Tag Archives: normandy landings

M. Podyma Interview at Mont-Ormel

The hill at Mont-Ormel, overlooks the site of the last and one of the bloodiest battles of Normandy. It was here that the Allied forces enclosed the Germans in a pincer movement, forcing tens of thousands of German soldiers to retreat through an ever-narrowing gap – the ‘Falaise gap’ or ‘Falaise pocket’ as it’s often called. The road along which the Germans had to flee became piled high with the carnage of corpses, dead horses, abandoned carriages and tanks, that the Germans called it, ‘the Corridor of Death.’

M. Podyma is a franco-polish veteran, who landed at Arromanches on Gold Beach in July 1944 and fought in the 1st Polish Armoured Division through France, Belgium, Holland and Germany until 8th May, 1945. He played a decisive role in the battle of Mont-Ormel – from August 7th until August 21st, he found himself on the front line. On August 18th, 1944 he was confronted with the 2nd SS Panzer ‘Das Reich’ Division. On August 20th at Boisjos, he saved his Sherman tank and his two radios from destruction – this action allowed the Canadian artillery to direct their fire to the German troops and to circle them.

Since the war, M. Podyma has participated in all the major commemorative events at Mont Ormel. He will be 93 in a couple of months’ time.

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Berjou Museum: Photos

Check out some of the photos I took at the Berjou Museum!

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Sherwood Rangers ceremony in Berjou

Maggie and I attended an intimate ceremony in Berjou that, for the first time in 70 years, marked the return of the Sherwood Rangers.

On D-Day, the Rangers landed on Gold Beach and were the first British battalion to enter Bayeux. Bayeux would become the first French town to be liberated on 7th June 1944.

Two months later, the Rangers navigated their tanks to the village of Berjou to close the emerging “Falaise Pocket”.


More to follow…

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La Cambe: Summary

“We should try for one thing in this world: to think a little less about ourselves and a little more about others; to do a little less for ourselves and a little more for others; to love ourselves a little less and to love others just a little more.”
Walter Sonneborn

Following the political turnaround in Eastern Europe, ‘The Association for the Care of German War Graves’ was set up in Kassel, Germany.

It has become even more difficult to find new unmarked burial sites so long after the end of the Second World War.

Some three million German soldiers died in the former Eastern Block countries in the Second World War.

Over 50,000 German soldiers have been recovered in Eastern Europe since 1991 and the rescue service team documents its findings in protocols.

‘The Association for the Care of German War Graves’ faces many difficulties: Most of the burial sites erected during the war are no longer present, are difficult to find, have been destroyed, built over or plundered.

In Normandy, the war dead are laid to rest in La Cambe, which provides long-term security for their graves.

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