A World War II historic guide to discover the D-Day Landing Beaches in Normandy

Travel Normandy guide Fran├žois Gauthron offers tours of the Normandy landing beaches, World War II battlefield. Come and discover the most famous part of Normandy where took place the Landing and the battle of Normandy in June 1944 to liberate France and Europe. You will be escorted by a qualified bilingual guide who will show you round the major sites of the beaches. Visit the highlights of World War II sites in Normandy with an expert license guide, first the most important sites of the landing beaches.

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Travel in Normandy with Francois Gauthron


Asnelles

Gold Beach

The commander of the invasion force for Gold was Lt. Gen. Miles Dempsey. The main assault unit was the British 50th Infantry Division, part of the British 2nd Army. The main regiments used in the attack were the Dorset shire, Hampshire, East Yorkshire and Devonshire. Along with these regiments was 47th Royal Marine Commandos, attached to the 50th Division. Against the attacking force were the German 716th Division and units of the 352nd Division. Many of the defenders were in exposed positions and vulnerable to Allied naval and aerial gunfire. Based in Bayeux was the mechanized unit of the 352nd Division and this was expected to rush to the front once an attack had started. The time for the landing at Gold Beach was set at 07.25. However, the British forces here experienced a major problem. Intelligence had provided the British with information that the beach was littered with defences On the morning of June 6th, a strong wind whipped up the water along the coast so that it was higher than planners had anticipated.

Rommel's beach obstacles

A major problem was that the seawater covered over the mines and other obstacles so that engineers could not go in and disarm them. The first landing craft landed military vehicles that were subsequently damaged by mines. Twenty armored cars were damaged this way. Such a situation could have been very dangerous but the German defenders had been neutralized by constant and accurate naval and aerial bombardment. By midday, a lot of the designated beach was in the hands of the British. By the early evening, 25,000 men of the 50th Division had been landed and the advance force of this division had moved six miles inland and had linked up with the Canadian forces that had landed at Juno beach. About 400 casualties had been incurred whilst securing the beach.

Asnelles: Le Hamel

The monument is dedicated to the 231 Infantry Brigade of the 50th British Division. Three sections of the road running off toward the beach are named after the Brigade's three regiments Devonshire, 1st Dorset, and 1st Hampshire. Continue down to the beach at Le Hamel and park near the huge blockhouse WN 37.
You are now at Le Hamel, on Jig sector, Gold Beach, which was assaulted by the 231st British Infantry Brigade (1st battalions of the Hampshire and Dorset regiments). The 1st Hampshire took the brunt of the fire from the 88-mm gun in this blockhouse. The attack was spearheaded by four Crabs which flailed their way through the minefields behind the beach. Three of the tanks were destroyed; the fourth made a wild charge through the village before it was knocked out According to the plaque on the blockhouse, the Germans manning this 88-mm accounted for a total of six British tanks. Although several German strong points held out through the afternoon, the Hampshires quickly worked their way around Le Hamel and began their advance inland.
The 1st Dorsets, landing further east, out of range of the fire from Le Hamel, had fewer difficulties. Their specialized armor (8th Armored Brigade) quickly opened three beach exits, and by afternoon they were fighting units of the German 352d Division for control of the Arromanches ridge.