Carte publiée avec l'aimable autorisation de www.6juin1944.com
Le 6 juin 1944,
La plus grande Armada de tous les temps avec 6939 navires.
150 000 combattants des forces alliées s'engageaient dans les opérations Neptune et Overlord afin de débarquer sur les côtes normandes et d'établir une tête de pont.
Arromanches, appelé Port Winston, clé de la Libération de l'Europe, se trouvait au cœur du dispositif qui ouvrit la voie de la Liberté, de la Démocratie, de l'Espérance européenne et de la Paix. Le port artificiel fonctionna de juin à novembre 1944. Il contribua à la réussite des opérations alliées.
Aujourd'hui, les plages des secteurs : Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, Sword sont devenues des lieux de mémoire, une procédure de classement au Patrimoine mondial de l'UNESCO est engagée.
Port Winston est un site classé (1000 hectares) avec ses vestiges, biens culturels maritimes.
Arromanches est plus que jamais sous les feux de l'actualité.
Le projet du complexe éolien en mer face aux plages de débarquement est actuellement en plein débat public. Les 75 aérogénérateurs de 170 m de haut, distants de 10 km des côtes, vont barrer l'horizon depuis les plages :
Gold : l'anglaise, Juno : la canadienne,
Sword : la franco-britannique, Omaha et Utah : les américaines.
L'issue du débat ne fait aucun doute. Le début des travaux est prévu pour 2015.
Nos organisations réunies estiment qu'il s'agit d'une atteinte grave
à un lieu de mémoire où de nombreux combattants ont perdu leur vie.
Nous lançons un appel à la communauté internationale.
Nous sollicitons votre signature pour l'abandon de ce projet et corrélativement le classement des plages du débarquement au Patrimoine mondial de l'UNESCO afin que ces plages soient définitivement protégées de l'industrialisation.
May 1, 2013
by David Chazan
Every year thousands of people make a pilgrimage to the D-Day beaches in Normandy to remember the Allied troops who landed there to liberate France from Nazi occupation.
Nearly 70 years after the assault that changed the course of the Second World War, however, the beaches face an invasion of another sort — wind turbines.
The plan to build a huge offshore wind farm within sight of land has upset veterans and their families and has triggered protests from environmentalists. But it is being welcomed by many local people because it would create thousands of jobs.
“The veterans don’t like this kind of thing,” said John Phipps, of D-Day Revisited, which funds and organises visits for British veterans who took part in the largest amphibious landing in history.
Signposts to the beaches still bear the code names used on June 6, 1944: Sword, Gold , Utah, Omaha and Juno. “It wouldn’t be quite the same with wind farms,” Mr Phipps said.
Seventy-five wind turbines, each nearly twice the height of Elizabeth Tower, would be built six to nine miles out to sea. Construction is to begin in 2015, a year after the 70th anniversary of the landings.
The companies leading the project — EDF, of France, Dong Energy, of Denmark, and wpd offshore solutions, of Germany — say that it would be difficult to move the wind turbines out of sight from the coast because the water is too deep and they would encroach on fishing grounds and shipping lanes.
“This is a sacred site that must not be spoilt,” said Admiral Christian Brac de la Perrière, the head of the official French D-Day Committee, the Comité du Débarquement de Normandie, which organises commemorations.
“Every year on June 6, we gather local schoolchildren on the beaches to make them feel what the young British, American and Canadian soldiers felt when they fought their way ashore,” he said. “How will they understand if they are looking out at wind turbines?”
Thousands of people have signed a petition initiated by the European Platform Against Windfarms, an environmental group that is lobbying Unesco to list the D-Day beaches as a World Heritage Site.
“This is a massacre of the beaches,” Jean-Louis Butré, the chairman of the organisation, said. “A former RAF group captain phoned me and said that if the wind farm is built, he would be prepared to bomb it.”
Last year the Government cancelled another wind farm project in Normandy on land just within sight of Mont-Saint-Michel, one of most popular tourist destinations in France, after Unesco threatened to suspend the world heritage status of the ancient abbey that stands on a rocky tidal island.
Public debates are being held in Normandy to discuss the £1.5 billion project, which was approved in 2011 by President Sarkozy. It was shelved in the run-up to elections last year, then revived by President Hollande.
One debate, in Arromanches on June 12, will be held in both English and French. The independent commission organising the meetings wants British veterans or their representatives to take part or make their views known.
A plan to build a wind farm on the site of a First World War battlefield in Loos, also in northern France, has been put on hold after public opposition.
January 29, 2011
by John Lichfield in Paris
The view from the Normandy landing beaches is to be transformed – critics say "desecrated" – by an immense offshore wind farm.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced this week that one of the most poignant sea and beachscapes in the world – the Calvados coast, between Juno and Omaha beaches – had been selected as the site for one of five vast wind farms to be built off the French Atlantic seaboard from 2015.
Officials insist the generators, two-thirds the height of the Eiffel Tower, will only just be visible from the coast. But the leader of an official commemorative association and a militant ecologists' group said yesterday that France was failing in its duty to preserve the memory of D-Day, and the "essential character" of the five landing beaches on which 2,500 allied soldiers died on 6 June 1944.
The choice of the site, 11 kilometres off Courseulles-sur-Mer (Juno Beach), was "inappropriate and incoherent", Admiral Christian Brac de la Perrière, the president of the Comité du Débarquement, the official French body for commemorating D-Day, said yesterday.
"The French government says it wants the whole stretch of the Norman coastline from Utah Beach to Sword Beach to be declared a Unesco world heritage site," he said . "At the same time, it wants to build these generators in the very centre of the landing areas of 1944."
Jacky Bonnemains, president of Robin des Bois (Robin Hood), a militant French ecological group, said: "I find it extraordinary no one in government grasps that this will change forever the character of a place of sacred memory. They just don't seem to care." In future, the seascape would be "desecrated" by rows of wind generators, he added.
"The promoters and the government say the generators will be hardly visible but this is not so," he said. "They will easily be visible on a clear day and they will generate light pollution at night." Mr Bonnemains, whose group opposes all offshore wind farms, said there was already fear about unexploded wartime munitions near two wind farms off the northern Norman coast. "The seabed in the approaches to the D-Day landing beaches must be carpeted with unexploded bombs," he said.
France has no large offshore wind farms and wants to catch up with Britain and Germany. President Sarkozy announced on Tuesday a €10bn plan to build five giant arrays of generators off France's western coast from 2015. The sites – two off the north Norman coast, one off the D-Day beaches and two off the Breton coast – will generate as much electricity as two nuclear power stations.
The precise location of the D-Day wind farm has yet to be decided. An initial 50, and then at least 80, windmills will be built in the waters "off Courseulles-sur-Mer" or a little farther to the west. This would put the wind farm off Juno Beach, the landing place for 21,000 Canadian and British troops in 1944; or Gold Beach, stormed by 25,000 British troops; or even, conceivably, in sight of Omaha Beach, the bloodiest of the five landing areas, which was finally captured by the Americans on the evening of 6 June.
The offshore generators would be 160 metres high. The official proposals say the "impact on the maritime landscape" seen from the coast would be "limited". Only 24 per cent of the sweep of the horizon would be affected, the proposals say. Seen from 11 kilometres away, a 160m-high wind generator is "equivalent to a 1.6cm tall object (roughly a matchstick) seen from a metre away". Critics say 80 "matchsticks" along the maritime horizon at the D-Day beaches would be highly intrusive. The local councils have welcome the D-Day wind farm which will, it is promised, bring thousand of jobs to the area. Laurent Beauvais, the Socialist president of Lower Normandy, "rejoiced" at the choice, and said the wind park would have "no impact on fishing or tourism".