On 18th June, 1940 the Germans marched into Ste. Maire Eglise, where they stayed until 6th June 1944, when the 82nd Airborne and 101st Airborne descended from the skies and drove them out.
70 years later, we came into town in the Japanese van with German plates of my sister and brother-in-law, Americans who now live right near the French border in Germany.
How life changes.
The airborne museum is extremely well done, and of course Hollywood has played its part in immortalising the young men who parachuted down or descended in the flimsiest of gliders.
There are many vivid stories, such as that of John Steele, who landed on the church, was shot along with his comrade who suffered the same fate but was killed. John played dead, was captured, escaped, and eventually survived, to return many years later to strike up an unbreakable bond with the town and the people he helped save.
Well worth the trip, and the perfect casting off point for visiting the Normandy D-Day beaches, as it tracks the actual invasion which was kicked off by paratroopers in the early morning hours.
BASEBALL KEPT US SANE
TAPING OVER HISTORY
The law against swastikas. It apparently is a French law now which prohibits selling anything with a swastika on it. This is PC gone mad. Surely a Messerschmitt in a dogfight doesn't offend anyone, but the Museum staff had helpfully placed little pieces of tape over the offending symbol.
THEY CAME BACK
WAR OF THE ROSES