The beaches of Normandy, France… where thousands bled and died during the D-Day invasion during World War II. It’s now considered one of the most famous World War II battlefields that many movies, books, comics, and video games are based on this location. The D-Day invasions are quite often depicted as an important event during World War II in the European campaign as it opened up the second European front since the Allies first attacked in the south particularly Italy and Africa. A lot of preparation, especially with transportation and logistics, were made so complete coordination would be made and fit in the grand scheme of maneuver, firepower, and mass effect of taking back France from Germany. That’s why I think the beaches of Normandy are great to visit then you understand how difficult it was to begin the second European front which was why UK Prime Minister at the time, Winston Churchill, wanted to delay this before building. I am sure Churchill was in his war rooms when the planning and execution for this day finally came.
One of the things once I was on the ground was the tall ocean cliffs throughout the Norman province. There is no way troops would be able to climb those steep cliffs with equipment. So it made it very important that the landings had to be on beaches with direct access to roads. By securing the beach-heads through the landings and airborne-dropped troops, the tanks, supply lines, and more troops could be rolled onto the mainland where it would then become a race towards Berlin until the Germans counterattacked at Bastogne.
Thanks to the efforts of many, a new visitors center and a little bit sprucing up the cemetery helped make the Normandy American Cemetery one of the best cemeteries out there to go see. There are thousand interned there but like in every US military cemetery such as the one in Luxembourg where General Patton was buried, there is always someone of importance. the two people that I wanted to see were the Roosevelts: Theodore Roosevelt Jr. and Quentin Roosevelt, both whom were sons of the great President Theodore Roosevelt. Quentin was actually KIA (killed in action) back in World War I when he was a fighter pilot on the Allies side and was initially buried elsewhere before they moved his remains to be buried next to his brother, Theodore Sr., who himself was well accomplished as a soldier and officer. He had served quite a long time in the military not only in World War I but also in World War II where Theodore Jr. was the only General on ground to make the D-Day landings and also survived! Many including the higher echelons did not think he was going to live through the chaos of Normandy but he made it as he could before the Minister of Death with his scythe came for him in the form of a heart attack. Theodore Jr. also won the Medal of Honor as well just like his father, Theodore Sr. did with the Rough Riders.
Just note that there are a lot of museums, memorials, and war cemeteries in the area that even some of the museums are privately owned as people would dig up WWII equipment over time and stockpile it into a building to preserve it and get some tourists in as well. It’s almost like Bastogne where locals would have their own personal libraries and museums that their families in earlier generations picked up over time. Note that if you plan on visiting the Normandy beaches around D-Day (06 June), you need to book your trip very early because the place becomes overcrowded and crawling with tourists who show up there for the D-Day Landing Ceremonies every year.
I recommend showing up in April-May or late August-September as the better times to show up when the weather is not so hot or cold and there aren’t that MANY tourists around. It’s also best to take a tour up north to the French northern coast because of the sheer amount of road tolls that you have to pay in France. For some weird, the French like to tax people for using their roads and highways that even in the past meaning hundreds of years ago, the people would have to pay tax for living by a royal road AND were also expected to fix and maintain them. Nothing’s changed since then.