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Published: November 10th 2017
Geo: 49.311, -0.35553
We arose Friday morning a little late as Stacy forgot to set the alarm clock. We left and headed over to Arromanches, which was near the Gold beach landing. We stopped at the orientation platform to look around and get our bearings. We could see parts of the breakwater the allies put in to form an artificial port. They used old ships that were brought over from England and sunk in fairly shallow water. They also towed over huge concrete forms that they filled with water to help create a place to tie up the ships. They then installed floating piers that held up bridges, connected them together and ran them all the way to shore. They went out 800 yards into the ocean. The smaller ships could tie up to the end and drive tanks, trucks, jeeps and artillery all the way to shore.
We took a small train down to the beach and went thru the D-Day Landing Museum there. We also walked out on to the beach and saw some of the parts that washed up on shore long ago. The port was called Port Winston because it was Winston Churhill's idea to build it.
The Germans had heavily fortified all of the ports so the invasion force would have trouble taking over one. They needed a port to bring in supplies for all of the troops that were landing.
We next went to the American cemetery in Colleville-Sur-Mer, right off of Omaha beach. There are almost 10,000 soldiers buried there. A very somber place. We left the cemetery and stopped for lunch. We ordered ham and cheese sandwiches. They came on baguettes. They were about 18" long. They tasted good, but looked funny.
After lunch, we stopped at the Omaha Beach Memorial Museum. It had some large dioramas of the Normandy landings and some artillery pieces and a Sherman tank.
We then headed over to Point Du Hoc and the Ranger Monument. This is where the Rangers climbed the cliffs under heavy fire to take out the big guns that were shelling the ships and the beaches .
After that we headed back to our hotel, which was an hour and 15 minutes away. We didn't get back until 7:30PM.
Saturday morning we headed out again to Juno beach and the Juno Beach Museum. This is where the Canadians landed. This
museum was dedicated to them.
After that we headed over to Utah beach and the Utah Beach Landing Museum.
All of the beaches looked huge. We saw most of them at low tide, which is when the invasion took place. The beaches were about 700 yards deep. I tried to imagine trying to run 700 yards, soaking wet, with 75 lbs. of gear, in the sand and machine gun bullets and mortars landing all around. Those guys were really brave.
Tomorrow we stop at Mont St. Michel and then on to our next hotel in St. Malo on the coast.
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