The battle field tour, following a strategic withdrawal from Gallipoli, is now touring the battlefields of France. Reinforced with fresh recruits from Australia we travelled to Normandy and viewed the Bayeux Tapestry and then on to the site of the Second World War D Day landings.
The Normandy battlefield at Pointe Du Hoc covers 30 acres of undulating and scarred terrain from the D Day battle. The German positions on the cliff tops at Pointe Du Hoc revealed to the tour just how exposed the American Forces were when they landed on Omaha Beach. The Germans considered the cliffs of Pointe Du Hoc to be unassailable from the beach. The 225 man Ranger Force, however, were tasked to scale the steep cliffs and take out the guns. They accomplished their objective using specially designed climbing equipment but with a cost of many casualties. Of the 225 combatants only 90 remained.
We finished our tour of Normandy with a visit to the site of the Mulberry Harbour B. Built in Britain under great secrecy, the harbour was transported in pieces via the English Channel to Normandy to supply the Allies during the invasion. The construction of the Harbour commenced 3 days after the D Day landings and was in use within 14 days to land over two and a half million men, 500,000 vehicles and 4,000,000 tonnes of supplies. The remains of the harbour are still visible today from the beaches at Arromanches.