Have you ever wondered what D-Day beaches look like today? Today is D-Day’s 72nd anniversary. This faithful day took place during World War II: June 6 1944 in Normandy, France. That day, the largest seaborne invasion in history took place in Europe. The Western Allied forces landed on several beaches in Normandy and launched a massive attack on Nazi Germany to liberate northwestern Europe. The attack was a major contribution to the Allied victory on the Western Front. In 2013, I visited numerous historic sites in Normandy. In memory to that day, I will post about three D-day locations and show you what D-Day Beaches look like today.
Then and Now: What D-Day Beaches Look Like Today
1. Gold Beach
Gold Beach is located along the coast of Arromanches-les-Bains. The code name for this landing beach during D-day was ‘Gold’ and remains from the temporary harbour are still visible. Nowadays, this beach is a true tourist attraction again, with lots of children playing in the sand. The shoreline is full of souvenir shops, a merry-go-round, little cafés, as well as a small museum.
2. Pointe du Hoc
Pointe du Hoc is technically a cliff. Nonetheless, it was another shoreline location in Normandy where the allied forces landed on June 6 1944 and launched an invasion on Nazi Germany. Pointe du Hoc was strategically located as the highest point between Utah Beach to the west and Omaha Beach to the east. The area still serves as a memorial to that day and is hence visited by a significant amount of tourists every day. Surprisingly, the whole area is still full of bomb craters and original bunkers. On the cliff of Pointe du Hoc now stands a monument. This monument commemorates the fallen United States Army Rangers that fought in the battle.
3. Omaha Beach
These photos of the third and final location were taken near Colleville-sur-Mer, a coastal village in Normandy. The beach nearest to this village was one of the main beachheads during the Normandy landings on 6 June 1944. The area was part of the 5 km designated Omaha Beach zone. You can still find remaining bunkers along the shoreline. And yes, some of these are accessible to the public. There is now a monument at the edge of the beach, as well as a large cemetery for fallen American soldiers. The cemetery overlooks the shore near Coleville-sur-Mer and contains the graves of over 9000 American soldiers.