250,000 If by Sea

Approach from the Sea, Les Braves Monument at Omaha Beach

This monument at Omaha Beach is a stainless steel sculpture about the action of D-Day on June 6, 1944.
In a play on the tale of Paul Revere’s storied ride in 1775, this time we came by land, air and sea and clobbered the enemy. Yes, D-Day was brutal and difficult with a considerable loss of life, but the Allies were victorious and freed the populace from oppression. And while I am sorry so many died, they did not give their lives in vain.
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Entrance, US Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer

Entrance for US Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer

The original cemetery was close to here, but it was moved to this site after the war to be closer to Omaha Beach. It honors those who died in World War II and contains 9,386 World War II veterans and one from World War I. Compared to neighboring cemeteries of La Cambe and others it is relatively small.
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Strongpoint at Asnelles

Strongpoint at Gold Beach Asnelles

This hardened strongpoint was used to fire on invaders at the waterline. Behind it are a series of buried bunkers for command and control units which sit under a garden. British troops landed here and during the course of D-Day, many of the houses here were damaged or destroyed. The western end of the mulberry harbor was here
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Bombs Away!

Pointe du Hoc Bomb Craters

Pointe du Hoc was a fortified artillery position at the top of 100 foot high cliffs above Omaha Beach. The 155mm guns had a 30-40km range and could endanger attackers in the English Channel as well as defend both Utah and Omaha beaches. But the artillery was removed by the defenders due to heavy bombing. A neighboring battery at Grandcamp-Maisy remained active until June 9 when it was captured by Rangers moving overland. Pointe du Hoc’s battery sits as it was in June 1944, complete with bomb craters and destroyed bunkers.
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Fortified Gunner’s Nest: Omaha Beach

061010-6-4-Omaha-cliffside-bunker
Omaha-cliffside-bunker
This is one of the silenced seaside bunkers I sought out when visiting in the 80’s. It looks as it did then, completely bare and open to the elements and yet still reeking of death.
On the morning of June 6, 1944, there was at least one man in here busily feeding a machine gun installed to kill invaders. Such positions are vulnerable to grenades and bazooka rounds and the bravery of US troops put this position out of action. Without their efforts a lot more of our guys might have been casualties.

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