On an early morning on June sixth, nineteen forty four, the Normandy coastline was attacked by German forces, clashing with the Allied ships that were heavily prepared to keep them from invading the country even if it meant paying the ultimate price. Tens of thousands of troops fought in a massacre that lead to the deaths of many of them and recording this battle as one of the bloodiest in human history.
Today, visitors can take a walk along the now quiet beach and explore these historical places, picturing how they looked when D-Day began. However, if you’d like to also experience this place and understand exactly what happened here, it’s recommended that you consider going with a tour guide.
There were a total of 5 strategy points selected by the Allies along the coast of Normandy for the purpose of landing their invading forces. The point that was furthest to the east was nicknamed Sword beach. Backed up by air strikes carried out in the early hour of the morning, the first landings were some of the most effective when it came to reducing the number of casualties, with very low resistant encountered on the beach. In order to move inland, the British troops only took forty five minutes and in just a single day, more than twenty five thousand men landed on Sword Beach.
Omaha Beach is by far the most popular sectors of operation D-Day and that’s because it was the exact place where more than forty thousand US troops had to face a wall of artillery, machine guns and also German mortars. Even though previous aerial and naval bombardments were considered to weaken the beach’s defenses, there were minimal gaps opened up and the army suffered heavy casualties as a result of this. In just a few hours of the landing, about five thousand allied soldiers were killed. It’s a battle that was accurately portrayed in the worldwide acclaimed movie Saving Private Ryan.
Presently though, the beach is a pilgrimage spot for veterans and families remembering those that lost their life defending their country and the ruthlessness of the conflict itself.
Gold beach stretches between Ver sure Mer and Le Hamel and is the place where some of the bloodiest and most violent British beach fighting took place. Heavy resistance was faced by the Allies against the German forces here and this is also the place where the only Victoria Cross of the D-day Landings was earned by Major Stanley Hollis, the Company’s Sergeant. Gun placements and also sea defenses can be admired by tourists coming to visit the beach, a place that to this day carries hundreds of signs of the gruesome battles that took place here.