he had acted as a journalist, and after which he wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls. Martha Gellhorn became his third wife in 1940. They separated when he met Mary Welsh in London during World War II; during which he was present at the Normandy Landings and liberation of Paris.

 

Shortly after the publication of The Old Man and the Sea in 1952, Hemingway went on safari to Africa, where he was almost killed in a plane crash that left him in pain or ill-health for much of the rest of his life. Hemingway had permanent residences in Key West, Florida, and Cuba during the 1930s and 1940s, but in 1959 he moved from Cuba to Ketchum, Idaho, where he committed suicide in the summer of 1961.

 

A peaceful scene at Carentan Lock, on the Douve river in Normandy, north France. During World War II, this area was the scene of fierce fighting during the Normandy landings, code name 'Operation Overlord'. Following the landings at Omaha and Utah beaches, only a mile from Carentan, one of the bloodiest engagements occurred, which came to be known as 'The Battle of Bloody Gulch'. The German 17th SS Panzergrenadier with the 6th Fallschamjager (paratroops) regiments fought regiments of the U.S. 101st Airborne division for control of the rivers, roads and bridges around Carentan.

Nowadays it's hard to imagine such a tranquil area, being the scene of such carnage and bloodshed.

This was taken from the Plymouth (Devon side) looking towards Saltash (Cornwall side). The two bridges to the right are the Royal Albert rail bridge (completed in 1859) & behind it is the Tamar road bridge (completed in 1961) that links Devon & Cornwall. Very near to this spot is where the embarkation of US soldiers for the 1944 “D-Day” landings in Normandy took place.

Département Calvados, Basse-Normandie, France

 

D-Day June 6th, 1944

the day of the Normandy landing initiating the Western Allied effort to liberate mainland Europe from Nazi occupation during World War II.

@Wikipedia

The Plane has been specially painted with D-Day invasion stripes. The purpose was to increase recognition by friendly forces during and after the Normandy Landings.

For more infos pls. visit Wikipedia

AIR14, Switzerland

on Omaha Beach / Normandy. In front: the sculpture "Les Braves" by Anilore Banon. It was created to commemorate the D-Day landings in 1944.

Paddle Steamer Ryde aka Ryde Queen, built in 1937 and now rusting away on a mud bank on the Isle of Wight.

 

She used to operate between Portsmouth and Ryde.

 

www.paddlesteamers.info/Ryde.htm

 

RYDE QUEEN was built for the Southern Railway Co. for the ferry service between Portsmouth and Ryde on the Isle of Wight.

 

During the Second World War she served as a minesweeper. In 1942, RYDE was converted into an anti-aircraft vessel and took part in the Normandy Landings of June 1944. She returned to passenger service in 1945. Withdrawn from service in 1970, she opened as a restaurant/pub in Binfield in 1972. December 2006 saw her lying ashore on the River Medina, Isle of Wight, in poor condition with her funnel collapsed.

La pointe du Hoc (IPA : /pwε̃t dy ɔk/) est une petite avancée de la côte normande dans la Manche, située dans le Calvados. Elle surplombe une falaise de 25 à 30 mètres de haut avec une plage de galets d'une dizaine de mètres de large à ses pieds. La pointe se trouve sur la commune de Cricqueville-en-Bessin.

Elle fut le théâtre d'une des opérations du débarquement allié en Normandie le 6 juin 1944. Située entre les plages de Utah Beach (à l’ouest) et Omaha Beach (à l'est), la pointe avait été fortifiée par les Nazis et, selon les reconnaissances aériennes alliées était équipée de pièces d'artilleries lourdes dont la portée menaçait les deux plages voisines. Il avait été jugé primordial, pour la réussite du débarquement, que les pièces d'artilleries soient mises hors-services le plus rapidement possible.

Cette mission fut confiée au 2e bataillon de Rangers américain qui réussit à prendre le contrôle du site au prix de lourdes pertes. Par la suite, les pièces d'artillerie se révèleront avoir été déplacées par les Allemands peu de temps auparavant et installées 1,5 km en arrière, à l'intérieur des terres.

 

Point du Hoc (IPA: / pwεt ɔk dy /) is a small step on the Normandy coast English Channel, situated in the Calvados. It overlooks a cliff 25 to 30 meters high with a pebble beach of about ten meters wide at its feet. The tip is on the Common Cricqueville-en-Bessin.

It was the scene of one of the Allied landings in Normandy on 6 June 1944. Located between the beaches of Utah Beach (west) and Omaha Beach (east), the tip had been fortified by the Nazis and, according to the reconnaissance Allied Air was equipped with heavy artillery including the scope threatened two nearby beaches. It was considered essential for successful landing, that the guns are taken out of service, most quickly as possible.

This mission was assigned to 2nd Battalion American Rangers who managed to take control of the site with heavy losses. Subsequently, parts artillery will prove to have been displaced by the Germans shortly ago and installed 1.5 kilometers back to the inland.

 

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On the dunes of Utah beach in Normandy, France. This is a monument to the D-Day landings

Ode of Remembrance

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  

The "Ode of Remembrance" is an ode taken from Laurence Binyon's poem, "For the Fallen", which was first published in The Times in September 1914.

  

'For The Fallen' plaque with The Rumps promontory beyond

The poet wrote For the Fallen, which has seven stanzas, while sitting on the cliffs between Pentire Point and The Rumps in north Cornwall, UK. A stone plaque was erected at the spot in 2001 to commemorate the fact. The plaque bears the inscription:

For the Fallen

Composed on these cliffs 1914

There is also a plaque on the beehive monument on the East Cliff above Portreath in central North Cornwall which cites that as the place where Binyon composed the poem. A plaque on a statue dedicated to the fallen in Valleta, Malta is also inscribed with these words.

The poem honoured the World War I British war dead of that time, and in particular the British Expeditionary Force, which by then already had high casualty rates on the developing Western Front. The poem was published when the Battle of the Marne was foremost in people's minds.

  

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.

Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.

They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,

They fell with their faces to the foe.

 

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

We will remember them.

 

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;

They sit no more at familiar tables of home;

They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;

They sleep beyond England's foam

 

The phrase Lest we forget is often added as a final line at the end of the ode and repeated in response by those listening, especially in Australia. In the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, the final line of the ode, "We will remember them", is repeated in response. In Canada, the last stanza of the above extract has become known as the Act of Remembrance, and the final line is also repeated.

The second line of the fourth stanza, 'Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn', draws upon Enobarbus' description of Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra: 'Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale'.

The "Ode of Remembrance" is regularly recited at memorial services held on days commemorating World War I, such as ANZAC Day, Remembrance Day, and Remembrance Sunday. In Australia's Returned and Services Leagues, and in New Zealand's numerous RSA's, it is read out nightly at 7 p.m., followed by a minute's silence. In Australia and New Zealand it is also part of the Dawn service at 6 a.m. Recitations of the "Ode of Remembrance" are often followed by a playing of the Last Post. In Canadian remembrance services, a French translation is often used along with or instead of the English ode.

The second stanza is also read at the Menin Gate, every evening at 8 p.m., after the first part of the last post. It is mostly read by a British serviceman. The recital is followed by a minute of silence.

View of Omaha Beach, the code name for one of the five sectors of the Allied invasion of German-occupied France in the Normandy landings on 6 June 1944, during World War II. Omaha is located on the coast of Normandy, France, facing the English Channel, and is 5 miles (8 km) long, from east of Sainte-Honorine-des-Pertes to west of Vierville-sur-Mer on the right bank of the Douve River estuary.

 

Landings here were necessary in order to link up the British landings to the east at Gold with the American landing to the west at Utah, thus providing a continuous lodgement on the Normandy coast of the Bay of the Seine.

Shortly after the D-DAY landings, troops pour into Normandy.

 

A lone Canadian is lost from his unit. SSgt. Miller instructs him to ride along with them until Normandy is secure, he does. Here is his diary entry for June 8th, 1944:

 

I got fucking lost in the god-damn forrest. Thank god I found Easy Co. I was instructed to just keep with them until Normandy is a-okay. That seems all right with me! Earlier today we came across a small maybe 13 house village. Outta fucking no where a kraut StuG swings around a corner with a shit fuck of men. Pvt. Benir has a wounded arm from the drop and is basically using one arm. How the hell is he gonna fight? Never mind Benir. Cpl. Lipkins runs along the side of the destroyed home and muzzles down a kraut with his tommy. He saved us. Bloody german tried to flank us, don't know how he got past Pvt. Yost. Yost ran straight into the first home and took out a mortar-man. Didn't even see it coming. Yost quickly yields lefft and takes out a Fallschirmjager. I can't stress enough the importance of that tank being a StuG, as it didn't have an MG42. Pfc. Ellray spotted a MG trying to set up in the second homes' archway. He quickly aims his .30 at him. Knocks him down. Poor luck. A rifleman was in the window. Bastard shot down Ellray. All of us run into the first two homes, taking out the entire squad. We suffered only one casualty. Thank jesus.

 

***Sadly, THIS BUILD IS FINISHED***

Arromanches-les-Bains lies along the stretch of coastline designated as Gold Beach during the D-Day landings , one of the beaches used by British troops in the Allied invasion. Arromanches was selected as one of the sites for two Mulberry Harbours built with pontons on the Normandy coast on june 6th, 1944.

Sections of the Mulberry Harbour at Arromanches still remain today with huge concrete blocks sitting on the sand, and more can be seen further out at sea.

By the end of 11 June, 326,547 troops, 54,186 vehicles and 104,428 tons of supplies had been landed on the beaches.

 

© All rights reserved

Images may not be copied or used in any way without my written permission.

 

Normandy, France.

 

The taking of Pegasus Bridge in the early hours of D-Day was a major triumph for the Allies. The control of Pegasus Bridge gave the Allies the opportunity to disrupt the Germans ability to bring in re-enforcements to the Normandy beaches, especially those that the British and Canadians were landing at – Gold, Juno and Sword. Even the most basic of delays in getting German troops to the beaches would have been important and the capture of the bridge that guarded the main road to Ouistreham and then on to the beaches further west was of great importance to the Allies. Control of the road, also meant that the 6th Airborne Division, that had been dropped to the east of Caen, could be supplied by Allied troops that had landed at Sword Beach. Without any control of this road, the 6th Airborne would have been starved of vital equipment.

 

Another important point is the simple fact that the Allies were landed behind enemy lines. This almost certainly was enough to spread confusion among the German defenders.

The first British troops to land in Normandy during D-Day were the men of D Company, 2nd Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (part of the 6th British Airborne Division) who landed at Ranville-Benouville in the early hours of June 6th. Troops led by Major John Howard – landed by Horsa glider – captured the Caen Canal Bridge, later renamed Pegasus Bridge in honour of the cap badge of the 6th Airborne Division.

 

The bridge was guarded by German machine gun posts but by using gliders, the British landed with a degree of surprise and the bridge was captured with relative ease after a 10 minute fire-fight. Howard had time to set up his defences for the expected German counter-attack which came at 02.10 - about 2 hours after their landing. However, reinforced by paratroopers, Howard and his men were able to resist an attack by the 21st Panzer Division. Control of the bridge - and the nearby Orne Bridge - and the swift taking of the D-Day beaches meant that the 6th Airborne Division could protect the eastern flank of the entire landings.

Dubbed "Project 47" by the Canadian military, the Skink was a Canadian built self-propelled anti-aircraft tank intended to be used with the Normandy landings. Utilizing the Grizzly 1 chassis as the base, the Canadian military designed a new cast turret that could hold 4 (Polish) Polsten 20mm autocannons.

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skink_anti-aircraft_tank

 

Plans to build these, as well as conversion kits for existing Grizzly and Sherman tanks, were quickly superseded by the realization that Allied air forces had achieved air supremacy over Normandy. As a result only three vehicles and eight conversion kits were completed.

 

The single Skink that was shipped to Europe saw action outside of Nijmegen where it's guns were used on German infantry with devastating effect.

 

Reference pics:

www.wwiivehicles.com/canada/tank-medium/grizzly.asp

bcoy1cpb.pacdat.net/Skink_WWII_photos_from_DESIGN_RECORD_...

www.armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBo...

  

Key notes about this build:

 

100% Old Dark Grey

4 x Brickarms Gunmetal M1919 Machine Gun (modified to represent the Polsten autocannons)

1 x Brickarms Gunmetal M203 Grenade Launcher (used to represent the hull mounted .30 cal).

 

Part use credit to Dan Siskind (Brickmania) as much of the side skirt design is from his M3 Grant model.

 

The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial è un impressionante cimitero di guerra situato a Colleville-sur-Mer, in Normandia.

Copre una superficie di 70 ettari donata dalla Francia agi Stati Uniti e ospita 9387 croci bianche di soldati americani deceduti durante le operazioni di sbarco ; sono allineate su una distesa verdeggiante situata davanti alla spiaggia di Omaha , entrata nella storia con il nome di « Bloody Omaha » perché vi fu combattuta la battaglia più drammatica e cruenta dell’operazione .

Durante il mese di giugno sono tanti i reduci che tornano in questo angolo di Normandia ; si mescolano a giornalisti, studiosi, curiosi, collezionisti, esperti di cose militari , semplici turisti ; hanno aria impettita, medaglie ed occhi lucidi, mostrine colorate sul bavero; qualcuno indossa la consunta divisa d’epoca da ranger o da paracadutista ; loro hanno avuto la fortuna di lasciare in Normandia soltanto la giovinezza .

  

The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial is a World War II cemetery and memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer,Normandy, France, that honors American troops who died in Europe during World War II.

The cemetery is located on a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach (one of the landing beaches of the Normandy Invasion) and the English Channel. It covers 172 acres (70 ha), and contains the remains of 9,387 American military dead, most of whom were killed during the invasion of Normandy and ensuing military operations in World War II .

  

A masterpiece from Anilore Banon, built on Omaha Beach, Normandy, in memory of the 3000 soldiers who died there in June '44.

 

You can join me also on my Facebook page.

A peaceful scene at Carentan Lock in Normandy.

Carentan was the site of ferocious fighting during World War II, when U.S. forces attacked German forces defending the area. Following the landings at Omaha and Utah beaches, only a mile from Carentan, one of the bloodiest engagements occurred, which came to be known as 'The Battle of Bloody Gulch'. The German 17th SS Panzergrenadier with the 6th Fallschamjager (paratroops) regiments fought regiments of the U.S. 101st Airborne division for control of the rivers, roads and bridges around Carentan. After days of fierce fighting, and huge casualties on both sides, Carentan was finally captured on 12th June 1944.

Nowadays it's hard to imagine such a tranquil area, being the scene of such carnage and bloodshed.

Our main reason for visiting Normandy, is to take a look at the beaches were the soldiers were fighting for the freedom of Europe in World War 2. There are many beaches, museums and graveyards by the coastline, so we had to make a choice of what to visit.

 

This little museum of artifacts from the second world war is specifically focussed on the D Day landings.

   

After years that we tried to meet up I finally met Solange yesterday for a Blue Hour Shoot in London. Thanks for coming along and hope to see you again soon.

HMS Belfast is a museum ship, permanently moored in London on the River Thames. She was originally a Royal Navy light cruiser and served during the Second World War and Korean War. In June 1944 the ship took part in Operation Overlord supporting the Normandy landings.

  

Yes, me and Riley are having a contest on alternate history.

 

1st catagory- Old World

This would be anything between the creation of the Earth to 1870. Why 1870? Because .

Ex. What if Columbus didn’t reach America? What if Napoleon had died early in his conquests?

 

2nd catagory- Pre Modern

This would be between 1871 and 1950. Basically, recent…. But not too recent.

Ex. What if the Russian Revolution of 1917 had failed? What if the Normandy landings had ended up with the Allies being slaughtered, then pushed back?

 

3- Category 3: Modern

This is 1951 on to today. The most recent things, basically.

Ex. What if Ghaddafi had stayed in power? What if we never caught Saddam?

 

Written by Dr.Orange. The Contest might be on the LCN or we might make our own group. We're still waiting on a response and the full rules will be posted in the coming weeks.

HMS Belfast is a Town-Class light cruiser that was built for the Royal Navy. She is currently a museum ship. She was launched on St Patrick's Day 1938. She saw action during WWII escorting Artic convoys to the Soviet Union, played a part in the destruction of the German warship Scharnhorst in the Battle of North Cape and also took part in Operation Overlord supporting the Normandy Landings in 1945. She also saw further combat in the Korean War in 1950-52 before entering reserve in 1963.

Omaha Beach - Widerstandsnest 65 - overlooking Easy Red sector and the "Ruquet valley" aka Easy-1 exit.

 

Omaha Beach

 

Omaha beach is a stretch of beach roughly 5 miles or 8 km. long between Vierville-sur-Mer and Ste Honorine des pertes on the coast of Normandy. It was one of the five designated landing areas for the biggest invasion ever during WWII in the summer of 1944.

Omaha was divided into ten sectors by the Allies; codenamed (from west to east): Able, Baker, Charlie, Dog Green, Dog White, Dog Red, Easy Green, Easy Red, Fox Green and Fox Red.

 

On june 6, 1944 -D-Day - the initial assault on Omaha was to be made by two Regimental Combat Teams (RCT), supported by two tank battalions, with two battalions of Rangers also attached. The RCT's were part of the veteran 1st Infantry division ("The Big Red One") and the untested 29th div.("Blue and Grey") , a National Guard unit.

 

The plan was to make frontal assaults at the "draws" (valleys) in the bluffs which dominate the coast in Normandy. Codenamed west to east they were called D-1, D-3, E-1, E-3 and F-1 . These draws could then be used to move inland with reserves and vehicles.

 

The German defenders were not stupid; they knew the draws were vital and concentrated their limited resources in defending them. To this end and lead by the famous "Desert Fox" Field-Marshall Erwin Rommel they built "Widerstandsneste" with AT guns, mortars, MG's in Tobruk's, trenches and bunkers. These were manned by soldiers of the German 716th and 352nd Infantry Division, a large portion of whom were teenagers, though they were supplemented by veterans who had fought on the Eastern Front . All in all some 1100 German soldiers defended the entire Omaha beach sector.

 

Preliminary bombardments were almost totally ineffective and when the initial waves landed at low tide they met with fiece opposition of an enemy well dug in and prepared. Most of the floating tanks (Sherman DD type) never made it to the beach due to the rough seas or were taken out by AT guns. Their role to support the infantry following them was reduced to almost zero before the battle even begun.

 

Casualties were heaviest amongst the troops landing at either end of Omaha. At Fox Green and Easy Red scattered elements of three companies were reduced to half strength by the time they gained the relative safety of the shingle, many of them having crawled the app. 300 yards (270 m) of beach just ahead of the incoming tide. Casualties were especially heavy amongst the first waves of infantry and the "gap assault teams" made by Combat Engineers - at Omaha these were tasked with blasting channels through the beach obstacles.

 

Situation at Dog Green and Easy Red by mid morning was so bad with nearly all the troops essentially pinned down on the beach gen. Eisenhower seriously considered to abandon the operation; in "First Wave at OMAHA Beach", S.L.A. Marshall, chief U.S. Army combat historian, called it "an epic human tragedy which in the early hours bordered on total disaster."

 

As the first waves of infantry, tanks and combat engineers landing directly opposite the "draws" were pinned down it was up to forces landing on the flanks of these strongpoints to penetrate the weaker German defences by climbing the bluffs. Doing this they had to overcome minefields and barbed wire as well as machinegun fire from German positions but they did and they were able to attack some key strongpoints from the side and the rear, taking them out by early afternoon.

This happened on several spots at Omaha and essentially saved the day: individual acts of initiative by lower ranked officers and courage like that of First Lieutenant Jimmy Monteith, who led a group of men to take one of the key German widerstandsneste and was killed in action, succeeded where a flawed plan failed. By the end of the day most of the German strongpoints had been taken and the battle was won - albeit at a terrible cost.

  

For a map of the eastern part of Omaha click here. The German WN's are marked as well as the Draws and beach sections.

 

The Action

 

On june 6, 1944 from 06.25 this WN-65 saw heavy action when several Gap Assault Teams and Gap Support Teams from the 299th Combat Engineers landed near here and struggled to open gaps in the beach defenses for follow-up waves. In the end they managed to mark one clear passage before the tide forced them off the beach around 07.00 suffering terrible losses in the proces.

 

After 07.00 hour other forces landed here, infantry as well as tanks and vehicles, and many of them were knocked out. The beach here became clogged with wrecks trying to get to the draw and landings here were ordered to cease somewhwere before 09.00.

The bunker was finally neutralised by a combination of naval guns, rifle grenades and a halftrack around 11.30 and WN 65 was taken around 11.40 . Easy-1 draw was then used as one of the main routes inland by tanks and armoured vehicles. Brushes and houses on the right were not there in june 1944 giving this WN an clear view over the beach.

  

On the photo:

 

Blockhaus which was part of WN65 - view from the front. Note the 50mm AT Gun still inside the bunker and the damage caused by a Naval gun on top. This type of H667 casemate was commonly used on many parts of the Atlantic Wall as it's shape guards the gun opening from direct fire from the sea and it's placed in a position the enfillade the beach . In 1944 it housed some 20 men and a 50mm gun. Also note the hill to the left with the trail which was used on D-Day by US troops to move inland.

 

WN-65 or "widerstandsnest 65" guarded the Easy-1 exit (a.k.a. Ruquet valley) on the Easy Red sector of Omaha.

  

For a photo of WN-65 in june 1944 click here

  

See my other Omaha beach photo's for more viewpoints, panorama shots and notes on the fighting

 

Tonemapped using three (Handheld) shots made with a Nikon D7000, augustus 2012.

View Large On Black

 

The beautiful sandstone cliffs located near Arromanches-les-Bains (Normandy), a small fishing village that lies along the stretch of coastline designated as Gold Beach during the D-Day landings, one of the beaches used by British troops in the Allied invasion.

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