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Normandy trip.

Article about: Hi All.. Im a newbie to this amazing site, and i hope im posting in the correct place, if not, Mods please move. Im planning on going to Normandy with my 12 yr old son, as he is, like me, ve

  1. #1

    Default Normandy trip.

    Hi All..
    Im a newbie to this amazing site, and i hope im posting in the correct place, if not, Mods please move.

    Im planning on going to Normandy with my 12 yr old son, as he is, like me, very interested in WW2 and especially the Normandy landings.
    Im planning on visiting around Caen to d'Azeville and we hope to do a lot of the beaches/gun batteries etc.

    Would there be any chance of finding any relics around there, obviously not any ordnance.

    Any other tips/info on what to see , what not to see etc?
    Thanks in advance for any info !

  2. #2

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    Welcome to the forum..

    There are so many different places to go visit in Normandy.. You will not be able to see everything, but starting in Caen there is a great museum there and as you travel the coast road you and your son may see many of the bunkers in fields along the way as well as signs to towns and places that were liberated by the Allies.

    When I went several years ago with my father we went to most of the iconic places in Normandy. We actually went from one end of the invasion front to the other,, starting in Caen, then we moved through and went to the Pegasus Bridge and the beaches (Sword, Gold Juno) and then made our way to the US landing beaches. At Utah beach there is a museum built into a German bunker and there were many bunkers in the fields in that area we went by. Next we went to Point Du Hoc where the Rangers scaled the cliffs to take out coastal guns and we then went to Ste. Mere Eglise and along the way saw many of the open fields that presumably were the scattered drop zones for the paratroopers. Some great museums in the Ste Mere Eglise town. Finally we made our way out to the Omaha Beach area, the Cemetery above the beach, the towns in the area and then we departed on our next stop through the French country side. We spent almost a month travelling from Paris, France to Munich, Germany and it was one of the most incredible trips we ever went on.

    Before you head out with your son, see if you can pick up a map of the area that you wish to visit and see what major attractions you want to spend time at. You can spend hours at one location and not realize how quick the time goes by, so plan accordingly so you and your son get the most out of your visit. Also if you know that there is an area where a wartime photo was taken, see if you can get to those locations and take a present day photo and compare it to the photo taken during the war. I did that with several locations in Paris, Cherbourg, and some of the other locations... It is neat top compare what the area looked like and what it looks like now and the famous and infamous people who stood in those same exact spots...

    I took over 3000 pictures during my trip there and I often go back and look at them and reflect on the time spent with my Father...

    Hope this helps

    Best regards, stay safe

    Smitty

  3. #3

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    Hi Greenspurs, welcome aboard.

    To compliment smittys excellent write up/information, have you though about going an organised tour.

    I’m booked onto a Normandy battlefield tour with Leger in April next year. I’ve linked their website for you to have a look at. You can view their brochure on the website, or order a copy to your address.

    Battlefield Tours of WW1 & WW2 | Leger Holidays Battlefield Tours

    Kind regards,

    Will.

  4. #4

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    thanks guys for the info.

    A lot of planning to be done !

  5. #5

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    Timely post, why not invest in a copy of the latest After the Battle magazine and take your camera with you.

    Normandy trip.

  6. #6

    Default

    What is "After the Battle" magazine?

  7. #7

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    Quote by Greenspurs View Post
    What is "After the Battle" magazine?
    A magazine that gives 'then and now' comparison photographs. You should be able to work it out from the image of the front cover of the latest copy of the magazine. The two scenes shown are as it appeared then, and how it appears now.

    Cheers,
    Steve

  8. #8

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    Quote by Greenspurs View Post
    What is "After the Battle" magazine?
    Google, and other search engines might answer that nicely.

  9. #9
    ?

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    I have every issue for the last 35+ yrs. vol.# 1 to the latest. it is the best time travel without leaving your chair! WINSTON, just sold the magazine to PEN'S & SWORDS, I just got a notice about the sale.

  10. #10

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    After the Battle - Home

    I have made numerous trips to Normandy. You can basically divide it into two parts; the coast with the D-Day beaches and the area immediately behind it, and the rest of the Normandy campaign which roughly culminated in the Falaise pocket.

    For accommodation, I usually go to a motel at the northern edge of Bayeux as this town is located centrally, and this particular motel allows me to park the car in front my room and it is right on the ring road. The centre of Bayeux is a 10 min walk, which is nice as the restaurants have a good selection of wines . You'll be on the D514 coastal road a lot, but it's a pretty road.

    My personal favorite sites to visit are, in random order:

    - the Batterie at Longues sur Mer,
    - Arromanches (with museum, several outside displays and a militaria shop around the corner),
    - Port en Bessin (with the Vauban tower and the Scallop shell dune and cliffs right under it),
    - Batterie de Maisy,
    - Omaha Beach (the beach itself with WN62 bunker complex and the US cemetery right behind it),
    - WN60 (right on the East flank of Omaha Beach, with a great view of the beach),
    - Overlord Museum (on the D514, opposite the US cemetery),
    - Pointe du Hoc,
    - Le Grand Bunker at Quistreham,
    - Sainte-Mere-Eglise (church and museum),
    - Sainte-Marie-du-Mont,
    - Utah beach Museum,
    - La Cambe German cemetery,
    - Bayeux Commonwealth cemetery,
    - Bayeux Battle of Normandy Museum (next to Commonwealth Cemetery),
    - Bayeux Tapestry Museum and the cathedral

    There are many, many more interesting sites around the coast and in the backland and this is by no means a definitive list. There are lots of different guidebooks being sold at souvenirshops in a number of languages. You will also encounter plenty of memorials (often featuring a tank or cannon) in the region.

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