75 YEARS AGO: NORMANDY, FRANCE
The Northern French coast is absolutely gorgeous. A crisp breeze, greenery as far as one can see in one direction with vast ocean in the other. Every few miles you can find a town that seems untouched by time… unless you look very carefully.
75 years ago, the allies (Great Britain, Canada and the United States) invaded Normandy’s coast by air and sea with over 150 thousand soldiers in an effort to liberate France and Western Europe from Nazi occupation in 1944. This assault was a pivotal but costly undertaking code-named “Operation Overlord.”
With boys as young as 17 running into hails of gunfire, the Normandy invasion has left this 50 miles of stunning coastline with stories of valor, heroism and the ultimate sacrifice. Today, few know the history, terrain, and the inhabitants (including veterans) like historian and resident Stuart Robertson.
Stuart has published books on the subject, worked for the Ministry of Defense as a civilian archivist and served as correspondent for networks like CNN and Fox News. It’s his tour, “Normandy Battle Tours” that you really feel and experience Stuart’s passion for the subject.
Our tour begins in Sainte-Mere-Eglise, one of the first towns liberated by US Paratroopers. (The museum there is a must-see). From there it was Utah and Omaha Beach where the US forces would encounter horrific resistance from German artillery and machine gun nests. The tour concluded at American Cemetery where the entire story came to life with the names and graves of over 9,000 real people. Some of them clearly still visited by loved ones today.
Stuart offers many different types of tours up and down the Normandy coast and we highly recommend him. He bares the responsibility of carrying the story to the next generations and you’ll see… it’s a responsibility he carries out with immense passion.