British D-Day Experience Réf Tour : # H2
From the port of call in Cherbourg, go back in time and visit the great Norman battlefields of the Second World War to understand the key events of Operation Overlord. Your guide will welcome you to the port of call.Tours are private, but if you want to share yours with some other participants, you can look on the website like www.cruisecritics.com
Pick-up/drop-off locations: Cherbourg port of call
Pick-up time/drop-off time: 8.30am/5:30pm
Duration: 9 hoursRate for 1 to 7 pax : from 850€Inclusions
Entrance fees or tasting fees, unless mentioned
Gratuities for the driver/guide
Meals and drinks, unless specified
Personal insurance and expensesDescriptionThe german battery of Longues-sur-Mer – The artificial harbor of Arromanches (Mulberry B) – Gold Beach - The Bayeux cemetery
Explore with your licensed driver-guide the details of Overlord operation and discover key British D-day sites and the different divisions (Infantry, Navy, Airforce, Support) involved in the landing of Gold area. During that highly personalised tour, your guide will give you some full explanations to better understand what went wrong and what whent right for each battlefield site. By the end of your visit, you will understand the strategic choices for the Allied invasion of Normandy and you will feel that you have proudly fulfilled your duty of remembrance by paying tribute to all those young men who sacrificed themselves to save France, Europe and the world.
Your tour will start with the german battery of Longues-sur-Mer situated in Gold sector and also covering part of Omaha sector. This battery led a duel against the Allied fleet before being silenced at sunset on D-Day. Finally, the British troops landed at Gold Beach took control of this position on June 7th, capturing the survivors of the 180-man garrison.
The coastal battery, which was part of the coastal fortifications of the Atlantic Wall, was built by the German navy (die Kriegsmarine) in four months, during the first half of 1944. It consisted of four 150 mm guns in concrete bunkers and one 120 mm gun. In May 1944, the battery was operational, but the fire command post established on the edge of the cliff did not yet have the necessary equipment to aim at naval objectives with precision and efficiency.
Today, this site is one of the best preserved in France and the only one where it is still possible to see some of the original guns, capable at the time of firing 45 kg shells at a distance of 12 miles. It was also used to film one of the famous scenes of the movie the Longest Day.
After a complete presentation of the different kind of fortifications of the Atlantic wall, your guide will be glad to show you a breathtaking view of the cliffs of the British artificial harbour of Arromanches (Mulberry B) offering a vast panorama on Gold beach.
During the preparation of the Normandy landings (which constituted Operation Overlord), the allied commanders considered that it was absolutely necessary to have deep-water ports to be able to send reinforcements to the continent. However, the attack by Canadian forces at Dieppe on August 19, 1942, demonstrated the extent to which Germany had strengthened the defence of these ports.
The Allies' solution was to assemble the components for two artificial ports in the United Kingdom and then assemble them on site across the Channel. The first was to allow the arrival of American troops on Omaha Beach (at Vierville-sur-Mer) and was code-named "Mulberry A". The second was to allow the arrival of British troops on Gold Beach (at Arromanches) and was code-named "Mulberry B". The next day, old ships were sunk to begin the construction of the artificial harbour. On 14 June, the first floating road was operational.
After a lunch break, you and your guide will pay tribute to nearly 4,000 British soldiers buried in the military Cemetery, making it the largest World War II British military cemetery in France. It also contains Commonwealth soldiers like Canada, Australia, New Zealand and even more countries like South Africa, Poland, Russia, the Czech Republic, Italy and Germany. The town of Bayeux was liberated on 7 June 1944. As no fighting took place there, it had suffered little damage.