Newly Discovered Part of the Atlantic Wall.
For anyone interested in WW2 History the recently uncovered site at Maisy will be of particular interest.
Buried and hidden for over 60 years but now being excavated and opened to the public it casts another light on the historic events of 6th June and the days that followed.
Thanks to the enthusiasm and enterprise of Gary Sterne, an amateur historian of WW2 who first discovered the site, the first part of the site is now open to the public.
A more detailed account is available on my "Maisy" Travel Page
Memorial to crews of Heavy Bomber Command
This striking polished granite Memorial, with its cut-out of a heavy bomber of the Lancaster type, pays tribute to the crews of RAF Heavy Bomber Command and of the two Squadrons, Guyenne 346 and Tunisie 347, of the Free French Air Force who took part in the Liberation of France in June 1944.
One in every two perished - and most of those would have been under the age of 25.
They were based at Elvington in Yorkshire.
The Memorial in Grandcanp was erected in 1988 and stands at the end of the Quai, not far from the restored house on the promenade which the Nazi Command occupied from 1940 - 1944.
US Rangers Museum
This small building is much bigger than it looks from the outside and over its two floors has gathered quite an amazing collection of memorabilia from the US Rangers and particularly that relevant to their role at Ponte de Hoc in the early days of June 1944.
On the second floor a film which tells the story of the events and decisions that led to the planning of the Mulberry Harbour is shown and portrays the final Allied assault on the French coast which was to end four years of Nazi Occupation.
There is much to see and reflect upon here.
Open April - October.
A small admission charge (with one Euro discount with a Normandie Pass which can be bought, for very little, from the Information Office - back round the corner facing the fish sheds.)
It is valid for one year and gives discounted admission to a dozen or more Tourist attractions in Normandie. It comes with a "Passport" which will be stamped at each place visited.
Watch the boats come home!
One of the joys of Grandcamp-Maisy is that it is a real working fishing port and daily life goes on there irrespective of the comings and goings in the small marina.
A fish market is held on the quay every morning of the week - including Sunday,and if you are down there early enough you might see the boats bringing the catch home.
(Timings depend on season and tides)
After visiting one of the harbour-side restaurants it was lovely to take a stroll and see the boats bobbing on the calm water, all lined up for what we think must have been a "middle of the night"departure.
The blue neon light visible in the night-time shot belongs to La Marée , our favourite restaurant in the harbour.
La Cambe German War Grave
This is the largest of the Graves in Normandy created and cared for by the German War Graves Commision.
There is, on the site, an office with an excellent information room and quiet areas to sit and reflect, if not to comprehend, what this cemetery represents in terms of sorrow and loss.
It was only after the war that the remains of the thousands of those who had fallen in a widely scattered area - some buried in isolation - were retrieved and properly buried in this, and five other German Cemeteries established in France.
La Cambe is now the final resting place of over 22,000 war dead from the Normandy campaign .
Row upon row of neatly and symmetrically arranged small, concrete crosses stand beside a small slab, under which are buried, mainly in twos, the men and youths who died. And so many youths….....
A walk through the silent pathways leads to the central Tumulus on the top of which stand the figures of a man and woman and a Cross.
Beneath this mound 89, out of the 207 unknown soldiers are buried in a mass grave.
We visited on a beautiful autumn day when there were many visitors of all nationalities.
Some obviously searching for the grave of a long dead relative.
Everywhere the atmosphere was sombre and respectful, full of sorrow for The Pity of War.
As we wordlessly walked around this peaceful place, in my head the words and music from Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem came to me and stayed with me for a long time- afterwards - Denn alles Fleisch es ist wie Gras…...
Watch out for the Peace Statue !
Actually you can't miss it!
If you are driving out of Grandcamp-Maisy along Rue du Commandant Kieffer, just before the junction where it meets Route de Vierville, you will see - particularly on a sunny day an astounding sight.
A gleaming, colossal, winged figure of a woman, sculpted in stainless steel towers over, and dominates the surroundings as you approach.
You can pull into a little car park and walk through the the garden that surrounds the statue. The rear base gives details of the height of the statue and materials used .
If you walk round to the front you can read more details including the name of the Chinese artist who created this Symbol of Peace and donated it to the people of Normandie on behalf of the Chinese World Peace Foundation on the 60th anniversary of D-Day.
Standing nearby is a Memorial to the US National Guard.
Visit the Church of the Fisherman
The Church of Notre Dame is also known locally as the Fisherman's Church.
Here, not only are the lives of dozens of local fishermen and women commemorated on simple wall plaques but a series of beautifully designed stained windows tell the story of a community of fishing people.