Pegasus Bridge, Normandy
Part Three of our Normandy Trip Report….. One of the things I wanted to see this time ’round was the famous Pegasus Bridge in Bénouville, captured by Major John Howard and his paratroopers.
This was one of the many daring missions…. landing near the strategically important bridge, in the middle of the night with three gliders, on a piece of land that would hardly be big enough for a modern day single seater…..
It is awesome reading about it, seeing the film…. but nothing beats standing on that same place and imagining how scary it must have been that one night in June…..
I’ll let the photos speak:
This is the bridge as it is now.. it is a copy of the old one. The old bridge has been moved a few hundred yards and is now part of the museum.
Airborne Museum near the bridge
The houses (and old cafe) across the river, where the German troops sheltered and put up a fight. Later the British para’s would use them to fend off German counter attacks, until reinforcements arrived at the bridge.
The leader of the attack team…. Major John Howard
Where Nina is standing (near the statue) is where Major Howard’s first glider came to a halt…. VERY near the bridge.
The two other gliders landed within 2 minutes and all managed to not hit each other. On the right was water, on the left is water……. lots of courage and luck !!!!
Another photo of the Pegasus Cafe, after which the bridge was named.
An old English tank, displyed near the bridge. This particular one was actually left behind in Hermanville, some 15 km’s away from the bridge. It was restored by the British Army Engineers and posted at the bridge.
It was a beuatiful day, very warm…. and despite my cracking headache we enjoyed seeing the sights at Bénouville, Ouistreham and further inland.
If you’re interested, here are some other links to websites about that era:
French and English site about the Invasion and Pegasus Bridge
Another site with lots of info and photos of D-Day
Pegasus Bridge page of a WW2 site
Map Tours of D-Day… click on the dots to see original photos