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A family remembers liberation; Sainte-Mère-Église, 1944

In the early hours of June 6, 1944, a man knocked loudly on the door of Alexandre Renaud, Mayor of Sainte-Mère-Église. Since the town's occupation by the enemy in 1940 there had been a strict curfew. This late night visit could only mean an emergency. The visitor explained rapidly that a house

WW2 history is disappearing from Néville-sur-Mer

Quietly crumbling into the sea, in amongst soft dunes isolated by marshland, is the Batterie Blankenese de Néville-sur-Mer.  A few miles east of Cherbourg this is not a famous WW2 heritage site, but still a poignant reminder of when Normandy was occupied by an unwelcome enemy. Then Here, from 1943 the Kreigsmarine,

What lies beneath, in Valognes

All towns have something they would like to forget. Valognes is not unusual in this, it was just a little prettier than most, for a while. Until June 1944 when liberator’s bombs obliterated it’s fickle heart. A glorious past In the 18th century this country town was fashionable.  Here, more than 100 noble

When Hollywood met Normandy, on Sword Beach, 1944

There is a famous black and white film, produced by Darryl F. Zanuck with the best intentions of exposing the horror and bravery of war.  He had determined to make a revolutionary, realistic movie to parade before audiences who were just boys and girls during WW2. The film would be about 6 June 1944, it

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