Omaha and more...
Of the five beaches used on D-Day, Omaha has become the most visited and arguably the most well-known. Known locally as the plage d'or, the beach stretches for some five miles in a shallow crescent, overlooked by bluffs more than 100 feet high.
We'll visit the Omaha Beach itself, walk on the sand and view the terrain as seen by those who disembarked from their landing craft on D-Day. From the beach, the daunting task to which they were assigned becomes readily apparent.
The problems, solutions, failures and -ultimately- the successes, will all be covered during your visit.
You'll also see things from "the other side of the hill" as we visit some of the German defences, offering a different and interesting perspective. From large gun emplacements to small storage bunkers, the defences help provide an idea of what lay in wait for the assault force.
Atop the bluffs sits the Normandy American Cemetery, where over ten and a half thousand men and women are buried or commemorated. The marble grave markers provide one of the most impressive and sobering sights in Normandy.*
The inland battles and struggles in the immediate aftermath of the landings provide us with an insight into what lay ahead for both combatants and civilians. We'll move into the bocage and visit places such as Aignerville-en-Bessin, where civilians hid from the fighting in lime kilns.
The small town of Trévières took several days to secure. By that time, the centre had suffered considerable damage. We'll look at the liberation and an example or two of how local people are keeping alive the memory of those who fought and defeated Nazism.
*If you have a relative buried in the Normandy American Cemetery, please let us know when booking your tour so we can try and make sure we can visit the grave. For most of the year, many plots are roped off due to foot traffic having an adverse effect on the grass but usually family members can visit a particular grave with an escort from the cemetery staff.