We did have a 'plan of action' for tackling all five D-Day Landing Beaches over the next 3 days...but when we started out his morning, somehow that plan went down the tube as we were trying to get the lay of the land. Our plan was to start at Utah Beach, the furthest away, but then decided to get to the closest part of the coast which ended up being the Juno Beach area.
Again, with my trusty Google Maps app on my phone...we followed the directions to Courseulles-sur-Mer...and Juno Beach...
(NOTE: Juno shows the old Canadian flag)
Click on photo to see detail
We followed the coastal road (D514) toward Arromanches and Gold Beach (in the British landing zone). This small town was ground zero for the D-Day invasion. Just before reaching Arromanches, we pulled into a cliff-top parking lot overlooking the town.
Mulberry harbours were temporary portable harbours developed by the British to facilitate the rapid offloading of cargo onto beaches during the Allied invasion. "Mulberry" was the code-name for all the various different structures that would create the artificial harbours.
Mulberry Harbour from left...
Arromanches 360", a circular theatre. We went inside and watched the film "Normandy's 100 Days". The screen surrounding you shows archival footage and photographs of the endeavour to liberate Normandy. In addition to honouring the many Allied and German soldiers who died, it also reminds us that 20,000 French civilians were killed.
After we were finished on the clifftop, we drove down into the town, parked the car...and went for a walk through town. Not much of a sidewalk!
D-Day Landing Museum but they were about to close for lunch. Really! Well, we don't have time to hang around for them to re-open, so we won't be seeing it...lots of other museums anyway!
Longues-sur-Mer Gun Battery...situated between Gold and Omaha Landing Beaches. We parked...and went on a nice long walk to see the area.
Machine gun nest...
After our walk checking it all out, we were back in the car continuing west along the coast road...
The small monument devoted to 5th US Engineer Special Brigade Monument and attached engineers units stay on the roof on former WW-II bunker above Omaha beach, circa 250 m of high-tide seashore.
All of the landing beaches have been so beautiful...
It started to rain so we decided to leave the Cemetery until later and go to the Overlord Museum, just a short distance away, instead.
Overlord Museum chronicles the period of the Allied landing until the liberation of Paris. The collection was collected by someone who was both a witness to the conflict and involved in the reconstruction of Normandy. Personal items from individual soldiers and armoured fighting vehicles from the six armies in Normandy will be presented as a series of reconstructions showing over 35 vehicles, tanks and guns.
Once Steve emerged from the museum, we decided that since the rain had stopped we would try and fit in the Cemetery today but what we didn't realize is that they had a huge Visitor Centre.
Sixty-three years after Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy to turn the tide of World War II in Europe, a new visitor center at the Normandy American Cemetery in France opened in May 2007 to tell the story of the 9,387 Americans buried there and put the D-Day landings and follow-on battle in Europe in perspective as one of the greatest military achievements of all time.