VE Day — 75 years on

By Rob Morgan

Here, as a reminiscence of the war, the defeat of Germany, and the greatest invasion in history, are three of my Normandy photos.

1. This is a Sexton SP Gun, a 25pdr AFV, which equipped British and Canadian artillery units, a very effective gun, fired on the way in to the beaches, over the bows of landing craft. This is mounted a little inland of Juno Beach.

2. A M IV Centaur tank, which equipped the Royal Marines Support Group on D-Day. The gun is a 95mm, and the markings on the turret are calibrations for use by an outside forward observer, to direct fire against enemy bunkers. The tank was mounted, as shown here, on a plinth at Pegasus Bridge, but has recently been moved into the new Pegasus Museum,and repainted in D-Day markings.

3. The ‘Barn-Door’ as German soldiers called it. This is an ’88,’ late war the complex cruciform carriages simply couldn’t be manufactured, so a basic two-wheeled, half-track towed variant, the Pak 43 was built. This was an absolute beast to haul around, and the gun was lost at a farm just inland of Omaha Beach,. The farmer, who charged me 5 euros to photograph and examine it, told me it hadn’t been touched since the war, optics had gone naturally.

I’d intended, hoped, to return to Normandy this summer, but of course the prospect of any travel across the Channel before autumn is much diminished.

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