Tag: <span>dday</span>

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This is a replica of the gliders that were used in the D-Day landings. The gliders were made of wood, and were only made for a single flight. They were literally towed across the channel and released to crash land in fields. They were used to transport troops, arms and supplies.

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This replica is at the Pegasus Bridge Museum. To my knowledge there are no original gliders left since they were never made to last (there are a few restorations in the US).

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Pegasus Bridge is a is a bascule bridge (which means it lifts up to allow river traffic through. It was one of the key access points that had to be secured in the D-Day landings, and one of the few places that had an almost text-book capture of the bridge. Although it’s also the site of the first allied casualty in the D-Day landings.

In 1994, when the road was widened, they replaced it with a wider version of the original bridge, which was moved to a museum alongside the canal. 

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Looking down towards the bridge towards the mechanism

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The original bridge, in the Pegasus Bridge Museum. The museum has some interesting exhibits, including a full-scale glider replica, as well as parts of an original glider.

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Mulberry Harbour is a most extraordinary piece of engineering. It is literally a floating harbour that was built around the Normandy beach to allow supplies into France during the D-Day landings. They allowed the Allies to land over two million men, half a million vehicles, and four million tons of supplies in the first 100 days following the D-Day landings. To make the breakwater, they deliberately sank over 30 several old war ships as well as other old ships.

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Parts of the harbour are still on the beach and floating in the water, and if you look on Google Maps, you can still see parts of the floating harbour in the sea, still floating.

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Some of the exhibits inside the Memorial Museum. There are many war museums in Normandy, but this one stands out with some excellent exhibits.

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These giant coltrops are still found all over Normandy. They are meant to literally stop tanks in their tracks.

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And some anti-aircraft artillery.

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These are just a few of the tanks at the Memorial Museum of the Battle of Normandy In Bayeux. I’ll be sharing some photos inside the museum in later posts, but in the meantime here are a few of the tanks on display in the gardens.

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Churchill Crocodile flame throwing tank. It was capable of throwing flames to over 100m distance.

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Churchill Crocodile flame throwing tank – from the side

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M10 tank destroyer, the workhorse tank of the USA army in World War 2.

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The very rare Char Grizzly M4A5 Canadian Tank, basically a Canadian Sherman tank. They stopped producing them when they realised the the USA production would be sufficient for the Normandy landings.

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The cemetery covers 172.5 acres and contains the graves of 9,387 people, most of who died during the D-Day landings, as well as various memorials to 1557 people missing in action. It’s a somber and reflective place, somewhere you need to pause and think.

This year will be 80 years since the D-Day landing.

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Where do you start with somebody like General Gavin? He did som much, known as the “Jumping General” due to his habit of jumping with his paratroopers, in particular he jumped with the 82nd Airborne Division on June 6, 1944 (D-Day), a division he commanded just 2 months later. In particular, they secured the area around Sainte-Mère-Église near Utah Beach.

He then went on to serve at Market Garden and Battle of the Bulge. He bio is fascinating, and is worth reading.

This photo is taking at the D-Day landing site, just outside Sainte-Mère-Église.

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