France’s forgotten Blitz http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-27703724
Today marks the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Occupied France. The actual landings themselves were preceeded by a massive aerial bombardment of the Nazi held French coastal areas of Normandy.
As many as 50,000 people are thought to have perished in what has been known as the French Blitz. Supporters of the bombings have claimed that in order to secure a beachhead for their troops, the Allies were forced to destroy the German defensive and C2 capacities.
However despite the debate continuing to rage, the damage is inescapable. Towns like St. Lo, St. Nazaire, Caen and Le Harve were listed as destroyed completely, along with one and a half thousand others! Over half a million tonnes of bombs were dropped on France by the British, American and Royal Canadiamn Air Forces.
The damage in most cities has been repaired, but a look at the beaches of Normandy from above shows the pockmarked lunar craters which allied shells left as an indelible mark. The marks left on the psyche last just as long, but are far harder to mend.