The town of St Mere Eglise: The iconic image of Paratrooper John Steel caught up on the church steeple is another legend captured in the epic film “The Longest day”. He and his colleagues were mistakenly dropped into centre of the town and many were killed by the German defenders. We visit the St Mere Eglise Airborne Museum which overlooks the famous Church Square, and which tells the incredible story of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions’ battle.
Utah Beach: At the western end of the landing areas, Utah Beach was a key objective of the plan to capture the strategic port facilities at Cherbourg. In addition to the standard German defences including gun batteries and obstacles on beaches, the Germans had also flooded the coastal marshes behind the beaches. To secure the area and protect from German counter attacks, US Airborne forces were committed, including parachute troops and gliders. We will visit Utah beach, the excellent museum, and several notable sites that characterise the sector
Pointe du Hoc: Jutting some 40m out of the sea, this most famous cliff face protected a large and heavily fortified German gun emplacement that threatened both Omaha and Utah landing beaches. Equipped with rocket propelled ropes and firemen’s ladders, in one of the most extraordinary feats of D-Day, Col Rudder and his Rangers scaled the cliffs and while suffering great losses, subdued the menace.
Today, the land given by France to the United States remains unchanged.
A moving testimony to the fierce fighting.
Omaha Beach: Together with Utah Beach, Omaha was one of the two assault beaches under US command. Heavily defended by the Germans with both heavy firepower and mined obstacles on the beach, Omaha was a killing ground which went on to record almost half of all the entire allied losses suffered on the 6th of June. Standing where they fought, we will attempt to explain exactly what took place on that singularly bloody day.
The American cemetery, Colleville sur mer: A place sacred to the memory of American servicemen killed in the Battle of Normandy, 9386 bodies lie in the calm and beauty of this cemetery above Omaha Beach. Inaugurated on July 18th 1956 by French President René Coty and American General George Marshall, the plot of 70 hectares was given in perpetuity to the United States. We will show you some specific graves, stand by the great wall commemorating another 1557 listed as “Missing”, as well as experience the excellent and unique visitor centre.