War in France – Longues Sur Mer
Longues Sur Mer is the location of the remains of World War II German gun batteries. Seeing them in real life really gave an idea of the scale of the whole thing. The germans had a complex operation set up to defend themselves on the cliffs of Normandy. There really wasn’t anywhere that was a good place for the allied forces to attack. This gun battery was at the top of a cliff, and set pretty far back off the edge. And the guns themselves had some serious range.
The batteries were huge, and protected with natural hills, and really thick concrete walls. The guns had long range, and could fire on Omaha and Gold beaches – so they were heavily bombed in the days leading up to DDay, but they were still functional on the day of the landing.
There was a lookout bunker near the edge of the cliffs that was used to relay directions to the guns that were further back.
We wandered around through the fields, checking out the guns, and trying to wrap our minds around the battles. It’s amazing how much more real history feels when you have your feet on the ground where it happened.