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

Travel Normandy guide François 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.

Normandy Travel

Travel in Normandy with Francois Gauthron

Les Mézières

Objective WXYZ

The bunkers are located in the field bordered by road Pvt Criss towards Saint-Martin-de-Vareville. The farm is at the opposite, D 423 towards Turqueville. The action took place in a group of farms that was the scene of a memorable D-Day firefight.

In 1944, the farm buildings had been pressed into service as a barracks complex for German artillerymen. On American maps they were simply given the designation «WXYZ». Today, there is nothing along this bucolic country road to recall for the traveller the events of 6 June. Yet here, Staff Sergeant Harrison Summers, 1st Battalion, 502d Parachute Infantry, fought almost single-handedly to capture the barracks.

Summers had been given fifteen men to accomplish his mission, one that really called for a battalion effort. Strangers to Summers and coming from different units, these men had little stomach for the firefight the sergeant was about to begin. Trusting that his example would inspire his men, Summers raced over to the first building, kicked in the door, and sprayed the room with his Thompson submachine gun. The handful of survivors burst out of the rear of the building, looking for cover further down the road. Summers, now covered by Private William Burt with a light machine gun, broke into a second house and shot its six defenders.

And so it went from house to house. Two officers who joined him were taken out by German fire almost immediately. Private John Camien, carrying an M-1 carbine, pitched in later. The rest of Summers's squad provided some covering fire from . the ditch paralleling the road. But it was largely Summers's fight. Building after building fell to the intrepid sergeant. The finale came after five hours of fighting, when Summers and Burt set the last barracks building on fire with bazooka rounds and tracers, flushing the eighty or so German defenders into an open field where fifty were killed. When asked how he felt, Summers, dragging on a cigarette, replied that he didn't feel «very good. It was all kind of crazy».