Normandy Visit - Pegasus Bridge

Discussion in 'WW2 Battlefields Today' started by 17thDYRCH, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member

    For those forum members who have not yet visited the Memorial at Pegasus Bridge, I have included some photos:

    Monument to Brig. James Hill, CO 6th British Airborne Division
    Bust of Major John Howard who led the raid on Pegasus Bridge
    Replica of a Horsa Glider
    Actual wreckage of one of the original gliders
    First house liberated in Normandy which is now a cafe. It is full of 6th Para memorabilia.
    Battledress of 1CanPara Btn

    the link to the memorial is Mémorial Pégasus - Comité du débarquement

    cheers from the colony

    Randy
     

    Attached Files:

  2. martin14

    martin14 Senior Member

    Nice Randy. :)

    My pic of the Horsa is full of people hanging around it.

    Is the original bridge still there ?
     
  3. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    Nice Randy. :)

    My pic of the Horsa is full of people hanging around it.

    Is the original bridge still there ?

    From what I was told it is the original bridge but has been moved to its present position.

    Slide2.JPG
     
  4. GPRegt

    GPRegt Senior Member

    Nice Randy. :)

    My pic of the Horsa is full of people hanging around it.

    Is the original bridge still there ?


    The existing bridge was installed in 1993; the original was somewhat unceremoniously dumped in a nearby field. It now sits in a specially designed setting in the grounds of the Pegasus Memorial.

    Steve W.
     
  5. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member

    Martin14, Steve is correct. It is still there.
    A fascinating museum and memorial. I still can not envisage the paras stepping in to a horsa glider and attempting to land near the objective either during the day let alone at night. A tremendous accomplishment.
     
  6. Gabriel

    Gabriel Junior Member

    I knew very well the original Pegasus Bridge. I lived in Normandy (Bayeux) from 1948 to 1954. I explored all the coast from Utah Beach to Cabourg.
    In these years everything was pretty much like in 1944.
    It was an anti-tank gun in a pit near the bridge. My brother and I played with it. Samething with an other anti-tank gun at St Aubin.

    Last time I went there with my wife in 1989, I was shocked to see that excepted for the blockhaus, not to much remain of D-Day. Even the mulberry caissons of Arromanche we were using for fishing, crumbles and disappears. At low tide we can only see few of the scuttled ships used as waves breakers.
     
    dbf likes this.
  7. GPRegt

    GPRegt Senior Member

    I still can not envisage the paras stepping in to a horsa glider and attempting to land near the objective either during the day let alone at night. A tremendous accomplishment.

    Not Paras, the Ox & Bucks were glider trained, like all the Airlanding Battalions.

    Steve W.
     
  8. Philip Reinders

    Philip Reinders Very Senior Member

    Nice photographs, still have to go there again, last time was 1985
     
  9. robert.c

    robert.c Junior Member

    a few from our normandy trip 2010
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Driver-op

    Driver-op WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    On my last recent visit I was very disappointed to find the whole area had changed so much as to be unrecognisable compared to how it was in 1944. The area from the Town Hall down to the cafe had no buildings on that side of the road. It used to be a T junction outside the Town Hall, now a cross roads. Lots of new houses around Le Port and so on. Worst of all the little lane from the beach to Colleville which most of us went up is now a major road with Monty's statue at the beginning.
     
  11. ritsonvaljos

    ritsonvaljos Senior Member

    On my last recent visit I was very disappointed to find the whole area had changed so much as to be unrecognisable compared to how it was in 1944. The area from the Town Hall down to the cafe had no buildings on that side of the road. It used to be a T junction outside the Town Hall, now a cross roads. Lots of new houses around Le Port and so on. Worst of all the little lane from the beach to Colleville which most of us went up is now a major road with Monty's statue at the beginning.

    The area 'Pegasus Bridge' area could have been a lot less like it was in 1944. There would also likely have been much less 'heritage' to commemorate the events of 1944. I well remember the initial proposals to replace the original 'Pegasus Bridge' and the ensuing controversy. There was even a possibility the Gondrée Café might have to be lost to make way for the enlarged bridge and wider road.

    Good sense eventually prevailed and the larger, replacement bridge was constructed in the same style as the old one, the road widened and the Café building retained. As some earlier contributions to this 'thread' have already mentioned, the original 'Pegasus Bridge' has been made into one of the main features of the 'new' Pegasus Bridge Museum.

    Personally, I believe the museum and the whole area are a fine tribute and good intorduction for visitors to learn about what happened in this part of the battlefield in 1944. For a time there were some well publicised 'disagreements' with the owners of the Gondrée café as to the new museum, who owned the donated itlems in the Café and so on.

    The ordinary punter was not allowed to take photographs inside the café, for example. Nevertheless, as a British 'visitor' who had a relation and friends that visited the café in the war there was always a warm welcome. The places where the events of 1944 are still recognisable if one looks closely enough. Nothing ever stays the same, and of course at nearby Caen virtually the whole city had to be rebuilt because of the wartime destruction.

    Visiting the battlefields and museums in Normandy is the largest single reason attracting visitors to the region. Thus, it was also made good economic sense for the local political leaders to safeguard the memory of those from overseas who visited the area in 1944. The fellows who landed on the French beaches in the summer of 1944 did not even have to show their passports!
     
  12. Driver-op

    Driver-op WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Of course I accept the points made above, and understand things will and must change. I think it was a very personal thing for me that I could not relive my feelings of D-Day say, that trip in land up a small lane lined with our dead and those of the enemy and the view out to the left of troops moving on foot inland from Ouistreham. Sounds silly perhaps, but...
     
  13. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Thats my Boy! Driver-op
     
  14. Driver-op

    Driver-op WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    I knew you would understand Sapper.

    Jim
     
  15. BottyWWFC

    BottyWWFC Member

    Can't argue with the chaps who were there. Utmost respect to you all!
     
  16. ritsonvaljos

    ritsonvaljos Senior Member

    Of course I accept the points made above, and understand things will and must change. I think it was a very personal thing for me that I could not relive my feelings of D-Day say, that trip in land up a small lane lined with our dead and those of the enemy and the view out to the left of troops moving on foot inland from Ouistreham. Sounds silly perhaps, but...

    One of my uncles (RAMC attchd. 3rd British Infantry Division) landed in Normandy in 1944 and spent several weeks in the area. He never wanted to return, even when the family offered to pay for hom and my aunt to go back.

    Apart from his army pals I think I was the only person he ever told what it was like in Normandy. After all the death and destruction that took place in 1944 it has become a much better place to visit.

    One thing my uncle did treasure before he passed away was the cloth badge of the 3rd British Infantry Division I obtained for him at one of the Normandy museums. You also evidently know this symbol well, Driver-op!
     
  17. Driver-op

    Driver-op WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Yes, I wore that symbol with pride and that is a photo of it beside my name. My father served in the 3rd division in WW1, also 9 Brigade same as me but he was in the Royal Fusiliers - which I joined in 1945.
     
  18. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member

    Not Paras, the Ox & Bucks were glider trained, like all the Airlanding Battalions.

    Steve W.


    Steve,
    I stand corrected!

    From the colony,

    Randy
     

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