Sunday, May 22, 2011

Normandy--Pointe du Hoc

As part of my parents' visit, in what I've now dubbed the "War n' Churches Tour '11", we went to Normandy.  We took a half-day tour, which was just enough for us.  Or enough for me anyway, and the other two weren't complaining.  We passed by another tour in which the leader was going on and ON about some minutiae about the dirt there (I'm not kidding) and prancing around a canon, and I was happy that our guide was chilled out and gave us time to walk around on our own.

Our first stop was Pointe du Hoc, which is between Utah and Omaha beaches.  It it where the rangers first landed (scaling the cliffs, Spiderman-style), in an attempt to destroy the fortifications and guns/cannons that the Germans had placed there as part of their Atlantic Wall.  There were six cannons there, but when the rangers landed they had all been moved.

The ground is dented with many craters left from bombs, and remnants of the Atlantic Wall and German fortifications and bunkers remain.  It it like a post-industrial surface of the moon.

Inside one of the remaining German bunkers.

 One of the German lookout points in a bunker.

 Looking toward Omaha Beach.

Memorial in French and English.