Brevands Bridges, someone help!

Brevands Bridges, someone help!

adam517
Registered User
Joined: 27 Jun 2010, 10:05

27 Jun 2010, 10:05 #1

Hi All,
I'm new to the forum but have been researching the 101st for years now. Mark, you might remember me from E-mailing you about the Bloody Gulch, although i'm sure you get plenty of E-mails regarding this. One place that I visited (or attempted i guess you could say) for the first time this year was Brevands and the bridges. I had been to and seen the memorial to the Filthy 13 and the building marked as their HQ in the small Hamlet of Le Port nearby but have never been succesful at finding what remains of the Bridges. This year for the first time we noticed Mike De Trez had put up a dozen information signs dotted around the Key locations in Normandy such as La Barquette, Sainte Come Du Mont, Bel Enault etc and we found all but one, and the one we failed to find was at Brevands. We asked a friend who had been there who had seen it and he confirmed it was by one of the Bridges remains but couldn't explain over the phone and we couldn't find it. Could anyone give me any idea of how to reach what remains and perhaps provide a map of the best route? We followed the road through Le Port the runs parrallel with the Estuary all the way up to the original Bailey Bridge located near the Carentan Mariner but couldn't find a way of getting closer to the estuary.
Is it quite hard to find or are we just blind?
Regards, Adam
Ignorance means life is lost.
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reccewoody
Registered User
Joined: 15 Dec 2007, 15:29

27 Jun 2010, 12:30 #2

Adam,
Access is easier from the German side from Brevands - the owners of the land on the American side have shot guns and are not afraid to use them.   I have taken various TT users to the bridge sites - Jacques Wood, TC, Cimmaron 44, Reg Jans etc etc and the trick is knowing how to get up to the top of the berm and from where, and yes it is incredibly difficult to describe in a forum post.  A couple of weeks ago when I last went the foot path along the berm was totally overgrown and wet with dew and we got soaking wet going there.
When you are at the Filthy 13 monument, you are roughly half way between the two bridges, but you can't easily get to the river bank from that point.  Basically you need to get on to the foot path that runs along the edge of the river which is tricky.
When are you next here?  If I am free I could show you the bridges and Bloody Gulch
Paul
Mr. Chard Sir! Patrol has come back, Zulus have gone, all of 'em. It's a miracle! If it's a miracle Colour Sergeant, it's a short chamber Boxer
Henry, point 45 caliber miracle. And a bayonet Sir! With some guts behind it! Zulu - 1963
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Cimarron 44
Registered User
Joined: 14 Dec 2007, 11:23

27 Jun 2010, 12:53 #3

Hi Adam,
I was fortunate to have Paul take me to the site of the bridges about two weeks ago. Even though I have been to Brevands a number of times there is no way that I could have found the location without Paul to guide me since there is also no way unless you know where you are along the berm to know where to go up and over. I can also confirm that as Paul said it was totally overgrown and wet so at least at this time of year you need your Wellies! Paul mentioned that in April it was dry and the foliage hadn't grown yet so it was much easier then.
Paul Clifford
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Jacques Wood1
Registered User
Joined: 18 Apr 2009, 14:18

27 Jun 2010, 13:42 #4

Hi Adam,



I too was fortunate to have Paul to show me to the sites of the Brevands Bridges several times now and it certainly is not obvious from the road as to where the bridges are!

I have to say that I really like the monument there, it is one of the best ones in my opinion. Remember though that the monument is on the German side of the river. The Americans were on the opposite bank. That little blue marker on the building in Le Port is just another sort of monument and not actually their headquarters building.

When you eventually make it over to the site of the bridges, the view you get is one of how isolated the area is.



Matt
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326engineers
Registered User
Joined: 26 Feb 2008, 18:30

27 Jun 2010, 14:02 #5

Hi all,
From Paul:
"Access is easier from the German side from Brevands - the owners of the land on the American side have shot guns and are not afraid to use them"
it is for this reason that the monument was built to the German side!!!
the berm is supposed to be traversed on foot and by bicycle from the bailley bridge up to the Baie des Veys but not in the summer, because There is no maintenance,
I am familiar with the place and I comfirme it was difficult to go on the positions of the bridges last june
It is the eternal problem with small village, no time, no money, when you ask something to the Mayor , it's the end of the world....
When I heard that a history panel would be placed on the berm to a historic trail, I asked to the "office du Tourisme" of carentan, who will do the maintenance?
and he replied: "it's a good question"
Best
Réal
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TCUNC76
Registered User
Joined: 27 Nov 2007, 02:29

27 Jun 2010, 18:53 #6

  Adam :


           I concur with those comments by Real, Paul Woodadage, Paul Clifford & Matthew......     The grass is so darn tall & thick and we got soaked around the feet trying to walk through the stuff.how Paul found where to go and walk was amazing to me.but he did get us to a position where we could see what remains of the two bridges. It would be nice from a historical standpoint if a trail and observation hill be erected with a marker telling what happened here on D-Day. But I know this is a money & maintenance issue as Real has stated below. I take it Paul W that the side we were on was open I guess to the public & there is a bike or footpath there during the winter months  ? But the far side is for sure is on private property and is off limits to the by wishes of the family ! Wonder if one could take a small boat up stream in the river and see it from that standpoint or can small boats travel in that part of the river ? I was delighted to finally see the area of the Brevands bridges written about by Mark B & Ian Gardner & Roger Day .............. here are some photos I took with my small camera with a limited lens..maybe Paul Clifford or Matthew Pellet with their larger lenses can give you a better view of the bridges!   A big thanks to Woody for taking us there & showing us the location...seeing the area & terrain now gives me a better understanding of what the  men of The Third Battalion 506th PIR were trying to accomplish on that day. It still amazes me when I am in Normandy or read great post like this one or the many others that appear here on Mr Bando's Forum.........the world wide interest in this subject & many other 101st & 82nd D-Day related topics. The great memorial in Brevands is well worth a visit and again thanks to Real & his group for putting on a wonderful ceremony..........Real you should get my pkg soon and let me know when it arrives................... maybe one day a marker & trail can be erected at a central point along the river ( German side)
where travelers can look out on the area and see this places where good men came to fight on that day now 66 years on !  Woody thanks my friend for taking your time that day to show us Brevands, Carl Becks Barn, Blood Gluch -Gully..and all the other things you pointed out!   Here are some photos of our group at the site.............maybe someone else has taken photos here and can add to this visual display !


                                                                               Tom Colones


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 Woody giving us a historical talk about the actions of Third Battalion on that day.now if have only had Col Shames with us !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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  I thought to myself as we walked along this waist high tall grass................. TC would never do this back home in South Carolina along a trail like this....poison snakes & Rattle snakes would be just waiting for you....do they poison snakes like that in France ????????????????? YIKES !!!!!   


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 our trusty group on the river!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!\


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 Hidden MG-42 position          ..... as detected by the portable Patterson XB-360A......solid 100% metal readings here.but private property..respectful ..no digging !
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  Good times & Trigger Time fellowship in Normandy !!!! TC admits this place is on my mind and has been ever since I saw The Longest Day back in 63 /64...24/7 365 a year..... sacred ground for our country and I am sure for yours as well !


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ELECTRIC FENCE.................... OUCH...yes its juiced and on !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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The second Bridge at a distance.across the river in this picture post card Normandy meadow !!!


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Our group discussing the Brevands situation !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! meanwhile TC is concerned about those good French pastries   Paul Woodadge had waiting for us at lunch down bt The Brevands memorial ! !
  
   
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 mission accomplished...just glad it wasn't one of those MRE's !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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TCUNC76
Registered User
Joined: 27 Nov 2007, 02:29

27 Jun 2010, 19:00 #7

Adam :



Welcome to the forum..hope you will feel free to post here.share stories, experiences ask questions...pose questions and pictures of anything airborne related! Welcome aboard the best

WW II airborne website anywhere! Just for location sakes.......in what country are you from..we have fine members from all across Europe ,The Us, Australia ,New Zealand etc.... welcome aboard...Hopefully some other fine Trigger Timers will share their Brevands photos here..................... I'll have some soon on my TC Normandys 2010 photo thread if I have not already done so !



Welcome to the forum !



Tom Colones
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TCUNC76
Registered User
Joined: 27 Nov 2007, 02:29

27 Jun 2010, 19:05 #8

A historical marker along side the river bank like this at a central point would be nice.................................


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Oh yes.............. modern day travel aids for the visitor.......GPS...good idea !
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Cimarron 44
Registered User
Joined: 14 Dec 2007, 11:23

27 Jun 2010, 19:07 #9

TC,
As always, thanks for a terrific post with great photos, information, and running commentary as you do so well! That was great of Paul to take us there and a real fun day. For some reason I must have left my SLR with the long lens in the car, because I don't seem to have any photos from that site. I had forgotten about the electric fence - another thing besides the shotguns for Adam to think about. I remember your commenting on the snakes if it had been South Carolina and my saying that with the high wet grass and the canal I felt like I was back in Vietnam. If I find any photos I will post them, but yours are terrific!
Best -
Paul Clifford
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TCUNC76
Registered User
Joined: 27 Nov 2007, 02:29

27 Jun 2010, 19:08 #10

Markers like this along the way are a nice touch.......in both English & French.....with GPS locations................. nice & helpful touch. I remember the first time I came to Normandy there was vdery little signs & historical markers ! This one at St Come du Mont is about the fight there and the actions of Joe Beyrle !


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