05/06/15 TNS439 from Pointe Du Hoc
Yesterday afternoon most crew went ashore for lunch in Cherbourg, and the fore course was rigged by the Leadership At Sea crew members. An enjoyable evening was experienced by all; delicious food but mussels are in season from July here, and best not to ask for them on the menu at this time of year! We left the quayside at 9.30am before another fascinating talk from Bjorn. Hitler had ordered the Germans never to surrender Cherbourg, and to fight to the last man. The American 79th Division, led by Smoking Joe Collins, attacked on 22nd June, less than 3 weeks after D Day. Fortunately for the Allies, Schlieben defied Hitler’s orders, and surrendered on 26th June. However the Germans had so destroyed the harbour it was not useable again until 1945. Next we had a successful Happy Hour cleaning the ship, and we are now heading to anchor off Arromanches near Gold Beach. We are just off Pointe Du Hoc and we can see the gun emplacement at the top of the 38 meter cliffs that run along this bit of coast. It is very moving to see it all, and we learnt of the 260 brave US Rangers who scaled these cliffs. Only 180 made it to the top, and only 90 survived, having taken this essential gun emplacement which would have threatened Utah and Omaha beaches.