CEMETERY and MEMORIAL
Situated on the bluffs overlooking Omaha Beach, Colleville Cemetery is one of fourteen permanent WWII cemeteries created by the US government in the aftermath of the conflict. Normandy American Cemetery & Memorial was depicted in the critically acclaimed movie 'Saving private Ryan' and is the final resting place for over nine thousand men and women.
This is the place that has been described as "the best imitation of hell the American troops had to go through" during the Second World War. Revisit on site the Allied as well as the German plans, their strengths and weaknesses, and how the American troops managed to overcome all difficulties at "Bloody Omaha" - even when the odds seemed to be against them!
POINTE DU HOC
The 100ft tall cliffs and dozens of deep bomb craters and shell holes indicate how difficult a task Col. James E. Rudder and 225 men of the 2nd Ranger Battalion were entrusted with on D-Day. The six guns they were ordered to take out represented - at least on paper - a serious threat to the American landings at 'Omaha' and 'Utah'.
ANGOVILLE AU PLAIN
Located at the foot of the Cotentin Peninsula, this hamlet was made famous by two medics serving with the 2/501 PIR: Robert Wright and Kenneth Moore. Wright converted the local XI century church into a makeshift aid-station. To this day bloodstained pews remind the visitor of their selfless actions during the first 48h of the Normandy campaign as the two paratroopers attended to approximately 80 wounded from both sides.
SAINTE MARIE DU MONT
Long time a halt for pilgrims heading to Santiago de Compostella during the Middle ages, this small Norman town was amongst the first to have been liberated by American paratroopers on D-Day. The bullet riddled interior of Notre Dame church or the WWI monument used as backdrop for one of the most famous pictures of the campaign make of Sainte Marie du Mont a must-see for any WWII buff or 'Band of Brothers' enthusiast.
Situated at the western end of the assault area, this sector was not included in the initial draft of the "Overlord" plan but added later in order to facilitate the taking of a deep-water port. In a twist of fate, despite a few problems which influenced the actual landings of the 4 US Div., Utah came to be remembered as the beach with the fewest D-Day casualties: 197.
SAINTE MERE EGLISE
This iconic town, made famous by John Steele, F/505 PIR, and other members of 82 Div., was depicted in the book and later in the movie "The longest day". It is considered to have been the very first town liberated by U.S. paratroopers on June 6, 1944. Ste. Mere may also be described as an American sanctuary in Normandy given that in matter of months it became temporary resting place for over 13,000 American dead of the Normandy Campaign.
LA CAMBE GERMAN
This is the largest military cemetery of the Second World War in Normandy and one of six maintained by the German War Graves Commission in this part of France. Over 21,000 German dead are resting in 49 grave plots created after 1954. Ironically, until 1947 this was the site of a US temporary cemetery, one of the first such cemeteries established in Normandy after D-Day by the Army Graves Service.