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 In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy

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RonC
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RonC

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Registration date : 2013-09-09

In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy Empty
PostSubject: In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy   In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy Empty2018-05-06, 19:44

My wife, son and daughter-in-law and I spent the day touring the historic WW II landing site of Omaha beach in Normandy.
The bomb and shell craters were as impressive as the remains of the German bunkers.

It was frightening to stand on the beach and see the locations of the M42 machine guns that set up such a devastating cross-fire.

We visited the American cemetery that holds 11,000 soldiers. It was a very moving experience to see the markers for these primarily 18-20 year old boys, boys who were to never again see their homes or families.

We also went to the German cemetery. The Germans buried their 22,000 soldiers in pairs, so each marker listed 2 names. Sometimes, there was one name and the other simply was translated as a "German Soldier." We had little or no feeling for the SS or Gestapo soldiers who gunned down unarmed French men and later killed their families, but did have sympathy for the conscripted young men who lost their lives.
Tomorrow, we are off to Utah and Juno beaches, then the remaining landing zones. After that, we travel to Bastogne.

My father was not at Normandy, but landed at Anzio, Italy. My father couldn't swim, so the Army made him "amphibious." He was more intimidated by carrying his 30 kg pack into the ocean water than by the 14 German divisions that come down to meet the landing troops and the big railroad guns directed to the beachhead.
I'm still uploading the photos to the computer, so no pictures yet.
Ron

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John Neslen



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In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy Empty
PostSubject: Re: In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy   In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy Empty2018-05-07, 18:25

It sure makes heavy hearts knowing what those poor boys endured there.

Anzio is where James Arness was wounded.

Waiting for pictures.  :rtup
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patocazador

patocazador

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PostSubject: Re: In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy   In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy Empty2018-05-07, 20:47

"Anzio is where James Arness was wounded. "


Generals Mark Clark and John Lucas should have been court-martialed and imprisoned for their botched jobs in Italy (Anzio).

The poor GIs sat on the beaches and just kept getting slaughtered. When they finally broke out, Gen. Clark headed toward Rome instead of heading north and cutting off all German forces in Italy.

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"My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government." -Thomas Jefferson
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RonC
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PostSubject: Re: In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy   In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy Empty2018-05-07, 22:16

Right on, Patocazador! There was one German Division between Anzio and Rome when they landed. Clark and Lucas decided to fortify the beachhead for 3 weeks before moving inland. During those 3 weeks, the Germans brought down 14 divisions to oppose the Americans. The railroad guns rained down terror on the beachheads all during that time. With  proximity fuses, the huge shells exploded at tree top level. The sergeant in front of my father was killed during one explosion and my father was hit in the feet by shrapnel. The heat of the shrapnel fused his boots together. He later developed "yellow jaundice," or Hepatitis, likely from the lack of cleanliness at the beach hospital. He was in a hospital across from Mt. Vesuvius when it erupted in 1944. Once recovered (he never again could give blood due to the hepatitis), he became a troop truck driver as they moved through the mountains, north toward Naples, fighting battle after battle.
Ron

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RonC
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RonC

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PostSubject: Re: In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy   In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy Empty2018-05-07, 22:16

We were at Utah beach today and then went to St. Mere Eglise. The church at St. Mere Eglise is where the paratrooper's parachute lines were caught on the structure, leaving him hanging helplessly from a steeple. The incident was made famous in a movie on D-Day.
If you saw or read Band of Brothers, you might remember the Easy Company jump into the fields of Normandy, in among the hedgerows. We visited that site as well as other locations of the intense battles in the first days of D-Day.
A museum at Dead Man's Corner, near the coast, has an opportunity to board a C47, sit on metal seats as did the paratroopers, and "take a ride." The C47 is mounted on computer controlled hydraulics. Videos fill all the windows. The roar of the engines starting is heard, they are revved up, you see movement and other C47s in the windows, the tail lifts and the plane vibrates. The plane banks and joins the others on the way to the drop zone. Soon, you see clouds and other C47s all around as the plane bounces. Then the flak begins. The explosions are heard and felt and the aircraft shakes and bobs. We are hit with a violent jolt and smoke enters the plane. I won't reveal the rest to keep the suspense. Wowie!
It will take time to sort the photos and reduce some in size to post.
Ron

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FrontierGander
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In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy Empty
PostSubject: Re: In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy   In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy Empty2018-05-07, 22:31

wow! this sounds like one hell of a trip! I hope you can post a ton of pictures when you get home. I look forward to seeing them.
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RonC
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PostSubject: Re: In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy   In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy Empty2018-05-09, 22:24

Visited Utah Beach, Sword Beach, St. Mere Eglise and the Pegasus Bridge site. If you ever watched "The longest day" movie, you might remember the scene where the airborne soldier had his parachute caught up in the church steeple. That was in St. Mere Eglise. We were at that church. They how have a manikin in place of the soldier up on the roof. The chute is on the steeple, near the clock.
Other airborne troops ended up in the trees in front of the church. They were shot and bayoneted.
In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy St_mer10
Another site was the Pegasus Bridge. Army troops rode gliders to within 45 yards of the bridge. The Pegasus and another bridge had to be taken and held, while others were destroyed. The glider troops took the bridge that had only 2 guards. In the Longest Day movie, they had a large number of troops on the bridge and there was a major firefight. That didn't happen. The American soldiers took the bridge quietly.
The Allies required a harbor to bring in supplies to the troops in Normandy. They brought in pre-manufactured, concrete structures as part of the "Mulberry Harbor" effort. The sections were to be linked and a steel road placed on top. A large storm came through and destroyed the Mulberry Harbor. More structures were hauled in and the original harbor was used as a base to place the new units on. Hundreds of ships delivered their supplies to the temporary, synthetic harbor.
In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy Arroma10
You can see the remnants of the harbor in the distance.

We went by bus, yesterday, to Bastogne, Belgium. Today, we visit the Battle of the Bulge area.
Ron

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RonC

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RonC
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RonC

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In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy Empty
PostSubject: Re: In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy   In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy Empty2018-05-10, 22:12

In Bastogne, Belgium. Battle of the Bulge territory. Just visited the foxholes in the Ardenne Forest fought in by Easy Company from Band of Brothers show fame.
In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy Bastog10

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RonC

Outside of a Dog, a Book is Man’s Best Friend. Inside of a Dog, It’s Too Dark to Read. Groucho Marx (or possibly someone earlier)
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patocazador

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In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy Empty
PostSubject: Re: In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy   In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy Empty2018-05-11, 08:25

I would have dug mine several feet deeper even if I had to use my fingernails.  :Hide

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"My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government." -Thomas Jefferson
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RonC
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RonC

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In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy Empty
PostSubject: Re: In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy   In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy Empty2018-05-13, 22:12

Went to the site of the Malmedy massacre. Near the end of the Battle of the Bulge, SS troops captured a group of American forward observers. The under-armed Americans were surrounded by a superior force and surrendered.
SS-Obersturmbannführer Joachim Peiper ordered his troops to take no prisoners and 84 American soldiers, disarmed and standing in the snow, were machine-gunned by a tank and SS soldiers.
I was struck when I saw that one of the slain soldiers had my first initial and last name.
Pieper later claimed variously that the American soldiers were trying to escape or that he was angered because the soldiers were primarily Jewish. It is obvious at the site that the distance to the woods was much too far to even think about running while under the guns of the SS troops or tank. Of the 84 names, maybe 3 or 4 could be remotely identified as Jewish. The fact is that Pieper was an adjutant for  Himmler and had connections to the concentration camps. He was convicted of war crimes in Belgium and sentenced to 12 years.
Our next tour was in Munich. We stopped at Hitler’s main office building when he moved into power. We went to the Hofbrauhaus . in February 1920 Adolf Hitler and the National Socialists held their first meeting in the Festsaal, the Festival Room, on the third floor. Mozart lived around the corner and Lenin frequented the beer hall. The Hofbrauhaus Festival Room was where Hitler first came into prominence and where he planned the “Beer Hall Putsch,” and attempt to overthrow the government. About two thousand Nazis marched to the center of Munich in 1923, where they confronted the police, which resulted in the death of 16 Nazis and four police officers. We walked the route taken by the Nazis.
Today, we are off to the Eagles Nest and Berchtesgaden, retreats of Hitler’s in the mountains.
Ron

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RonC
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In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy Empty
PostSubject: Re: In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy   In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy Empty2018-05-21, 17:15

Back from our trip. We flew from Munich to Heathrow Airport in England, then 9.5 hours directly to Denver. My family left the airport for home and I remained at the airport to catch a flight to Reno, NV. Arrived in Reno at about 12:30 am and the hotel about 45 minutes later. Caught about 2 hours of sleep and went off to a meeting at 7 am. By the time I finished my work, I barely knew who I was, where I was, and what time is was. I was EXHAUSTED! And, I did not regret any of it.
King Tiger tank from Battle of the Bulge:
In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy Battle10
In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy Battle11
The Sherman tank didn't stand a chance:
In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy 20180510In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy 20180511
The Sherman, with its 75 cal gun could not stand up to either the King Tiger or the Panzer IV:
In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy Bastog11
Ron

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BigAl52
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In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy Empty
PostSubject: Re: In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy   In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy Empty2018-05-22, 22:39

Ok now enough of this worldly travel stuff its time to go shooting.

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John Bergmann 50 cal Lancaster
John Bergmann 54 cal Hawken
GRRW 50 cal
GRRW 58 cal
Lyman GPR 54 cal flintlock L&R lock davis deerslayer trigger
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RonC
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RonC

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In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy Empty
PostSubject: Re: In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy   In Bayeud, France, Near Omaha Beach, Normandy Empty2018-05-23, 04:49

Yes, yes, yes!
I haven't had my muzzleloaders out to the range for a looonnnnggg time. It has been months since my last trip to the range. You will probably have to remind me how to do it. Let's see: first the powder, then the patch, then the ball. Nothing like the smell of sulfur in the air.
Ron

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