This 150MM German gun is located on a cliff near the town of Longues-sur-Mer overlooking the beaches of Normandy and were used to fire on the ships during the invasion. Town mayors, after the war, were allowed by the government to remove any metal, equipment, food, materials, etc. and sell/use the items for the good of the people. The mayor of Longues sur Mer decided to leave the guns intact as a monument to the hostilities.
Sainte Marie Du Mont, as depicted in the television series Band of Brothers, was the first village to be liberated in Normandy during the D-Day invasion in 1944. The Germans used this church steeple for an observation post on D Day but they were removed by well placed US artillery. The steeple was repaired in 1946.
This pier is located near the small town of Vierville-sur-Mer and is at the west end of Omaha Beach. Just to the right of the pier is where elements of the US Army 5 Corps landed on D Day.
This is where 1st Lieutenant Jimmie W. Monteith Jr is honored in the American Cemetery. The lieutenant is one of three medal of honor winners interned in this remarkable and moving place. The other two are Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jr and T/Sgt Frank Peregory.
Most everyone is aware of the US cemetery in Normandy but I suspect many may not be aware there is a German Cemetery as well. In total there are 21,222 German soldiers commemorated here, of which 207 unknown and 89 identified are buried in a kamaradengraben (mass grave) that you see in the center of the photo under the monument. I will post photos of the American Cemetery soon and you will see the contrast in style and color.
The La Fiere bridge, with the Merderet River running under it, was a very popular place in the first days after D Day with both the US 82nd Airborne and German Army wanting it. The strategic value was it protected the western entrance to Sainte-Mère-Église and blocked the Germans from counter attacking the beaches and the port of Cherbourg.
This may be the most photographed church roof in the world because of the well known incident involving paratrooper John Steele of the 505th PIR whose parachute caught on the spire of the town church. He hung there playing dead for two hours before the Germans took him prisoner. Red Buttons played the role in the movie “The Longest Day”.
After 5 days in Paris we took the train to Bayeux to visit the D Day sites in Normandy. On the way to the hotel we drove over the Aure river which flows through town. At the bottom right of the photo you can see alcoves and benches where they washed their clothes.