I spent a few days in Normandy in northern France, along the English channel. I stayed in Bayeux, the home of the famous tapestry depicting the story of the Battle of Hastings in 1066. It was also the first town liberated by the Allies in the D-Day invasion.
Here’s part of the battle scene from the 11th century tapestry. The Latin narrative says “here both the English and the French fell in battle.”
Of the five beaches in the D-Day invasion, two were liberated by American forces: Omaha Beach and Utah Beach. Omaha, the site of the early scene from Saving Private Ryan, cost the most Allied lives.
The American cemetary and the view of the coast from the cemetary:
The Allies built two floating ports, one of which was demolished by storms only a couple of weeks later. The remaining port is still there. Here is one of the pieces, washed up on shore.