Normandy 2018 74th anniversary of the D Day landings was a rather wet affair. But the weather did not put people off, there was a great turn out of reenactors and WW2 vehicles. This year we had been invited to spend our time with some members of the MVT and some Dutch military enthusiasts . We met up with some of the group at Portsmouth the others we were to meet in Arromanches. After a pleasant crossing to Ouistreham, we headed to Arromanches following a convoy of Jeeps. On arrival in the town we met up with the rest of the group and listened to the plans they had. The next day we jumped into one of the Jeeps and met up at the top of the hill above Arromanches next to the 360 cinema. Rick Ruttentuttels took some great pictures with his drone while we waiting for some of the group to arrive.
See our Youtube video at the bottom of this page. Jeeps driving along a track above Gold beach on a misty morningWe then headed along the coast turning inland to visit one of the German gun batteries WN32 known as Batterie Vera, behind Ver-Sur-Mere. The gun position comprises of four emplacements that each contained one 100mm Czech gun which had a range of about 6 1/2 miles, with Gold beach only 1 1/2 miles away the beach, ships and landing craft were easy targets. The position was heavily bombed just before the landings and was also shelled by HMS Belfast for about two hours but the casemates and the guns were undamaged. It is estimated that the position fired ninety rounds before it was captured by the 7th Green Howard´s who had landed on Gold beach. Watch our Youtube videos of the Jeeps arriving at the gun battery, see bottom of the page. Then continuing our journey along the coast road we stopped to take a look at the Sexton at the junctionWe then headed off to Pegasus bridge, the site of the first allied troops to land on D Day. A small force led by Major John Howard had taken off from southern England in six Horsa gliders towed across the channel and released just off the French coast before landing at 16 minutes past midnight with the first glider landing just under 50 yards from the bridge. They then went about capturing Pegasus bridge and the bridge over the river Orne. We had an area provided for us to park up on the Museum side of the bridge with kind permission of the local mayor, there was a lot of interest in the vehicles as we were in a good spot between Pegasus bridge and the Museum. Paul’s 6 wheel Jeep got a lot of attention as it always does wherever it goes.We then met up with Stuart Robinson and his partner Karen, as Chris Harris says in his article for the South Hampshire write up in the MVT magazine Windscreen, we went on a very special mission to retrace his father’s route on D Day. More on this in part two of our Normandy tour.