Now, I'm not entirely sure what I expected of the infamous Omaha Beach, but it sure wasn't a bunch of suntanning French. I mean, I guess it makes sense that Normandy would return to being the wonderful vacation spot that it was before the war, but somehow it just didn't click until I was there.
Also, while there I learned a bit about the invasion overall. Everyone knows that the casulties taken at Omaha Beach, as commerated in Saving Private Ryan, were horrific. However, I didn't realize that at the other landing sites (there were many), casulties and resistance were actually rather light. That, and I didn't realize that the Normandy beach overall was lightly fortified: precisely why the Allies decided to land there.
One interesting story I heard -- World War II is absolutely full of them -- is how we deceptively built a fake staging area to give the impression we'd land much farther north, where the French and English shores are closest. This tricked the Germans to ... [more]