Monday, 26 March 2012

On to the beaches!

Pointe du Hoc
On the same day we visited the small village of Ste Mère Église, we also visited the German military cemetery (see post of two days ago) and in the afternoon we went to Pointe du Hoc. Here the Germans had dug in, built bunkers and put up a lot of anti-aircraft guns, canons and what have you.

The look-out bunker. At the bottom of the photo is the look-out bit
And they must have been incredibly surprised when all of a sudden they see all these boats coming out of the storm right up to the beach (D-Day wasn't a nice day, it was very stormy and a lot of the allied forces were very sick on the crossing). Of course they immediately started firing and killing the 'enemy', but the Americans still managed to get themselves on top and in the end they succeeded in conquering the Germans in that area.

View from the look-out bunker. Imagine the surprise!
When you look at the area from above you can actually see all the holes in the ground made by canons and guns and tanks and so forth. (We saw a film a few days later that actually had some footage from above) Several of the bunkers still more or less stood and we were able to go inside and see where the Germans tried to get rid of those pesky Americans. There was one bunker right overlooking the ocean, where the wooden ceiling had been burnt, which must have been quite frightening for the men. Other bunkers were severely damaged by bullets and grenades and stuff.

Some tank or other would have been here
The area was quite large and the boys and girls on board of the bus didn't have nearly enough time to see all. Only a few managed to find a way down to the beach again and if they would have had another hour or two they wouldn't have minded one bit! Which definitely made a difference to the museums we saw: ten to thirty minutes. Tops!

The memorial to the American Rangers


  1. I would like to come over to Europe sometimes and see some of these things. What a terrible war that was! Then again, I suppose all wars are terrible. It looks like a neat trip!

  2. I definitely have to visit if I ever get back to Europe. Thank you for sharing the history.

  3. The trip must have been a good experience for all. I sure hope the kids appreciated it.

  4. Interesting trip this must have been :-)


Any weighty (and not so weighty) comments are welcome!