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
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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
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tours of the Normandy battlefields D Day tours
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The Children
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The Children of World War 2
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Omaha Beach: Tours of the Normandy Battlefields

Omaha is a gently sloping beach on the north coast of Normandy that forms a shallow concave impression between long, hundred foot high cliffs which run from Port en Bessin to Grandcamp Maisy.

The beach itself, which is much the same as it was in 1944, is near to six thousand yards long and is almost devoid of natural obstacles. It is formed by a gentle slope of compacted sand, some three hundred yards in width across which runs an ever changing lattice of runnels, parallel to the shoreline, which at low tide are between eighteen inches and two and a half feet deep.

tours of the Normandy battlefields Omaha beach
Omaha Beach with the village of Colleville-sur-Mer beyond

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At the top of the beach is a band of shingle, a deep mass of multiple-sized, polished stones of varying colour which run almost the entire length of the shore.

tours of the Normandy battlefields
German soldier arming an anti-personnel mine
tours of the Normandy battlefields
Rommel inspecting the beach fortifications

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The troops that successfully navigated the first stretch had to cross a belt of shingle and what was effectively a narrow, flat shelf before climbing the bluffs.

This shelf was well covered with mines of all types and, of course, barbed wire. Above the wire and either on top or near the top of the bluff were a succession of nests containing automatic weapons, placed in enfilade to make the most efficient killing ground on the beach.

At either end of the crescent shaped beach there were four massive concrete casements which held, mostly, a seventy five mm gun.

Now and again there were smaller and less obvious gun positions which contained anti-tank guns.

tours of the Normandy battlefields Omaha beach map
Omaha Beach Map

Stamped 'BIGOT', code name for a security level beyond 'Top Secret' this map got US Troops to the eastern sectors of Omaha Beach. Only the highest ranking officers and a few specialists held BIGOT clearance.

So restricted was the BIGOT project that when King George visited a command ship and asked what was behind a curtained compartment, he was politely turned away because, as a sentinel officer later said, "Nobody told me he was a Bigot".

Many map details came from Allied spies who risked their lives in German-occupied France. The maps detailed under water obstacles, trenches, minefields and German defences, from bunkers to individual mortars.


A naval map (image below) gave invasion ships specific German targets. Firing over the heads of her own countrymen, one US destroyer silenced an 88 mm German gun by putting two rounds through the gun shield. Beyond tragets, BIGOT maps could show where to bivouac, where to set up supply dumps and even where to bury the dead.

tours of the Normandy battlefields Omaha beach map

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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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