On 6 June 1944 in Normandy, the 3rd British Infantry Division under General Rennie slammed ashore around 7:30 am. The vehicles of the 79th Armoured Division, the engineers and the tanks of the 13/18th Hussars landed on Sword Beach, Queen sector. The special tanks tanks neutralized the fortifications of the beach.
Many of those buried in Hermanville War Cemetery died on 6 June or during the first days of the drive towards Caen.
The cemetery contains 1,003 Second World War burials, 103 of them unidentified.
But when the assault waves arrived on the beaches, some German positions were still offering resistance. At La Brèche d’Hermanville, the 2nd East Yorkshire and the 1st South Lancashire suffered losses facing the German machine-guns. The position – Cod – was a strong bastion, the Germans had reinforced the houses along the coast with concrete and trenches. The Commandos of the 4th Special Service Brigade and the 1st Special Service Brigade were brought with the second wave and moved toward their objectives. The 8th Brigade progressed toward Hermanville-sur-Mer, the town was liberated by the 1st South Lancashire around 9:30 am.
At the Straits of Calais were several gun emplacements that could bombard England. One of the most famous is Batterie Todt. This complex consisted of four huge bunkers (Turm’s) with 380mm Siegfried cannons. Originally intended as a naval artillery guns but were later used as railway artillery.
The barrel of a gun weighed 103 tonnes and had a length of 19 meters. It could shoot a projectile of 490 kg 55 km far. A projectile of 790 kg 53 km. The light projectile(490 kg) took about 33 seconds to reach Dover, the heavier took 9 seconds longer(the difference was over 600 meters in depth and 64 meters laterally).
Today where are leaving Carentan and our lovely stay at the B&B . If you want to see the landing beaches and the Airborne landings this is one of the best options as you are in the center where the actions has been taking place. Nancy is running a great B&B and even makes her own bread, jam, yoghurt (I wonder what she does not make by her own). The rooms are great and large.
Carentan bailey bridge
CarentanThe nature around Carentan is very nice especially if you like Oysters. One road you should drive during dusk is the small road to left side of the river Diver to the ‘Parc Naturel Regional des Marais du Cotentin et du Bessin’. Just out of Carentan you cross a side arm of the river on a original Bailey bridge. At the end of the long road you can see the sun going down in the see.
In the harbor of Carentan lies an original Landing Craft (PA30-4).
Carentan landing craft
Off we go to Clecy near Caen (and the Falaise pocket)
16 km north of Catania lies the town of Acireale. It took the 50th Division 2 days to conquer the town and the roadblocks the Germans and Italians set up.
In 2006 this corner was still occopied with a butcher but nowdays it is empty.