Bitter struggles took place in this part of France, whose legacy - the military graveyards - are to be found away from the roads. At the end of WWII, fallen German soldiers lay in the departments of Manche, Orne, and Calvados in some 1400 townships. In 1956, the German War Graves Commission began bringing together the dead in six graveyards in Normandy.
One km north of Huisnes-sur-Mer, on a 30-meter high hill, lies the German military cemetery of Mont-de-Huisnes, which holds 11,956 fallen soldiers of WWII. It lies in sight of Mont-St-Michel, one of the greatest monumental buildings of France.
Mont-de-Huisnes is the only German crypt construction in France. The crypt is a circular, two-storey construction approximately 47 meters in diameter. The names of the dead are set in bronze. A high cross towers in the middle of the grass-covered inner court.
One reads the artifacts remaining from the war, and it becomes quite obvious that no matter on which side they were fighting, these young men all had families and loved ones who were hoping and praying for their safe return.
One particularly poignant letter was from a young 19 year old soldier writing to his Mother and Father the day before his birthday. He pens that he is well and asks them not to worry about him because he is being careful, keeping his socks dry, and will soon be back home. He was killed the day after his birthday.
"Ein Deutscher Soldat" and perhaps even "Ein Unbekannter Soldat". (A German Soldier and perhaps even An Unknown Soldier).
Our visit to Vimy Ridge in 2009 can be found at: