Leonardo’s Gun

Leonardo’s da Vinci moved to Le Chateau du Clos Luce which is in Amboise, France.  On the grounds are replicas of many of his inventions.  I wasn’t aware that he designed a machine gun but he did and here it is.

Le Chateau du Clos Luce. France
Le Chateau du Clos Luce. France

Sunflowers

In the Loire Valley we saw several fields of sunflowers as we were driving around.  After ignoring them for a couple days we had a stormy afternoon with heavy rain that provided a background to highlight them well enough.

Loire Valley
Loire Valley

Battlement

The Chateau De la Barre has been in the Vanssay family since the 1400’s and was our home base while touring the Loire Valley.  One of the remaining battlements that still exists on the property is shown here about to catch the morning light.

Chateau De la Barre, France
Chateau De la Barre, France

Guns of Longues-sur-Mer

This 150MM German gun is located on a cliff near the town of Longues-sur-Mer overlooking the beaches of Normandy and were used to fire on the ships during the invasion.  Town mayors, after the war, were allowed by the government to remove any metal, equipment, food, materials, etc. and sell/use the items for the good of the people. The mayor of Longues sur Mer decided to leave the guns intact as a monument to the hostilities.

Normandy
Normandy

Sainte Marie Du Mont

Sainte Marie Du Mont, as depicted in the television series Band of Brothers, was the first village to be liberated in Normandy during the D-Day invasion in 1944.  The Germans used this church steeple for an observation post on D Day but they were removed by well placed US artillery. The steeple was repaired in 1946.  Sainte Marie Du Mont Church

Block I : Row 20 : Grave 12

This is where 1st Lieutenant Jimmie W. Monteith Jr is honored in the American Cemetery.  The lieutenant is one of three medal of honor winners interned in this remarkable and moving place.  The other two are Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jr and  T/Sgt Frank Peregory.

American Cemetery in Normandy
American Cemetery in Normandy

La Cambe German Cemetery

Most everyone is aware of the US cemetery in Normandy but I suspect many may not be aware there is a German Cemetery as well. In total there are 21,222 German soldiers commemorated here, of which 207 unknown and 89 identified are buried in a kamaradengraben (mass grave) that you see in the center of the photo under the monument. I will post photos of the American Cemetery soon and you will see the contrast in style and color.

Normandy
Normandy

 

La Fiere Bridge

The La Fiere bridge, with the Merderet River running under it, was a very popular place in the first days after D Day with both the US 82nd Airborne and German Army wanting it. The strategic value was it protected the western entrance to Sainte-Mère-Église and blocked the Germans from counter attacking the beaches and the port of Cherbourg.

Sainte-Mère-Église
Sainte-Mère-Église