Day 2
Home Up Day 1 Day 2

 

 

Day 2 started with a visit to the British Cemetery in Bayeux, followed by the excellent museum.  Inside the museum there is far more to see than you expect when you go in.  Well worth the visit.

Bayeux museum

Omaha Beach and cemetery

Point du Hoc

Utah beach

Sainte-Mere-Eglise

There are also many German graves in the British cemetery.  I find it impossible to visit the war cemeteries without a real lump in the throat, so many young men.

A Sherman tank on display outside the museum. In the museum were original front pages from a number of newspapers around the world, giving the news of the landings.  My wife is from Rochester, upstate New York, and was bowled over to find the front page of the Rochester Times Union paper on display.  Made her day!
From Bayeux we went off to the American beaches, Omaha and Utah.  This shot of Omaha shows how different it is to the British beach at Sword.  Here the photo is taken from the high ground above the beach, and this rise had a number of strong points built in to deliver enfilading fire along the beach.  Some of the scenes from the 'Longest Day', 'Saving Pte. Ryan' and the shots by the great photographer Robert Capa are readily brought to mind when you visit the beach.

The cemetery at Omaha beach is on the heights just behind the landing beach.  There are over 9,000 headstones for the American dead from all over Normandy.
Richard in the rain at Point du Hoc describes the action of the Rangers under Colonel Rudder who achieved the seemingly impossible task of scaling the cliffs under German fire.

One of the strong points on the Point du Hoc which has been well damaged by some accurate low level bombing.  It was grey, windy and raining when I took the photo.
Utah beach showing the museum almost on the beach.  Again, like the British beaches, this one is very different to Omaha, and is the western most of the invasion beaches.

The 82nd Airborne dropped in the dark to protect the right flank of the Allied invasion, but for various reasons their troops were dispersed over a wide area.  One of the best remembered scenes from The Longest Day is the paratrooper who lands on the spire of the church in the village of Sainte-Mere-Eglise.  The story is true, and now there is a permanent model of the scene on the village church.  There is also a good museum to the US Airborne forces in the village.