Landing in Normandy 75th anniversary.

75ème anniversaire du débarquement en Normandie

Landing in Normandy 75th anniversary

English version below the pictures

Il y a 8 ans , Janine et moi étions en vacances en Normandie dans un port appelé Port-en-Bessin, près des plages du débarquement du 6 juin 1944. La plus proche est la plage d’Omaha et nous l’ avons visitée, bien sûr. Vers l’ouest,  une falaise était particulièrement menaçante avec de gros canons. Cette falaise est appeléePointe du Hoc. Après un intense bombardement par la marine des États-Unis pour essayer de détruire les canons allemands et blockhaus, environ 200 Rangersmontèrent avec des cordes et une échelle. Ils ont réussi l’assaut, mais les Allemands ont résisté et les ont bloqués sur la place jusqu’à l’arrivée de nouvelles troupes américaines. Seulement 90 d’entre eux étaient en vie après deux jours.
C’ était le jour J. 1944, Américains, Britanniques, Canadiens et d’autres troupes Alliés débarquaient sur les plages et la terrible bataille de Normandie venait de commencer pour durer deux mois dans la grande région de Caen.

A la pointe du Hoc At the “pointe du Hoc” Photo René Falempin 2011

The craters of the bombs and the  destroyed German blockhouses  are seriously preserved  at the pointe du Hoc by the USA . ( the ground is the US property)
 Photos René Falempin Avril 2011

 8 years ago Janine and I were in vacation in Normandy in a harbour called Port -en- Bessin , near of one of the landing beaches of June 6,1944. The nearer was Omaha beach and we visited of course . Towards the West a cliff was especially threatening with big guns .This cliff is called Pointe du Hoc .  After a strong bombing  by the US marine to try to destroy German guns and blockhouses , about 200  Rangers climbed with ropes and ladder . They succeeded the assault but the Germans resisted and blocked them on the place until  arrival of fresh American troops. Only 90 of them were alive after two days.

It was D.Day , 1944 , American , British , Canadian and other Allies troops were landing on the beaches and the terrible battle of Normandy had just begun and lasted two months in a large area around the town of Caen.


Omaha beach. The names of the plages were different for American , British and Canadian and other alliees troops 
Imagine the first troops on this plage almost all killed by German defence.
Omaha beach. Le nom des plages étaient différents pour les Américains , Britanniques et Canadiens et autres allés. On imagine les pertes pour les premières troupes qui débarquèrent sur cette plage.
cimetière américain
Thousand and thousand of graves in this American cemetery Des milliers de tombes dans le cimetière américain

Of course we visited many remains of the landing in Normandy .  I add some photos to express better what you see and feel in those beaches so loaded of memories .

chapelle cimetière américain
Chapel in the American cemetery Chapelle dans le cimetière américain
german cemetery
Cimetière allemand . Sous chaque pierre gisent deux soldats

German cemetery ( below each small stone rest two soldiers)


No need to comment

notre groupe et le guide

My cousin ( wearing a white  cap) who was our guide  tells us we have to see the British, Canadian and other allies landing beaches yet
but we were exhausted and moved  so we stopped there

British artificial port Arromanches
Les restes du port artificiel d’Arromanches

We left the beaches in Arromanches were we can still see the remains of the British artificial port made of “mulberries “( gigantic blocks of floating concrete )  


Ceci me rappelle que j’ avais 11 ans en 1944 et que j’ écoutais avec mon père à la BBC les nouvelles du débarquement et de la bataille de Normandie

This visit recalled to me I was 11 in 1944 and I listened with my father to the BBC radio the news of the landing and of the battle of Normandy.


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90 Responses to Landing in Normandy 75th anniversary.

  1. mrswrangler says:

    Looks like a very intresting trip with history all around you

  2. puffpop says:

    That was a memorable and historic day. Many young men enlisted not knowing fully the horrors of war. Most of the WWII heros are gone now, only a few left. It was a time when our nation was together and willing to make sacrifices for freedom. We didn’t have TV so we didn’t have instant news like they do now. But I do remember the news on the radio and there was something called “Telenews” that showed during a film at a movie theatre. I remember seeing it on Telenews. I also dreamed about it….The soldiers running up on the beach. It seems when you visit places such as this the ground is still bloody…That’s the way I felt when we visited the Civil War Sites. The Germans wern’t very nice. They were fooled by Hitler. When I studied German in college, I had professors that lived in Germany during that time and some had guilt feelings as was evident in some of the literature of the time. But one professor was very bitter since the allies destroyed the beautiful city of Dresden and all of the treasures. But at the same time, we lost sons and fathers and brothers…No women serving on the battlefield at that time. You are fortunate to have visited this very special place.

    • The Germans resisted as much as they can and the Normandy battle was during a time, uncertain . Fortunately the tricks of the Allies let Hitler believe the landing should be in the coast nearer of England ( Boulogne-Calais coast )

  3. Oh wow what a beautiful post and tribute. Wonderful Michel. ❤

  4. Eat Right Chef Louisa says:

    A wonderful post to commemorate this historical event, with your personal touches, as usual. The picture and details about the German graves are particularly interesting… compassion for those who were forced to fight. They were humans too.

    • You are right Louisa many of the German soldiers had not chosen this fight .

      • cjjustice1 says:

        I agree with Louisa and of course with you, Michel. There were many who were forced to fight for Hitler who wouldn’t have chosen to do so. As always you are a compassionate man, and that is important for a historian sharing this story. I never really knew about this event much until I began learning from you. Thank you, Michel. Love always
        to you and Janine. ❤ Carolyn.

      • I agree with you, Carolyn

  5. Thank you Michel for sharing about this momentous day that changed the course of history!

  6. atagrandma says:

    Very moving, My first memories of the war involve blackout curtains, and my mother ironing clothes by the light of a kerosene lamp. We lived in Long Beach, CA. which was a port city for the Navy, so electric lights at night were not allowed. At one time it was thought we were being attacked (we weren’t) and shrapnel fell on our front porch from anti-aircraft guns. The only other thing I remember is one day hearing lots of noise, cars honking, bells ringing, people rejoicing. I asked my mother what it was, and she said the war was over. I said Oh, and went back to playing. I was only 7.

  7. blb1 says:

    Making this visit one can only wish this had been the end of wars.

  8. Beautiful photos and tribute, Michel! Very heart-touching.
    Your memories are vivid even until this day. What a big day for an 11 year old.
    We read about the anniversary on-line and saw some ceremonies on TV.

  9. My parent’s last vacation was in Europe and they made time to visit Normandy. They both survived wars in Asia and wanted to pay respects to the many soldiers and civilians that perished in the battle there. It was very memorable for them.

  10. judyrutrider says:

    My father is 95, my mother 94, both have told me about their lives during the war. While their lives were not impacted to the degree that the Europeans suffered, they did experience rationing of gasoline, butter, meat, etc. My dad was drafted into the army but was discharged as unfit. My mom worked in a foundry.
    Americans have all but forgotten the “war to end all wars” and are complacent about the current trend towards nationalism. Many of my neighbors seem not to consider the horrific sacrifices war demands and it’s probably because they have not seen war in this country. It’s easy to see glory in wars when it’s not one’s own home and life being destroyed. I’ll bet Europeans have a much greater aversion to war.

    • You are right ,Judy . During the war I was a civilian child from 6 to 11 years old and I knew unceasing bombings : German, then British and at last American. How many civilians dead during all of those bombings? Without speaking of the dead ones of the French Resistance.

  11. Stephanie Wall says:

    Bonjour Michel et Janine, nous sommes en train de regarder le service a Ver-sur-Mer pour tous le sacrifice de tous ceux qui assistaient à libérer la France des Nazis.
    Très émouvant
    Nos pensées sont avec vous, votre famille et nos familles qui ont soufferte de cette guère mondiale affreuse.
    Amitiés x

  12. Isabel Capillas says:

    Memoirs of a war zone😔 where many risk their lives for nonsense. Hope war ends in all parts of the world.❤️

  13. Rachel says:

    Thank you for sharing, Michel. When I was in Belgium, many years ago, our group visited one of the memorials/cemeteries. An overwhelming feeling of sadness, yet pride, comes over you when you see what the wat cost.

  14. Susan Joos says:

    I know that historically this was such a fraught time. To have listened and heard of the events as they were happening must have made a huge impression on your eleven-year-old self!

  15. Thank you for sharing your memories, Michel.


  16. So much history – and already 75 years ago.
    Thank you for your memories, Michel.

  17. Thank you for sharing Michel. I was just shy of several days of being 2 months old when D-Day occurred. It was a sad day and also a wonderful happy day. for the world as countries fight to take back their own country. Love Marilyn ❤

  18. Thank you for sharing. How interesting that the “mulberries” are still there. What a sober monument they make.

    God bless you, Michel. I hope and yours are well, and that your garden is thriving.❤️

  19. Neil Fidler says:

    Wonderful photos, Michel. God bless the brave souls, especially those who died, on this day 75 years ago.

  20. cocosangel says:

    How exciting to visit historical places. And learning history. I didn’t know that the US occupied the land.

  21. Carole says:

    Pourvu que la guerre ne revienne jamais. Il y a eu tellement de morts….Pas sur que notre société s en souvienne. Espérons. Bonne soirée on vous embrasse Carole

  22. LGail says:

    My mother said that on that day she was home in Tennessee and many planes flew over. She didn’t know what was happening. The family was frightened.
    Great story and history.

  23. Julie says:

    When I have been watching all the events for the 75th Anniversary I was thinking about the young Michel living in France waiting for the troops to come and liberty him, It has been wonderful to see all those Veterans who came to remember those who lost their lives

  24. Pam says:

    Thanks for sharing this with us.

  25. murisopsis says:

    The sacrifice was tremendous for all. I am grateful that the beaches remain a memorial. Seems too few people remain who remember the horror that WWII brought to countries on many continents.

  26. Marion Manson says:

    Thank you for sharing this visit with us, Michel! The sacrifices these wonderful, brave people made so others in the future would be free is humbling. Lovely photos here of these scared places.

  27. Marion Manson says:

    Meant to write – sacred places!

  28. sherazade says:

    Ho visitato questi luoghi da bambina Perché i miei zii francesi avevano una casa di vacanza in Normandia a Dieppe.
    Lo sbarco di Normandia ha rappresentato un momento topico della Seconda Guerra Mondiale e anche qui in Italia lo Abbiamo ricordato ok con grandi cerimonie.

    Shera 🌹

    ps Grazie per avere visitato il mio blog Ne sono molto contenta.

  29. calmkate says:

    powerfully emotional, a great tribute thanks Michel!

  30. Saania2806 says:

    Interesting 🤗

  31. Thank you for sharing your memories. A wonderful tribute. Hugs

  32. mimiwi2013 says:

    Because this was an important anniversary, the 75th, a lot of information has been shown on TV this year. So many things I either did not know, or had forgotten over the years. I know that many special trips for survivors were arranged for this year also. Since they certainly would not be around for the 100th memorial. So very interesting to hear all their first-hand stories, and how emotional they still got talking about it, even after 75 yrs. I got tears in my eyes over several of their stories. I was only 2 yrs. old at the time, and certainly have no memory of it, unlike you, Michel. I also remember when you took your last trip with Janine there and reported on it. So very moving. Cannot imagine experiencing this at such an impressionable age as you were at the time. Thank you for sharing, and making us appreciate all you experienced, and how blessed we are at the outcome!

  33. Cheri Herald says:

    I am lucky that is an anniversary of an event of which I have no firsthand knowledge. I can’t imagine. ❤

  34. bernard25 says:

    Bonjour ou bonsoir MICHEL

    Mon amitié est une chanson
    Que je dépose chez toi
    Qui m’ apporte tant d’émotion

    Mon amitié est ma chanson
    Je veux partager avec passion
    De notes de musique sur un rythme fantastique

    Mon amitié est une chanson
    Que j’offre sans aucune condition
    Sur des paroles qui te feront rêver

    cette amitié est une chanson
    Je l’apprécie et j’en suis fière
    Cette amitié que je l’ai construit avec toi

    Sur cet air de musique
    Que je te fredonne
    Je te souhaite une très bonne journée ou soirée

    Gros bisous,

  35. marica0701 says:

    I am currently reading the book “The Longest Day” which is about D Day. At this point in the book I am at 6:30am on June 6, “H Hour”. Seeing these photos help to give me more visual to the beaches.
    In my state of Ohio there is a small town along Lake Erie called Conneaut which reenacts D Day every August. I’ve seen it twice and it’s a magnificent event – and to think that it was thousands of times bigger, it’s unfathomable. I have photos of these events on my Marica0701 blog.
    I hope to visit these beaches and cemeteries someday.

  36. How are you doing, Michel?
    I just wanted to stop by to check on you.
    And to sit here and say some prayers and then leave some (((HUGS)))
    My best to you and Janine! 🙂

  37. L. Marie says:

    Beautiful photographs, Michel! What a lovely journey. Lovely and thought provoking.
    May God bless you and Janine. ❤️

  38. Lavinia Ross says:

    Your photos are beautiful, Michel! It is hard to imagine the death and destruction that occurred back then, looking at such a tranquil modern day scene on the beach. I pray for the fallen. I also send hugs to you and Janine. ❤

  39. Sartenada says:

    What a great tribute! My hat making this post. I was born in 1944. Helsinki was bombed in winter 1944, I wouldn’t be alive if my mother hadn’t gone to the bomb shelter during an air attack. When she returned home, all the windows were broken and were inside the room due to the close fallen bomb which caused the force of the pressure. You can imagine what kind of destruction there was inside the room.

    Best regards,

  40. nhislop says:

    It is sad to think of all of those lives lost. It is good to take a little time to remember them.

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