France (The Longest Day)

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    Scenes from
    The Longest Day
    were filmed in these locations


    Normandy, France

    Sainte-Mère-Église is a commune in the Manche department
    in Normandy in north-western France.

    The town's main claim to fame is that it played a significant part
    in the World War II Normandy landings because this village stood right
    in the middle of route N13, which the Germans would have most likely
    used on any significant counterattack on the troops landing
    on Utah and Omaha Beaches.
    In the early morning of 6 June 1944
    mixed units of the U.S. 82nd Airborne and U.S. 101st Airborne Divisions
    occupied the town in Operation Boston, giving it the claim
    to be one of the first towns liberated in the invasion.

    D-Day battle
    The early landings, at about 0140 directly on the town,
    resulted in heavy casualties for the paratroopers.
    Some buildings in town were on fire that night, and they illuminated the sky,
    making easy targets of the descending men.
    Some were sucked into the fire.
    Many hanging from trees and utility poles were shot before they could cut loose.
    The German defenders were alerted.


    A famous incident involved paratrooper John Steele of the 505th PIR,
    whose parachute caught on the spire of the town church,
    and could only observe the fighting going on below.
    He hung there limply for two hours, pretending to be dead,
    before the Germans took him prisoner.
    Steele later escaped from the Germans and rejoined his division
    when US troops of the 3rd Battalion, 505 Parachute Infantry Regiment
    attacked the village capturing thirty Germans and killing another eleven.
    The incident was portrayed in the movie The Longest Day by actor Red Buttons.

    Later that morning, about 0500, a force led by Lt. Colonel Edward C. Krause
    of the 505th PIR took the town with little resistance.
    Apparently the German garrison was confused and had retired
    for the rest of the night.
    However, heavy German counterattacks began later in the day and into the next.
    The lightly-armed troops held the town until reinforced by tanks from nearby
    Utah Beach in the afternoon of 7 June.
    Other notable soldiers in the Allied assault on the town:
    * Lt. Colonel Benjamin H. Vandervoort (played by John Wayne)
    * Lt. Turner B. Turnbull
    * Capt. Ben Schwartzwalder
    * Cpl. Edward A. Slavin, Sr.
    * Sgt. George Bowler Tullidge III.

    Krause and Vandervoort both received the Distinguished Service Cross
    for their actions in the capture of the town.
    Tullidge received the Bronze Star, and it is noted that a collection
    of Bible verses and of his letters home, A Paratrooper's Faith,
    was distributed throughout the 82nd Airborne by his parents
    following his death until the 1990s.

    Henry Langrehr was also involved in the capture of Sainte-Mère-Église.
    He crashed through a greenhouse roof, as retold in the movie The Longest Day.
    On 6 November 2007 he received, along with five other men, the Legion of Honor medal from the President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy.

    This village is depicted in the game Call of Duty,
    the first battle is fought in this village by the player's character

    For more information:-
    La Pointe of Hoc

    Normandy, France

    Point du Hoc is a small step on the Normandy coast in the English Channel ,
    situated in the Calvados .
    It overlooks a cliff 25 to 30 meters high with a pebble beach
    of about ten meters wide at its feet.
    The tip is on the Common Cricqueville-en-Bessin .

    It was the scene of one of the Allied landing in Normandy on June 6, 1944 .
    Located between the beaches of Utah Beach (west) and Omaha Beach (east),
    the tip had been fortified by the Nazis and, according to Allied air reconnaissance
    was equipped with heavy artillery whose scope threatened the two nearby beaches.
    It was considered essential for the successful landing, artillery pieces
    that are put out of service as quickly as possible.

    This mission was entrusted to the 2nd battalion of U.S. Rangers
    who managed to take control of the site with heavy losses.
    Subsequently, the artillery will prove to have been displaced
    by the Germans shortly before and installed 1.5 kilometers back to the inland.

    For more information:-
    Pointof Hoc-Wikipedia

    La Rochelle, France

    Île de Ré is an island off the west coast of France near La Rochelle,
    on the northern side of the Pertuis d'Antioche strait.

    This island is completely flat; it is 30 km long and 5 km wide.
    A 2.9 km bridge, completed in 1988, connects it to La Rochelle on the mainland.

    During World War II, the beaches of the Île de Ré were fortified by German forces
    with bunkers, in order to block a possible seaward invasion.
    Many of the bunkers are still visible, in a more or less derelict state.
    Several scenes of the 1962 movie The Longest Day were filmed
    on the beaches of the island.

    For more information:-
    Plage de Saleccia

    Corsica, France

    One of the beaches used for location

    Plage de Saleccia, off the Désert des Agriates on the north coast
    and west of Saint-Florent.
    Bastia is the nearest large town and ferry port.
    Saleccia has perfect soft sand, clear azure water and a natural backdrop

    For more information:-
    Plage de Saleccia- Wikipedia

    Best Wishes
    London- England

    Edited 50 times, last by ethanedwards ().

  • Hi All,
    Happy to be back at the Forum! I was in Rouen, a Normandie town, a couple of days ago. Guess what! I saw a John Wayne autograph on the wall of a famous restaurant, on a framed picture. The restaurant is La Couronne, where the Duke had lunch in february 1961 (or 1962) when he was acting for The Longest Day movie. He went there too during the Alamo promotional French tour according the the note under the photograph.
    So I you go to visit the Normandie landing beaches, don't miss Rouen (100 km from the beaches) and Duke's autograph.
    PS: I was in Rouen to the Musée des beaux-arts which show a nice exposition of the Mythology of the West, with paintings of Remington among others. I recommend this to all Western fans!

  • Hi Kalmouk

    Warm Welcome to the Forum. Glad to have you with us.

    I passed that restaurant but didnt know there was a connection to John Wayne inside. Isnt there a small Jeanne of Arc Museum beside the restaurant and you look across at
    the catherdral?

    If only I had known!!!!:ohmy: :cry2: Thanks for sharing that with us:teeth_smile: