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Old July 6th, 2013, 06:39 PM   #1
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Default Some pictures from Omaha Beach and other places..

For the last two weeks, we've been in France. We spent time in Paris, Bayeux, The Loire, Reims, Champagne-Ardennes, Luxembourg, Western Germany, etc...

One of the things we did was visiting the D-day beaches area. Here's a couple pics for you guys, of the D-day areas that we saw. I'll post later with some pictures from the WWI areas near Verdun on the other side of the country.. I'm a bit to jet-lagged to put them up now.







There are 3 Medal of Honor recipients buried here. I know Jimmie Monteith was already discussed in a previous thread.





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Old July 6th, 2013, 06:43 PM   #2
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A few more from the American Cemetery:







This embattled shore, portal of freedom, is forever hallowed by the ideals, the valor and the sacrifices of our fellow countrymen





Also, since we stayed in Bayeux, I snapped a picture of my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather Alain.

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Old July 6th, 2013, 06:49 PM   #3
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Here are a few pictures from Pointe du Hoc. The rangers scaled the cliffs here and took heavy losses.

The Ranger's monument



A large crater



Inside one of the many bunkers you can get inside. Its much different than in the US, there are very few barriers. If you want, you can go inside into pitch black old bunkers.





The cliffs they had to scale on rope ladders.



Bombed out landscape

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Old July 6th, 2013, 06:54 PM   #4
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Here are a few pics from the German battery @ Longues Sur Mer. These are 152mm cannons taken from a battleship, that are still in place. They were taken without a fight. There are 4 guns, 3 of which are still in place, which are in the pictures below. The 4th was destroyed somehow.









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Old July 6th, 2013, 07:00 PM   #5
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Very interesting pics. I have never been but maybe someday.
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Old July 6th, 2013, 07:06 PM   #6
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Here are a few from Verdun. I'll say this, we saw the Normandy area first. It was tough, and emotional to visit the Cemetery there, but there is a sense of purpose there, and you feel the noble sacrifice made. One of my Grandfathers was on a B24 Liberator and flew over 25 missions over France in 1944 and 45.

Later in our trip, we visited the WWI areas by Verdun. Verdun is just plain horrible. Wholesale slaughter and destruction, for mile after mile. The number of soldiers who died there just in the main 1916 battle are roughly the same as American deaths for all of WWII. From the minute I looked into the vaults of bones at Douaumont, I didn't feel well for 2 days.

These pictures are at the Douaumont Ossuary and National Cemetery. The bones of 130,000+ fill the vaults, which can be seen through small windows. Another 15,000+ are buried in the cemetery.













This is not even 1/2 of the graves here.

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Old July 6th, 2013, 07:40 PM   #7
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These are pics from Fort Douaumont. This was a late 1800s fort that was a main target for much of the months of fighting at Verdun in 1916. Very creepy, and we were glad to be out. There are miles of tunnels inside, much off limits for safety reasons.

The fort is mainly underground. Its over 1200ft long. It took hundreds of thousands of artillery hits over the the months and mostly anything above ground was destroyed.



Water is dripping in everywhere (It recently rained). It added to the misery inside. Must have been awful in there. It had rained the day before. All through the fort, water was dripping through the ceiling, the floors were wet and slippery.





Look close and you can see the small stalactites forming on the ceiling from the dripping.



689 Germans lie buried behind this wall, victims of a fire that swept through the fort.



More mineral growths on the ceiling...



Mechanism for the 155mm pop up turret, including a pair of 45 ton counterweights to lift the turret.



Latrines. There was no ventilation system at all here, and apparently the stench inside of the fort was unbearable.

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Last edited by Haggar; July 7th, 2013 at 03:38 AM.
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Old July 6th, 2013, 07:40 PM   #8
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Thank you for sharing this.
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Old July 6th, 2013, 07:42 PM   #9
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More pictures from the Verdun area:

One of the gun turrets at the Fort



A old trench. This was an important trench, and as such, it was built with reinforced concrete posts, instead of wooden walls. This particular trench was used for communication cables.





The village of Fleury. This is all thats left of the Village that died for France. It is still incorporated as an officially recognized town, and has a mayor. Its one of many places in the Zone Rouge, that was too unsafe to every do anything with. There are still thousands of bodies and live shells out there in the woods. The woods for miles around were still lumpy from all the artillery. Over 44 million shells were fired here in Verdun.



It was honestly heartbreaking to see all this. Hard place to visit, but very worthwhile. My wife's great-grandfather fought here in the later actions in 1918. He was an infantry message runner, and earned his purple heart, Croix de Guerre, and the distinguished service cross here for his actions until he was overcome by poison gas.

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Old July 6th, 2013, 07:44 PM   #10
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Wow, that is really moving. I wish I had had more sightseeing time when I was in western Germany.
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Old July 6th, 2013, 07:50 PM   #11
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damn
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Old July 6th, 2013, 07:53 PM   #12
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Awesome photos, thank you for sharing!
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Old July 6th, 2013, 07:53 PM   #13
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I would like to go some day to see and feel the areas

Awesome pics thank you for sharing
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Old July 6th, 2013, 07:56 PM   #14
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Very cool. I can only hope I get a chance to go over there some time.
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Old July 6th, 2013, 08:03 PM   #15
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These are shot on my Nikon D5100 with just the cheap 18-55mm lens. The 18mm setting was used a lot. The indoor stuff, we tend to shoot without flash, and the fort is very dark. Usually I am set @ 3200 ISO, aperture wide open, to get the inside shots.
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Old July 6th, 2013, 08:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post
These are shot on my Nikon D5100 with just the cheap 18-55mm lens. The 18mm setting was used a lot. The indoor stuff, we tend to shoot without flash, and the fort is very dark. Usually I am set @ 3200 ISO, aperture wide open, to get the inside shots.
That is a good camera, I have been really happy with my D5200 I picked up.


Great photos, thank you for sharing. I am surprised they have not tried to locate a lot of the unexploded ordinance since it looks readily accessible and could be stumbled on accidentally.
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Old July 6th, 2013, 08:55 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepfreak81 View Post
That is a good camera, I have been really happy with my D5200 I picked up.


Great photos, thank you for sharing. I am surprised they have not tried to locate a lot of the unexploded ordinance since it looks readily accessible and could be stumbled on accidentally.
It is very common all over France each year, to find them. Farmers will find ordinance, and place it on the side of the road, and there are bomb disposal units that pick them up. They call it the Iron Harvest. Many deaths have occurred on the bomb disposal units(over 600). Over 900 tons are found each there. They say the most feared are the old ones which still have mustard gas and are all corroded.

The Zone Rouge covers many square miles. Its an immense area. Everywhere you go, the forest looks like this. Once you look past the trees (planted in the 30s to cover the destruction) and the leaves and sticks on the ground, you see the same unnatural undulating landscape from the artillery. Mile after mile of it.

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Old July 6th, 2013, 08:57 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepfreak81 View Post
That is a good camera, I have been really happy with my D5200 I picked up..
I am happy with it. As with any of them, understanding some basic principles of proper exposure, the various camera parameters, and how to frame a shot is 90% of the battle. Around the house, I use my 50mm prime or 70-300, but the wide angle of the basic lens was needed for many of these shots.
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Old July 6th, 2013, 11:52 PM   #19
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Thank you for posting this.
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Old July 7th, 2013, 05:56 AM   #20
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Great shots. Thank you.
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