Battle of Normandy

Invasion of Normandy

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Landing on The Beaches of Normandy

Allied Naval Force: Operation Neptune involves 6,939 ships and the actual landing force consists of 4,126 ships and barges in 47 convoys. Some of the transports (the LCAs, Landing Craft Assault) will cross in more powerful boats and be launched off one of their five landing beaches. The other types of barges will cross the English Channel on their own, including LCI (Landing Craft Infantry), small troop transports; LCT (Landing Craft Tanks), which carry tanks and vehicles; LCVP (Landing Craft Vehicle Personal); LST (Landing Ship Tanks); and the famous « ducks », amphibious devices powered by a propeller. 20,000 vehicles and a thousand tanks were transported.

Why did you choose the beaches of Normandy for the landing?

Why Normandy? Here are the reasons: the Breton coasts are too far from England to be approached, the land in Holland is flooded and does not allow the establishment of a bridgehead, the currents on the Belgian coasts are very strong and therefore dangerous, and above all the Germans are waiting for the allies in the Pas-de-Calais because the inlet between England and France at this location is the most limited. Normandy beaches are sandy beaches and in some places there are pebbles. The composition of the Normandy beaches is close to those of the West of England. This will allow soldiers to train and test the resistance of tanks when manoeuvring on this sand.

Normandy is the place where the Germans least expect an Allied landing attempt, hence its selection by the Germans. Nevertheless, the coast (from Norway to the Basque coast) is defended by a series of concrete protections with machine guns, barbed wire, minefields, called the Atlantic Wall. The operation to transport the Allies across the Channel and install a bridgehead in Normandy is called Neptune. Neptune itself is part of a larger operation, which represents the opening of a front in Western Europe: Operation Overlord.

« Les sanglots longs des violons de l’automne, je répète, les sanglots longs des violons de l’automne, blessent mon cœur d’une langueur monotone, je répète blessent mon cœur d’une langueur monotone»

The 6 June 1944 assault on the beaches of Normandy was the greatest amphibious and airborne operation of all time.

Discover our spots by minibus, by truck, by vehicles of the time, let yourself be guided by specialists on the places that have marked the history of the landing.

Omaha Beach

If it is a place where the landing has almost crashed, it is on the beach of Omaha Beach, situated in Colleville-sur-Mer. The heavy losses that American troops will suffer on D-Day will be worth Bloody Omaha’s tragic nickname, « Omaha la sanglante. » On the sand of Omaha Beach, more precisely in Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, stands the Statue des Braves.

Gold Beach

This field, centered at the middle of the landing area, was assigned to General Graham’s 50th Northumbrian Brigade. An Arromanches, a large artificial port will see the day. You can still see the ruins of the underwater terminal.

Utah Beach

From Sainte-Marie-du-Mont to Quinéville, this sector was chosen by the allies in order to be able to seize the port of Cherbourg more quickly. Located in the very spot where American troops arrived on June 6, 1944, the Utah Beach Museum gives you a full historical trip.

Sword Beach

Under Commander Kieffer’s instructions, the Franco-British N ° 4 Commando landed on this island. Sword Island (and more precisely Ouistreham) was selected to host the 70th Anniversary of the Landing International Ceremony in 2014.

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