The D-Day Beaches of Normandy

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the d-day beaches of normandyOn the morning of the 6th June 1944 the coastline of Normandy was scattered with allied landing ships and further out preparing for naval bombardment of the German guns, warships were sitting out.
There were also hundreds of ships in the English Channel throughout the day, bringing over 132,000 troops from England to Normandy on D-Day alone.
A further 23,000 airborne troops were landed nearby on the night before to capture and secure the key positions including German gun batteries which could fire on the landing beaches.
A serious problem for the allied invasion of France were Hitler’s coastal defences known as the Atlantic wall. The beaches were sites of fierce fighting where many men made the ultimate sacrifice.
 
Along the coast the beaches were code named and are still known by these today.
 
Omaha Beach
In the American sector Omaha Beach was well known as the bloodiest of all the landing beaches and is most famous one of all. The cliffs are still riddled with German bunkers and scarred deeply with shell holes from the bombardment that this most heavily defended beach of all underwent. 
Nearly 3000 Americans lost their lives and this day was immortalised by Steven Spielberg’s film Saving Private Ryan.
 
Utah Beach
The right hand flank of the allied invasion, the troops landing on Utah encountered far less resistance than Omaha Beach a few miles east.
 
Sword Beach
The left hand flank of the D Day landings, Sword Beach was one of the British landing beaches and is close to our port in Ouistreham.
 
Juno Beach
Around halfway between Gold Beach to the east and Sword Beach , is Juno Beach.  Around 30% of the landing ships at Juno Beach were destroyed or damaged by mines on the beach and once the troops moved inland, the German guns took a terrible toll. 
 
Arromanches/Gold Beach
From a British perspective a good place to visit and just a few miles from Bayeux is Gold Beach., where the British 50th Infantry Division landed. The defending Germans were set up in houses along the coast which were bombarded with naval gunfire and air strikes. 
 
Today there are many memorials at the beaches and along the coastlines. German bunkers, Gun batteries and other evidence of fighting still litters the landscape.
These days we get to enjoy the beautiful beaches, but the incredible events that took place at these historic sites offer an entirely different aspect.
Immerse yourself in the historic events of D Day and the incredible events that took place.
Normandy is a truly moving place and definitely one to be visited.

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