D-Day Cyclists

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  • D-Day Cyclists
  • I used to live on Juno beach. Quite an inspiring/scary place, full of memories. You could almost feel the history there. Sounds stupid, but I’ve heard many people say this about the Normandy beaches, the Bocages etc.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    yes, we camped near Gold beach last summer and walked along a few of them – the thought of runnign up those beaches under fire with no cover at all is chilling.

    D-Day beaches fact of the day:

    Shrapnel and other debris from the D-Day landings is still present in large quantities in sand on Omaha Beach, scientists have revealed.

    The site of one of the most ferocious battles during the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944, Omaha Beach was one of five Allied landing points along an 80-kilometer stretch of coastline.

    The team found 4 percent of the sand they collected on the beach was made up of bits of shrapnel.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
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    following @dday7 today for ‘live’ feed of the invasion progress plus some great retweets of other peoples personal experiences.

    5thElefant
    Member

    Digging with my bucket and spade in 1972 I found a hand grenade. My dad wouldn’t let me take it home.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    I was aware of the paratrooper bikes that were used but never realised that there were units of land troops who went ashore with them.

    some pictures on this page too;

    http://d-dayrevisited.co.uk/d-day/sword-juno-gold.html

    and more info here;

    http://www.commandoveterans.org/cdoForum/posts/list/292.page

    We should remember them.

    Premier Icon Speshpaul
    Subscriber

    I’ve got a BSA Para bike, the only SS i have.

    Found a US life belt on Omamha a few years back. was up after a storm, kind of stops you in your tracks.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    Omaha beach, 06:30 this morning;

    xcgb
    Member

    My Dad wrote a book on the history of the bicycle in war, publisher thought it wouldnt have enough demand so it never got printed, maybe i should get it put out there…….

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    E-books makes self publishing a lot easier than it ever has been.

    @xcgb: Kindle self-publishing is pretty straightforward. If you have the material all you need to is format it into manuscript then publish … Certainly worth doing IMO.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Yup get it on a some sort of e-books format. I believe Samuri did this so might be worth speaking to him.

    xcgb
    Member

    OK will ask him if he wants to!

    Premier Icon votchy
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    amazing bravery

    saw some footage last night on channel 4 and noticed a guy carrying a fold up bike as he landed on one of the beaches

    gwaelod
    Member

    XCQB – I for one would be interested in reading your dads work mate.

    Self publishing as mentioned above.

    atlaz
    Member

    I’m always amazed that comparatively so few people were killed on most beaches. Obviously the Americans had some horrible death tolls and all the airborne units were quite badly hit but when you consider that they landed on mostly quite open beaches, it’s a miracle anyone made it.

    I’ve stood at the bottom of the place they climbed at the Pointe du Hoc and you do have to wonder about the sanity of the men who proposed it and the sanity of the men who said it could definitely be done.

    atlaz
    Member

    xcgb – It might be worth trying a publisher again given the recent uplift in interest in cycling in general.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    Pretty much the whole coast looked like this before they even landed, plus they’d done a good job of convincing the Germans that they were going to land elsewhere so there were relatively few defenders.

    cranberry
    Member

    Pretty much the whole coast looked like this before they even landed

    If only. The bombers in many cases missed their targets and the consequent lack of craters on Omaha was a factor in the high casualties there ( along with the DD tanks sinking, the Americans rejecting Hobarts “funnies”, etc ).

    Stephen Edward Ambrose and his book “citizen soldiers” gives a (biased) account from the American prespective on D-day. Point du Hoc is pretty shocking nonetheless when you stand and look at where these poor lads had to come ashore and what they had to face.
    Standing looking down at D-day beaches leaves you in awe of what was achieved

    TurnerGuy
    Member

    My father reckoned that Churchill wanted ‘D-Day’ to come up from the med to block any advancement by the russians as he could foresee that they would not retreat once the war was over.

    what tyres for a Normandy landing?

    Premier Icon JoeG
    Subscriber

    I took a tour of Normandy in 2002. Pegasus bridge, Omaha Beach, Point Du Hoc, St Mer Eglise, etc.

    The scale of the operation is just mind boggling! 😯 And D-Day was just the start of a year+ campaign!

    And the WWII vets are passing away at a high rate these days; there are fewer and fewer every year. 🙁

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Spent many holidays in Northern France, The landing zones, Bayeux Tapestry & The Somme tell a lot of stories, it has left a lasting impression of what could have been and how much things have and haven’t changed in the world.

    These are some places that most school kids should visit.

    flatfish
    Member

    Currently in the bocage. Loads if celebrations around the beaches but surprising nowt round here.

    atlaz
    Member

    My father reckoned that Churchill wanted ‘D-Day’ to come up from the med to block any advancement by the russians as he could foresee that they would not retreat once the war was over.

    That would be Operation Dragoon then, happened in August 44.

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