Allez des Cauchemars


France after allied bombardment

France’s forgotten Blitz

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.


Omaha beach cratered

About eamonntgardiner

I am a PhD Student at the National University of Ireland, Galway. I am conducting research into links between wartime traumatic-neurosis and evidence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder amongst British First World War veterans serving as Auxiliary Policemen in Ireland during the Anglo-Irish War 1919-1921. I have previously conducted research into local Irish Volunteer/Old IRA units in Munster as well as British responses to popular insurgencies in areas they administered. I have previously published a book on the British Counterinsurgency responses to the IV/IRA conflict in Ireland, 1919-1921, entitled 'Dublin Castle and the Anglo-Irish War: Counter Insurgency and Conflict.' I have also published papers on various aspects of that war and also on other insurgencies. I write a regular blog on those and other related matters, which can be read at My research interests include Feminism and De-Colonialisation/Post-Colonialism, Insurgency, Police and Military Histories, Institutional Histories. Subaltern Studies, International History of the 20th Century, Modern Irish History, Historiography, History of Conflict, Peace Keeping/Enforcement/Protectorates, Spheres of Influence, Hegemonic Theories, Old and New Terrorism.
This entry was posted in Britain, Commemoration, Conflict, France, Second World War, United States and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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