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Pointe du Hoc

Pointe de Hoc

US President Regan giving a speech for the commemoration of the 40th birthday of the D-Day at Pointe du Hoc.

The Pointe du Hoc is the highest point between western Utah Beach and eastern Omaha Beach. From this point, you can overlook the English Channel. This lookout provides a great view of the coast of Normandy.

Because of its’ particular location, the Germans placed heavy artillery (gun pits) on the cliff, threatening both Omaha and Utah beach. It was then considered an essential mission to blast the German artillery immediately when Operation Overlord began to protect the landing troops and reduce casualties.

On D-Day, the U.S Army attacked and took over Pointe du Hoc after scaling its cliffs. Unfortunately, they discovered the artillery had recently been taken to another location.

 

Normandy D-Day Tour, American sector

Sainte-Mère-Église

Normandy D-Day Tour, American sectorSainte-Mère-Eglise was the first town of France in the Cotentin region liberated by American paratroopers. It is also famous for the American paratrooper, John Steele, who’s parachute was caught on the church tower during the Overload operation. You can see a copy of John Steele still attached to his parachute on the church tower. There is a museum dedicated to American paratroopers called Airborne Museum. It is located just in front of the church. This museum takes you back to D-Day alongside American paratroopers. Also, admire Sainte-Mère-Église with its special atmosphere full of history.

Normandy D-Day sites, Normandy, D-Day sites

Carentan

Normandy D-Day sites, Normandy, D-Day sites, CarentanThe small town of Carentan is known for its cultural heritage and its medieval buildings. It’s a city full of history. There are a lot of places to visit such as Notre-Dame of Carentan church which suffered a lot of damage during the D-Day bombings. Additionally, you will find hotels which housed famous people such as French writer Honoré de Balzac and emperor Napoléon 1er, as well as beautiful harbours. 

Normandy D-Day sites, Normandy, D-Day sites, Omaha beach

Omaha beach

Omaha_Beach_Memorial_on_German_bunkerOmaha beach was one of the landing beaches assigned to the Americans for landing in France on D-Day. This is where they suffered the most casualties while fighting against Germans troops in hopes of liberating Europe (30% of all casualties of the D-Day). Hence the name « Bloody Omaha » or « the Beach of blood ».

The name Omaha was used as a code name during Operation Overlord, chosen because it was the place of birth of one of the officers engaged in the operation (the city of Omaha in Nebraska). The same with the other American beach, Utah beach,  state of birth of another American officer.

Located a few meters away, the American cemetery of Colleville-sur Mer overlooks the beach. 

American cemetery D Day Omaha beach, france tourist attractions

Normandy American Cemetery

American cemetery

On the 8th of June in 1944, the U.S First Army established a temporary cemetery in Normandy. After the war, the present-day cemetery was established just a short distance to the east of the original site building a memorial and a chapel to go along with it.

The cemetery is located on a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach. Among the 9 386 graves are the ones of 3 recipients of the Medal of Honor and 2 sons of President Theodore Roosevelt (one being one of the 3 recipients of the Medal of Honor, the other killed during WWI and reburied next to his brother after WWII).

This is a place of reflection to honor the memory of the dead, many Americans go to meditate on the grave of one of their ancestors.

Utah beach

Utah beach

Utah beach is the most western of the five landing beaches during WWII. It was used for amphibious landings undertaken by the United States Army troops. The code name comes from the name of the US state from where one of the officer participating in the landing was from.