The Normandy tour

Forum for discussion and arrangements of meetings
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Stewart Ashton
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Post by Stewart Ashton » Sun Aug 08, 2010 4:32 pm

At Sword beach 34 of the 40 DD (duplex drive) tanks arrived safely followed by Lord Lovats No 1 Special Sevice Brigade at 0830 hrs. Thier task was to destroy the coastal battery at Oistreham/Riva Bella known as the casino. This task was given to Commandant Kieffer with his French commandos. On completion they made the six mile journey to Pegasus bridge where they linked up with Major Howards (ox and Bucks) unit which had successfuly held the bridge.

In the film The Longest Day Major Howard was played by Richard Todd who recently died. He was in fact one of Howards men.

Regards Stewart

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Stewart Ashton
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Post by Stewart Ashton » Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:53 pm

We are now to the west of Sword which is Juno beach.

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The beach itself

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This plaque on the wall depicts probably the most recognised view of this landing.

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The building known as Canada House.

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Notice the newer modified side door canopy.

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Didnt have time to get a view of the front of the house but that was the famous view as seen in wartime footage when the landing craft ramp is dropped.

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Stewart Ashton
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Post by Stewart Ashton » Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:23 pm

Gold beach is next.

British 50th infantry, Northumbrian, division performed this task. They landed on the beaches imbetween La Riviere and Le Hamel. They would also push westward to take Arromanches and Port-en-Basin and eastward to link up with the Canadians.

The most easterly of the Gold beach landings was by the 5th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment.

Enroute was a fleeting glance of this DD Sherman

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At Arromanches there is a fine museum and several interesting exhibits on display.

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AA gun

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Part of the floating causeway

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The roughly repaired Flak 36

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A Sherman on top of the hill.

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Views of the beach area

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Regards Stewart

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Stewart Ashton
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Post by Stewart Ashton » Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:11 pm

Landing next to the East Yorks was the 6th Battalion Green Howards whos objective was to take the coastal battery at Mont Fleury and the village of Crepon.

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It was during the assault on the battery that Company Sergeant Major Stan Hollis was awarded the Victoria Cross.

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Arromanches was liberated by the 1st Battalion Royal Hampshire Regiment.

This seaside resort is best known for the Mulberry harbour. This artificial harbour was made up of 115 giant concrete caissons known as Phoenixes. Each one was up to 200 feet long, 50 feet wide and a height of 56 feet. 6000 tons was the average weight.

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Stewart Ashton
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Post by Stewart Ashton » Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:33 pm

Next stop was the German Cemetery at La Cambe where 21139 souls are buried.

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Here is the final resting place of Michael Wittmann and his crew

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Was it a British Sherman firefly or a Canadian one that knocked out his Tiger? The arguement is ongoing................

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Adrian Harris
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Post by Adrian Harris » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:45 pm

Great photos Stewart :D

I'd love to know the story behind the Flak at Arromanches. The breach looks as though it was cut, rather than blasted. :shock:

Adrian.

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Stewart Ashton
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Post by Stewart Ashton » Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:01 pm

Hi Adrian, we were only there for an hour! The defences looked ad hoc to say the least.

Check this url out as it covers CMS Hollis and various other episodes.

http://www.strijdbewijs.nl/normandie4/noreng4.HTM

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Stewart Ashton
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Post by Stewart Ashton » Wed Aug 11, 2010 5:27 pm

Band of Brothers memorial to Easy company and Dick Winters

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The battery destroyed was behind the trees just beyond the horses.

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Adrian Harris
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Post by Adrian Harris » Wed Aug 11, 2010 11:30 pm

I'm sure the last time I saw that monument it was in the Ardennes ... :shock:

Adrian.

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Stewart Ashton
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Post by Stewart Ashton » Thu Aug 12, 2010 10:17 am

Same style but not the same :roll:

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Post by Stewart Ashton » Thu Aug 12, 2010 10:23 am

Utah

Omaha will be the last after this beach.

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There isnt a lot to see here as the best stuff was hidden behind fencing while they build the new museum.

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Yet another 37mm/40mm gun.

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Stewart Ashton
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Post by Stewart Ashton » Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:21 pm

Ste. Mere Eglise and the Airborne museum

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The famous scene of the parachutist hanging from the church roof

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The Sherman on guard

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Outside shots and its raining.

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Onto the Waco glider exhibition

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Regards Stewart

Paul Fairlamb

Post by Paul Fairlamb » Thu Aug 12, 2010 7:56 pm

Dear Stewart,
Thank you so much for such a comprehensive range of photographs on the Normandy Tour; the additions and links by others have made this a very interesting presentation.

Whilst the pieces of nicely painted historical hardware do not convey the horror of the events of the time, your war cemetery photographs bring the human sacrifice into some kind of scale. Not that any of us post war babes could ever imagine the horror and fear experienced by those in action at the time.

I always find the fact that Germans are buried alongside Allies most poignant and moving; a fact that should not be any other way. I am sure they had no greater wish to die for their country any more than the allies did.

Perhaps that is why most of the Armortek models have generally been of German fighting vehicles; a sort of compliment to the design and engineering rather than the evil regime behind it all. Now with the Comet about to burst on the scene, the balance might be redressed.

Keep up the good work.
Paul

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Stewart Ashton
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Post by Stewart Ashton » Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:20 pm

Hi Paul, first of all a very warm welcome to this fabulous forum which has so many skilled builders, engineers, all from around the world and all will help anyone here from the simplest of questions to the most difficult technical enquiries.

It has been known for novice builders and complete newbees to this hobby to lurk in the background for months but once they see the friendly posts they pluck up the corouge to post a query or ask a question.

They are always made welcome but there is a MUST on here and that is we want to see pictures of your build! :lol:

Whilst at Le Cambe German Cemetary I picked up this leaflet from which I will quote a few lines:

"Dear visitor, I appreciate your visit to `my cemetery`. La Cambe is one of 806 German cemeteries that are maintained by the German War Graves Commission in 43 countries. 21139 victims are resting here"

Also there are between four and six souls buried under each cross. The Commission is a voluntary body and relies on donations. It does not receive any aid from the countries where they are buried. Whereas allied graves do get some assistance for their upkeep.

Check out the Battle of the Bulge tour for more eye opening information and pictures.

Regards Stewart

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Adrian Harris
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Post by Adrian Harris » Thu Aug 12, 2010 10:23 pm

I always find cemeteries most moving, whether they are Axis or Allied.

But then I was moved to tears when I visited Culloden as a ten year old and realised that the stone markers there indicated where whole clans had been wiped out.

Great photos again Stewart. There are a lot more vehicles at the Airborne Museum now than when I visited, which is good for an armour fan :D

Did you see the 75mm Pack Howitzer in the museum :?: Great to see one close up but it was behind screens so almost impossible to photograph :-(

Adrian.

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