Academic Normandy battlefields tours of Arnhem and Market Garden, The Somme 1916, the Ardennes and Cassino
tours of the Normandy battlefields D Day tours


tours of the Normandy battlefields D Day tours

World War 2
Collectors
Memorabilia


tours of the Normandy battlefields D Day tours
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Imperial
War Museum


tours of the Normandy battlefields D Day tours
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D Day
Wikipedia


tours of the Normandy battlefields D Day tours
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UK Battlefields
Resource Centre


tours of the Normandy battlefields D Day tours
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The Children
of World War 2


The Children of World War 2
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The Atlantic Wall: Tours of the Normandy Battlefields



tours of the Normandy battlefields D Day tours
Construction Workers - The Atlantic Wall
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The beach, later to be known as Omaha, formed only part of Hitler's defence of Fortress Europe. The latter consisted a necklace of fortifications laid around the northern and western coast of Europe from the Spanish frontier to Norway.

Hitler hoped that this carefully laid necklace would defeat the anticipated Allied invasion and, whilst administering a psychological shock from which the British and American public opinion would never recover, would free him to renew his offensive in the east, in Russia.

The general strategic solution against this anticipated Allied attack was to put everything into the shop window and in one large counter-blow force the allies back into the sea.

This wall, this necklace of mutually-supporting fortifications began to be built from 1942 onwards by an army of conscripted labour.

tours of the Normandy battlefields D Day tours
Von Runstedt
tours of the Normandy battlefields D Day tours
The Atlantic Wall

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The western part of this Atlantic Wall was under the command of Field Marshall Gerd von Rundstedt whose divisions, many of them 30% under strength, were spread unevenly over the coast and hinterland of France and Holland.



Cracking The Atlantic Wall


Carried in from an offshore transport, GIs waded ashore at Omaha Beach. At Utah Beach troops, tanks and trucks reached the shore. British men on Sword Beach advanced while dragging wounded soldiers from the sea.


tours of the Normandy battlefields D Day tours
tours of the Normandy battlefields D Day tours

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All were penetrating what Hitler imagined as his Atlantic Wall, the series of coastal defences from concrete gun emplacements to ditches.

Normandy's defender, German Field Marshall Rommel, dismissed the wall as Hitler's cloud cuckoo land and focused on fortifying the shore, saying, "Our only possible choice will be at the beaches". Mines and other obstacles were placed to disable landing craft. Men who made it ashore had to cross several hundred yards of open beach, cut through barbed wire, dodge hidden mines (162,000 had been laid only months before) and advance towards German bunkers whose machine guns were sites to rake the beach.


Most of the invading forces managed to survive the beach and take higher ground. By the end of the day the invaders held some 45 miles of Normandy shore. The Atlantic Wall had been resoundingly breached.

tours of the Normandy battlefields D Day tours
Anchored Naval Mine
tours of the Normandy battlefields D Day tours
Hedgehog

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tours of the Normandy battlefields D Day tours


Academic Normandy battlefields tours of Arnhem and Market Garden, D Day tours, The Somme 1916, the Ardennes and Cassino All of Normandy 1944 and St Valery 1940 Calais, Boulogne and the retreat to Dunkirk 1940. Dieppe and Bruneval 1942 The Ardennes winter 1944 ( The Bulge) and May 1940,The Fall of France, Sedan 1940. The Somme,1916 Vimy Ridge, Ypres 1915-1917, Verdun and the Americans in the Argonne 1918.The Canadians along the North Coast to Antwerp Market Garden 1944 incl Nijmegen, Arnhem-Oosterbeek and Eindhoven Patton in Alsace-Lorraine to the Eagles Nest. The Franco Prussian War Rommel, the last act 1944. Berlin 1939-1945. Crete 1941 The Tunisian Campaign 1943 All of Italy 1943 - 1945 incl Salerno, Monte Cassino, Anzio, The Gothic Line A look at SOE. The Fall of Constantinople 1453

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