• D-Day in Normandy from Le Havre (12 hours) Description

    Your private, licensed driver-guide will pick you up at 07:30 at your ship in a luxurious, air-conditioned Mercedes Minivan; on the road your guide will give you a historical introduction to DDAY and the battle of Normandy. After a 2 hour drive, you will start your journey with the visit of PEGASUS BRIDGE, one of the 3 most famous bridges in World War II (with Remagen and Arnhem) that was captured by Major John Howard and his glider borne company in a coup de main operation.

    Your guide will drive you then to ARROMANCHES to discover with you the remains of the artificial harbor (Mulberry) that played a vital part in the success of the Landings.

    The Dieppe Raid of 1942 had shown that the Allies could not rely on being able to penetrate the Atlantic Wall to capture a port on the North French coast. The problem was that the large ships of the type needed to transport heavy and bulky cargoes needed sufficient depth of water under their keels and this was not available except at the too heavily-defended French harbors. Thus, the Mulberries were created to provide the port facilities necessary to offload the thousands of men and vehicles and tons of supplies necessary to sustain Operation Overlord and the Battle of Normandy. The Mulberries were made up of all the elements one would expect of any harbor: breakwater, piers, and roadways etc, each piece of them towed from England to France.

    From Arromanches, your guide will drive you to the German coastal artillery battery of LONGUES SUR MER that formed a part of Germany’s Atlantic Wall coastal fortifications. The battery was completed by April 1944 and consisted of four 152 mm navy guns, each protected by a large concrete casemate, a command post, shelters for personnel and ammunition and several defensive machine-gun emplacements.

    After your visit of Longues sur Mer, It is time for lunch in a nice typical Norman local restaurant (not included).

    After lunch your journey continues with an exhaustive visit of the AMERICAN CEMETERY of Colleville ,that covers 172 ,5 acres and that contains the graves of  9387 military dead, most of whom lost their lives in the D-Day landings and ensuing operations (visit of the Memorial, the wall of Missing, the Chapel, many special tombs – Medals of Honor etc).  Your visit will be followed with a stop at the AMERICAN INTERPRETATIVE CENTER where you will have the opportunity to view remarkable films and documentaries relating the DDAY and Battle of Normandy operations.

    Your journey will continue with the drive to OMAHA BEACH that since June 6th 1944 has become the symbol of the sacrifice of American soldiers in WWII.

    The primary objective of Omaha was to secure a beachhead of some 5 miles between Port en Bessin and the Vire River, linking up with the British landings at Gold Beach and the Americans at Utah Beach. Opposing the landings was the German 352nd Infantry Division a large portion of whom had fought on the Eastern Front.  Very little went as planned during the landing at Omaha Beach. The defenses were unexpectedly strong and inflicted extremely heavy casualties on landing US troops. Small penetrations were eventually achieved by groups of survivors making improvised assaults, scaling the bluffs between the most heavily defended points. By the end of the day, 2 small isolated footholds had been won, which were subsequently exploited against weaker defenses further inland, thus achieving the original DDAY objectives over the following days.

    After your moving stop on Omaha Beach, you will finish your journey with the private guided visit of POINTE DU HOC, where the Germans had built 6 casemates to house a battery of 155 mm guns. Situated between Utah Beach and Omaha Beach, these guns threatened Allied landings, risking heavy casualties in the landing forces. The US 2nd Ranger Battalion under the command of Colonel James Rudder was given the task of destroying the strongpoint from the sea. Their heroic struggle and final success has entered into history.

    On your way back to Le Havre, you will pass GRANDCAMP MAISY and the GERMAN CEMETERY (short stop if time) before arriving at your ship around 7pm.


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