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6 of June 1944, the Allies started the operation known for the history as D-Day.
Around three million soldiers and six million tons of material amassed to start the operation. 225 rangers landed that morning to the beach of Normandy.
By end of the day, Allies took several beaches and started to build artificial harbors (Mulberry) that played a vital part in the success of the landings.
You will stop at “The Pointe du Hoc“, 90 feet high cliffs between Omaha and Utah beaches where you will feel the atmosphere of those dramatic events.
Colleville sur Mer American Cemetery
You will visit the Colleville sur Mer American Cemetery which overlooks Omaha Beach.
The 170-acre site contains 9,000 perfectly aligned white crosses and a memorial chapel which adds the finishing touches to this moving scene, allowing visitors to reflect on the price of war.
It is also an opportunity for you to go in search of your own history as many of us have relatives or friends who fought and fell in this conflict.
Other World War Two locations that you will see are Arromanches with its vestiges of the artificial harbor (Mulberry Bridge), Longues-sur-Mer and the German artillery battery, which gave the allies a pounding on the morning of 6th June.
It is actually the only coastal battery to have kept its guns, giving an impressive picture of what an Atlantic wall gun emplacement was really like.
At the end of your day you will be given free time to explore the Caen Peace Memorial, a place for contemplating war in general and why it is important not to forget the legacy of the Second World War.
Historical Introduction to D DAY
After leaving Paris at 7 am along the A13, your guide will stop half-way for coffee and croissants before giving you a historical introduction to D DAY and the battle of Normandy.
Upon your arrival in Normandy, you will start your journey with the visit of 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.
American Cementery of Colleville
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.
Visit Omaha Beach
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.
Visit of Pointe DU HOC
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 case mates 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 strong point from the sea.
Their heroic struggle and final success has entered into history.
Extra charge for a pick up and/or a drop off outside Paris
Reviews ( 2 )
Fred was awesome
I learned more about the connection between French and American history than I did in college.
Non stop tour. Abundance of history. I’m just glad there wasn’t a quiz at the end.
We had used PARISMATIC Tour services this summer. We purchased Giverny and Versailles combo tour and City Tour.
I must admit that the tours with Vrouir was the best (and I think we did more that 15 tours in all Europe), he is nice, and funny but also he knows a lot!!! Was a pleasure to spend time with him and learn a little more about the beautiful Paris!
Normandy D-Day battle sites and landing beaches, American Cemetery etc.
Pointe Du Hoc
The American Cemetery
Longues sur Mer
Back to Paris
Normandy D Day