The bridge was critical. As the invasion of Normandy began, seizing and holding the La Fière bridge was one of three central objectives for the USAF. This route was essential for movement inland from Utah Beach and to prevent German reinforcements from moving west. It simply couldn’t be done without securing the bridge.
On the 70th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy, a shot from June 6, 2012. Major Henry “Duke” Boswell at the La Fiere Causeway. After first seeing combat in Italy, Boswell parachuted into Ste. Mere Eglise, the first town to be liberated in the campaign. He would later fight in Holland and Belgium, where Operation Market Garden and the Battle of the Bulge, respectively, were critical points in the war. By 1945, of the original 146 men in Boswell’s G-Company, only 13 remained alive and uninjured.
There are 4,648 soldiers buried in the Bayeux War Cemetery, the largest Commonwealth cemetery of the Second World War in France. There was little fighting in Bayeux, despite its strategic importance to the invasion of Normandy, so the burials come from fighting in surrounding regions.
There are no smiles here. There are no families with strollers and balloons and ice cream for the kids. There is nobody selling ornamental models of monuments. No souvenir key chains or fold-out postcard sets or coffee mugs or t-shirts. There are no smiles here. There is horror. There is anguish. There is silence. And death.