Port-en-Bessin – classic Normandy coastal village.  Gorgeous at sunrise and sunset. Even cloudy or rainy days have their charm. Climb the cliffs on both the East and the West sides of the centre ville port for spectacular views of the coastline.

Now to the WWII history of this seaside hamlet:

Part of the Atlantic Wall, Port-en-Bessin was heavily fortified by the occupying German military.  Those cliffs flanking the village were ready for attack from sea and air with concrete artillery emplacements, bunkers, trenches and a few hundred Germans.  Part of the Gold invasion beach just to the east of Omaha, British marine commandos lost about 40 men taking the position high on the bluff right of the pier in the photo.  You can see clear remnants of these fortifications, even trench lines along the very edge of the cliff.  Photo above was taken in 1948; below, May, 2012 from the bluff where the British commandos perished.

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