Posts Tagged ‘WW II’

This door “adorns” a German WW II sentry box we saw while visiting Normandy’s Omaha Beach and environs some years ago. My f-i-l landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day.. Although in the Navy, he’d been assigned to a landing party that included his friend, who died in the water near their Higgins boat, a fate suffered by too many. My f-i-l was the only member of his group that made it to the beach.

Once off the boat, the men had to wade through a long stretch of shallow water under the eye of the Germans and their guns occupying the high ground ashore.  Those who made it to the wide, flat beach encountered not only gunfire but all sorts of mines and obstructions.  Seeing the peaceful beach today, it seems inconceivable that not only did men make it ashore, but that this day was one of the turning points of the war.

The visit was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, one that at one point or another brought tears to all of our eyes.  My f-i-l also served in the Pacific theater.

WWII doors copyright janet m. webb 2013

Just as colds and coughs are going around this winter, the 5-Day Black and White Photo Challenge is making its way around.  But although it’s catching, it’s much more fun that being sick!  The only rules as far as I know, are to post a black and white photo for five days (a different one each day, naturally) and to nominate another photographer to join in each day.  I was invited by Isadora from Isadora Art and Photography, an excellent photographer.  Thanks, Izzy.

Inn 2011, we visited Normandy to see where my f-i-l landed on D-day.  No visit there is complete without visiting many cemeteries and one of those we visited was the German cemetery at La Cambe.  In that somber place, one grave stood out, not because of its marker (they’re all the same, acknowledging the deaths of heart-breakingly young men), but because there were flowers, mementos, and a photo.  The grave is that of Michael Wittman, of whom Wikipedia says:

Michael Wittman (22 April 1914 – 8 August 1944) was a German Waffen-SS tank commander during the Second World War. Wittmann rose to the rank of SS-Hauptsturmführer (captain) and was a Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross holder.

He was credited with the destruction of 138 tanks and 132 anti-tank guns, along with an unknown number of other armoured vehicles, making him one of Germany’s top scoring panzer aces, together with Johannes Bölter, Ernst Barkmann, Otto Carius and Kurt Knispel who was the top scoring ace of the war with 168 tank kills.

Although it’s not allowed to mention any SS rank or connection and any such things are removed each day, they reappear regularly and the grave is a destination for many who visit here.  I thought that black and white was appropriate for the subject, lending a solemn feel.

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For the first day, I would like to nominate Sally from Lens and Pens by Sally, who hosts the weekly Phoneography and Non-SRL Digital Devices Photo Challenge.  There’s a weekly theme and Monday is the day the challenge begins.  If you take photos with a non-camera camera, please join us.