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Monday, 4 April 2011

The Longest Day Tour - Spring 2011

Well you may or may not have wondered where I'd got to? The truth is I've been away doing a bit of research! A week in Normandy touring the battlefields of D-Day.
Churchill AVRE excavated from and preserved at Graye on JUNO Beach
Seven nights staying in the delightful town of Port-en-Bessin (you'd recognise it as Ouistreham in the 1962 film The Longest Day) gave me and a group of like minded friends ample time to explore the main sites and a few less obvious ones too.

Eight of us made the trip, taking two cars & using the Dover-Calais Ferry then driving through North-Western France. Myself, Greg (my eldest Son), Bruce, Dave, James (Dave's eldest Son), Roland, Chris and his brother Phil.
Reproduction HORSA Glider at PEGASUS BRIDGE
We followed a fairly logical itinery covering the Airborne bridgeheads first followed by the American landing beaches and then the British/Canadian ones. Finally we headed inland to take in some of the breakout battlefield;-
Day 1: The drive down, taking in Agincourt en-route
Day 2: Explored Port-en-Bessin and the Longues Battery
Day 3: British Airborne Assault - Pegasus Bridge and Merville Battery
Day 4: US Airborne Assault - Ste Mere Eglise, Bercourt Manor (Band of Brothers), Utah Beach & La Cambe German Cemetery.
Day 5: Omaha Beach - US Cemetery, Strongpoint WN62 & Pointe du Hoc.
Day 6: Gold Beach - Arromanches & the Mulberry HarbourJuno Beach and Sword Beach - the Grand Bunker at Riva Bella
Day 7: Bayeux - the CWGC Cemetery, 1066 Tapestry and south to Villers-Bocage
Day 8: La-Coupole V2 Launch Site (on the way back to Calais)
    Well preserved M10 Tank Destroyer at Bayeux Museum of the Battle of Normandy
     It's time now to get back into the figure painting etc... all that reference material I've collected over the last week has made me keen to recreate one of the German Atlantic Wall Strongpoints in model form. At the moment I favour WN62 covering the Colleville Draw on Omaha Beach in perhaps 2/3mm scale. Watch this space.
    WN62 with the US Cemetery behind the trees (top Right) and the remains of the anti-tank ditch immediately in front of the parked cars
    To follow our adventures, check out Battlefield Tours under Labels.

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