Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Getting there, Part 8 - Cherbourg, France - May 30, 2011

Next stop on the cruise was Cherbourg-Octeville in the Manche department of Normandy. With a population of a little over 40,000 the area is largely dependent on the port operations and a French Navy arsenal.
The Cotentin Peninsula, with current day Cherbourg at its head, was first conquered by the Vikings and later, during the Seven Years' War, briefly occupied by a British force in 1758. Napoleon had the harbour fortified to prevent further British incursions although the works that began in 1784 were not completed until long after Napoleon's defeat at the Battle of Waterloo. Cherbourg was also the first, and as it turned out, the only stop that the Titanic ever made after it left Southampton, England in April 1912.
In WWII, the Battle of Cherbourg was fought following the Normandy Invasion in June 1944 and ended with the capture of the city on 30 June. We had visited Cherbourg previously in our camper-van and limited this visit to a cursory stroll around the main features. More pictures here.

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