The Invasion of Normandy: Cherbourg

One of the Allied objectives after landing in Normandy was the capture of the port city of Cherbourg, with its facilities that could be used for landing reinforcements and materiel. Cherbourg was also a target because it was a great base for Nazi U-boats, protected from Allied bombing and gunnery by massive concrete "pens." Although war's destruction was evident, the Allies captured Cherbourg with its port relatively intact.


Wreckage in Port of Cherbourg
Alexander P. Russo #46
Gouache, 1945
88-198-AT

 

German demolition and Allied shelling left the port of Cherbourg in appalling ruins. This scene showed an entrance to one of the underground fortifications in the foreground, with a wrecked crane and ruined buildings in the background.

 

 

Wrecked Crane in Port of Cherbourg, I
Alexander P. Russo #47
Watercolor, 1945
88-198-AU

 

There is something pitifully human about twisted steel girders. They seem to be reminiscent and symbolic of a crying Europe, which the Nazis had plundered and left in devastation.

 

 

Wrecked Crane in Port of Cherbourg, II
Alexander P. Russo #48
Gouache, 1945
88-198-AV

 

 

 

Wrecked Crane Base - Cherbourg
Mitchell Jamieson #239a
Ink & wash, August, 1944
88-193-IS

 

Part of the German demolition on the waterfront at Cherbourg. German horse-drawn ammo carts are in the foreground.

 

 

Scuttled Ship Cherbourg
Mitchell Jamieson #238b
Charcoal & wash, 1944
88-193-IR

 

Salvage crews worked to raise a sunken ship which lay off one end of the Transatlantique pier at Cherbourg. This deck was so badly wrecked and so many ships were sunk around it, that it could not be used at all by Allied forces.

 

 

Inner Harbor - Cherbourg
Mitchell Jamieson #239b
Charcoal & wash, August, 1944
88-193-IT

 

This image shows fishing boats and houses along the waterfront in an area that escaped extensive damage.

 

 

Working on Sunken Coaster Arsenal at Cherbourg
Mitchell Jamieson #V-71
Pen & wash, circa, 1944
88-193-SX

 

 

 

Cherbourg Arsenal
Dwight C. Shepler #217
Charcoal, July 2, 1945
88-199-HN

 

A sketch that was done a year after the Normandy Invasion of the harbor town of Cherbourg. Along the bottom of the drawing are color notes: top roof was red, burnt our building warmish brown, sea wall has pinkish top, old gun car dark gray, red brown car.

 

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