Over the years researching for our tours we have compiled a comprehensive library of photographs that were taken on the battlefields that we visit and corresponding photographs that we have taken in the same place. These "Then and Now" pictures were taken for our own personal reference, but now we want to share these with you. They appear in no particular order and we hope that you find them thought provoking, useful and in some cases even evocative.
All of these "Then and Now" shots are the intellectual property of Ian R Gumm. Please do not copy or redistribute them without our prior consent and where consent is give they must carry an appropriate accreditation to him — © Ian R Gumm.
On 22nd June 1944 General Lawton Collin’s VII Corps launched a general assault of the heavily defended port of Cherbourg at the tip of the Cotentin Peninsula. Initially resistance was stiff, but street by street and from bunker to pillbox the American troops slowly fought their way forward. To assist the assault naval guns bombarded fortifications close to the city on the 25th and on the 26th the British No 30 Commando launched an assault on Octeville, a suburb south west of the main city. That same day the US 79th Division captured the heavily defended and dominating positions of the Fort du Roule. After that the organised defence by the Germans began to crumble and the harbour fell on 29th June 1944. This then photograph shows American troops in Cherbourg walking from the direction of Alexander III Quay and turning into Rue Maréchal Foch and the now shot was taken on a recent tour to the battlefields of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy.
A follow on from the post below. This then photograph shows the German soldiers who surrendered at Saint Lambert-sur-Dives on 18th August 1944 to Major Currie and his men being marched off into captivity. The now shot was taken on a recent tour to the battlefields of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. Note the memorial recording the events in the bottom right-hand corner of the now photo.
By 18th August 1944 the Falaise Pocket was around six by seven miles into which thousands of German soldiers were packed trying to retreat. On the evening of that day a small mixed force of Canadian tanks, self-propelled anti-tank guns and infantry under the command of Major David Currie were ordered to close one of the remaining main gaps at a small and insignificant French commune called Saint Lambert-sur-Dives. It was for his actions at Saint Lambert-sur-Mer that Major David Currie was awarded the Victoria Cross.
This then photograph depicts the surrender of German forces at Saint Lambert-sur-Dives to Major David Currie, who is seen standing to the left of the picture with his pistol in hand. The now shot was taken on a tour a couple of years ago.
This then photograph shows UTAH Beach at the Les Dunes-de-Varreville exit and the now photo and was taken on a recent tour to the D-Day Beaches and Battle of Normandy battlefields.
This then photograph shows American paratroopers patrolling down the lane alongside the Church at Saint Marcouf in Normandy and the now photo was taken on a recent tour to the D-Day Beaches and Battle of Normandy battlefields.
This then photograph shows a crowd of French civilians and US troops looking on as three Royal Navy divers prepare to dive into Alexander III dock at Cherbourg and was taken on a recent tour to the D-Day Beaches and Battle of Normandy battlefields.
This then and now depicts American soldiers crossing the junction of the Avenue Etienne Lecarpentier as it joins the Avenue de Paris (now the Voie de la Liberté) and was taken on a recent tour to the D-Day Beaches and Battle of Normandy battlefields.
This then and now was taken in Cherbourg - It is looking down the Rue Lecet and depicts prisoners of war being marched off into captivity following the capture of the port-city by the US Army on 29th June 1944.
This photograph was taken looking up the N30 leading out of Houffalaize and is close to the site where the Panther tank stands today.
The destroyed building was the school and this is one of a number of views of the Sturmgeschütz III (StuG III) assault gun taken after the battle.
The railway station at Berniéres-sur-Mer is close to JUNO Beach where the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada came ashore on D-Day, 6th June 1944. The photograph shows German POWs waiting at the station.
The 505th Parachute Infantry Regimental Aid Station set up by the 307th Airborne Medical Company at La Fière to the west of Sainte-Mère-Église shortly after its capture on D+3, 9th June 1944.
American paratroopers fire into the steeple of the church at Sainte-Mère-Église on D-Day, 6th June 1944.
Bihain was liberated by US 83rd Infantry Division around 10th/11th January 1945 during the Battle of the Bulge, "Hitler's last throw of the dice".
Stoumont was the scene of fierce fighting between the Americans of the 119th Infantry Regiment, 30th Division and the German Fallschirmjager supported by tanls of Sturmbannführer Werner Pötschke's SS Panzer Regiment 1 "LSSAH" on 19th December 1944.
Traffic being directed in-land from Juno Beach passing in front of the church at Berniéres-sur-Mer shortly after D-Day, 6th June 1944.