Battlefield Guide, Normandy D-Day Landing Beaches...
...what you'll find today, done for the 70th anniversary of the landings
This bookazine was produced by MyTimeMedia in 2014 and was written by yours truly, following a number of visits to Normandy over a few years. So I wouldn't describe this as a 'review' as such because I would be biased, but as it is a piece of work I did, I rather thought I'd include it.
It isn't an account of the history of what happened as such, but a guide of what you can find if you visit the area today and I wrote it in the desire to encourage others to make the trip for themselves. I had wanted to go there for many years, but I was 50 before I made my first visit and I found it a great experience and wished I'd been before. If you haven't been, I encourage you to go. The countryside is beautiful, along with the villages and the marvellous sandy beaches. In addition to that there are still many museums and reminders to see from those historic events of 1944. Other than some background, I didn't want to try and retell the story of the invasion, there are already plenty of books to do that. This is about what you can see there now if you visit.
So it opens with some notes about travelling from the UK to Normandy along with a few pages of background notes on the D-Day landings of 1944. Then it covers the landing grounds starting from the Eastern end, the British airborne landing grounds at Pegasus Bridge, one of my personal favourite sites to see, the Merville Battery and the Ranville Landing grounds. Next come the series of beaches going west, starting from Sword, to Juno, to Gold, Omaha and Utah, before getting to the US Airborne landing grounds around St Mere Eglise. The beaches themselves are visited, along with museums, batteries and bunkers which are all there to be explored. Then there is a section on the Human Cost, and visiting the various cemeteries found in the area. Next is a piece on Bunkers and Fortifications to be visited, before looking at Armour in Normandy, and a number of museum exhibits particularly worth seeing, both here in the UK and in France. As you get to the end, D-Day on Film, with reference in particular to Saving Private Ryan and The Longest Day, as there are particular sites in these films you might like to see for yourself. Everything is rounded off with a short Modellers Section and a Bibliography listing particular books I have found most interesting on the subject. Each section is well illustrated with some of the photos I have taken there over several years.
If you can find one of these still I hope you enjoy it and that it will hopefully encourage you to make the trip for yourself.