Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

La Cambe Cemetery

Discussion in 'La Cambe War Cemetery' started by Jim, Sep 17, 2006.

  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Messages:
    3,324
    Likes Received:
    12
    via War44
    In a clearing dotted with trees and Maltese crosses in groups of five, more than 21,222 men are buried here beneath small slabs. The fallen German soldiers from the Normandy campaign were scattered all over Normandy, many of them buried in isolated graves or small cemeteries. In the following years after the end of World War II, the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge (German War Graves Commission), decided to establish six main German cemeteries in the Normandy area. More than 12,000 German soldiers were moved from 1,400 smaller locations to this cemetery in La Cambe. Since September 1961, the year when the cemetery was finished and inaugurated, more than 700 bodies of fallen soldeirs have been found on the battlefields of Normandy, and were moved to be burried here.
    In the centre of the cemetery stands an impressive tumulus, with on top a large cross flanked by statues. This marks the place where the remains of about 296 unidentified soldiers were burried.

    The impressive Tumulus is the first thing that you see when entering this Cemetery

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Jim

    Jim New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Messages:
    3,324
    Likes Received:
    12
    via War44
    The cemetery at La Cambe was set up by American troops who had a Field Hospital at La Cambe after taking the German Batteries and the Battle of Isigny. Since 1956 the work of the Volksbund has brought the number of graves to over 20.000 making La Cambe the largest war cemetery in the region.

    The Stones symbolize the the logo of the German "Volksbund"

    [​IMG]

    The cemetery is over seventeen and a half acres in size and is hemmed in by a 'Bocage' hedge-row with views over the marshes. Great trees, mainly Oak and Beech shade the lawns around a vast clearing. At the point where the two alleys cross is a tumulus six metres high, surmounted by a large cross of basalt between two statues. Groups of crosses and head-stones extend across the whole; paths on the turf are around these memorials. The rectangular building, the wall between the cemetery and the car-park and the alley of flag-stones leading to the Tumulus are the only elements in stone and they are in grey granite. The over-all effect is one of splendour it is impressive and meditative.

    The Tumulus marks the place where the remains of 296 German soldiers were interred.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. TxGirl

    TxGirl New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    via War44
  4. Cabel1960

    Cabel1960 recruit

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    449
    Likes Received:
    0
    via War44
    Why are the German crosses black when all other Cemeteries dedicated to soldiers seem to be white?

    Great pictures Jim :thumb:
     
  5. Jim

    Jim New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Messages:
    3,324
    Likes Received:
    12
    via War44
    The small groups of black stone crosses, are symbolic and do not mark graves. The graves are actually marked by flat stones engraved with the names below.....often with two, four or more burried together in the same grave. The Tumulus (1st & 3rd pictures) contains 296 dead. The grassed mound is ringed at the bottom by stones carrying the names of the dead, the huge black cross and two figures represents the parents of dead German Soldiers.

    The stones with the SS Soldiers names on do not show the ranks that these Soldiers were, i read at the site that this was for obvious reasons, of which i guess we know what these are.
     
  6. James Stewart

    James Stewart Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2020
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    135
    la Cambe is a war cemetery which I have visited several times in recent years a peaceful place so very well looked after and a place of somber sadness.
    The cemetery is well known for holding the grave of Michael Wittmann and when you enter the cemetery and look low over to the right after walking a few yards on the pathway more often than not you will have no problem in seeing the grave of he and his crew, as flowers candles etc are almost always there, their headstones have no grass around them, such is the human traffic around his grave. (Will say no more other than to mention that there are numerous Knights Cross holders buried close to MW who are seldom "visited")..
    On a good day, it makes a pleasant and reflective stop in recent years handrails have been added to the central mound when wet, its steps can be very slippery and it is easy to come to grief. Again these photos taken over several years.
    Normandy2014 773.JPG Normandy2014 772.JPG DSCF3921.jpg DSCF3927.jpg DSCF3925.jpg DSCF3924.jpg DSCF3922.jpg DSCF3921.jpg DSCF3918.jpg DSCF3917.jpg
     
    TD-Tommy776 likes this.
  7. James Stewart

    James Stewart Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2020
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    135
    These are from 2007, handrails have been added to the mound and trees are much more mature.
    Diekmann, the man who triggered Oradour, killed by shellfire shortly after his arrival in Normandy, I looked at his name and walked away.
    Hans Pfieffer, at one time an adjutant to Hitler, a Panther Commander in 12th SS.
    RK Wilhelm Beck,holder killed on an air attack on Geyr von Schweppenburg's HQ, the attack was as a result of ULTRA, several other officers killed in the same air raid are buried a few yards from Beck, beside him Eugen Prinz another RK holder, 12th SS.
    Alfred Gunther a RK holder, Tiger Commander and friend of Wittmann. The man buried with him almost certainly one of his crew. DSCF3914.jpg DSCF3912.jpg DSCF3909.jpg DSCF3898.jpg Normandy2014 749.JPG Normandy2014 751.JPG Normandy2014 750.JPG Normandy2014 753.JPG Normandy2014 754.JPG Normandy2014 756.JPG
     
  8. James Stewart

    James Stewart Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2020
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    135
    Gunther Strelow, the young machine gunner, his photo taken a few days before his death has become iconic.
    Emil Durr a junior soldier who was awarded a posthumous RK in December 1944 for destroying a Churchill Crocodile.
    The German act of remembrance, attended by representatives of all the NATO members as well as Allied veterans and French politicians.
    IMG_0538.JPG IMG_0532.JPG IMG_0535.JPG IMG_0537.JPG IMG_0549.JPG 475.JPG 465.JPG 468.JPG 469.JPG 473.JPG
     
  9. James Stewart

    James Stewart Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2020
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    135
    Last lot, only another 300 odd in various folders. :)
    481.JPG 484.JPG 438.JPG 437.JPG 470.JPG 466.JPG 429.JPG
     
  10. James Stewart

    James Stewart Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2020
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    135

Share This Page