The D-Day and Bayeux

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For my whole life I have been very grateful for the super human and brave deed of the invasion troops at the Normandy’s coast 6 June 1944, a joint action by the Allied Forces to stop Hitler’s atrocities against Jews and his occupations of many countries during WWII.

In April 2009 my husband and I took part in a historical military tour. Our guide was a highly educated historian and author of a book on D-Day.

We stayed three night at the historic town Bayeux. On the 7 June 1944 Bayeux was liberated from the Germans by the Allied troops. The city has an impressive Roman and Gothic church and the museum with the original Bayeux tapestry. It was embroidered 1000 years ago to celebrate William the Conqueror, the Vikings’ invasion of England in 1066. No army has been able to invade England since. Napoleon and Hitler were both interested in the tapestry and nearly 1000 years have passed between the two invasions in each direction. One of the most dangerous times for the tapestry was during the French Revolution. Over and over a few people managed to store it away in war times. In Denmark a group of women have embroidered a copy which is permanently on display at an old monastery Boerglum in Denmark.

A mixture of pictures from the original tapestry and the new copy

 

The rain was pouring down  the day we arrived at Bayeux. The old center is characterized by maze like narrow streets. Before meeting the rest of the company at a restaurant I wanted to do my scheduled running as I took part in to the annual Half marathon in Gothenburg the week after. Needless to say I lost my way. The city map dissolved and I couldn’t remember where I lived! Somehow I found my way back having run in circles. Just a bit embarrassing to arrive late for dinner.

The highlight of the tour was to see the invaded beaches and the many museums on the subject of the D-Day. Somehow it is difficult to tell the difference of the museums as there are so many. We met Madame Arlette Gondreé who, as a four-year old girl, remembered her home freed by fierce-looking airmen coming down on gliders. The Café was the first French home liberated by paratroopers landing close to the Pegasus Bridge at the Café. She was very afraid, but relieved when she saw that her mother was kissed by one or the airmen with black stripes in his face.

 

Highlights

  • The church were John Steele hang in his parachute
  • to meet Madame Arlette Gondreé at the Café Gondreé at the “Pegasus”bridge.
  • The beaches for the different landings, Utah,  Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword
  • The allied cemeteries
  • The many museums on D-Day

 

 

 

 

15 Comments »

  1. A fantastic trip to go on, Maria. We should never forget the lessons to be learned from our history. I was born in Dover 8 years after WW2 ended, and grew up with constant reminders of the destruction war causes, plus a museum with 2,000 years of local history.

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  2. Great tour ! Next time try to go to the Caen memorial. It was a great experience for my wife and me. So many battlefields in France where was just remembered the battle of Verdun where 300000 young French and German died. I also remember the battle of Hastings where Guillaume le conquerant defeated the English.Normandie was given to the Northmen by the King to avoid endless wars and guaranty peace and prosperity for all.

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    • Thank you for for your words here. I am sure we were at Caen too. But I only had the photos shown. We stopped at Somme too but not Verdun. All very moving. The Normans were Vikings from Denmark so they were fierce

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