Let me introduce myself - the guy behind this homepage "normandiet1944.dk" and the author of the book "Normandy 1944 - a travel guide to the D-day and the invasion coast". My name is Hans Martin Nielsen, born in 1967, and raised near Tønder (Toender) in the South Western corner of Jylland (Jutland), today living in Tørring (Toerring) in Midtjylland. Occupational I´m working as a tool salesman at BYGMA´s Proffcenter (buildingsupply) in Horsens.
It must have been in the early 80's, when I for the first watched the movie "The Longest Day", along with my unfortunately deceased father. Even though I´m aware of, that many of the scenes in the movie is far away from reality, it was this American movie classic from 1962, which woke my first keen interest to the date - June 6th 1944 - an interest that grew during the school years.
Inside of me grew a desire, to visit the area where the historical events took place. However, it would not be until the summer of 2006, before I for the very first time set my foot on Omaha Beach, crossed Pegasus Bridge and saw the parachute hanging in the church tower of St. Mère-Église. Now I was there, at the scene where the largest amphibious landing operation in history took place. During my first spare visits to the historical sites, I was struck by goosebumps several times, when I tried to imagine what happened here for more than 60 years ago.
Watching today's children play on Omaha Beach, is the peaceful and happy contrast to the generation that died, at the same place more than 70 years ago – at that time a young generation bleed to death on the beaches, in the Bocage and in the Norman cities. Whether they died as defenders or attackers, as the good or evil, as liberators or occupies, they lost their lives and the future. They left parents, siblings, spouses, children, friends and thus their lives and personal goals. They did not die peacefully, but usually in great pain far away from the known, far away from home, far away from the family.
Thus, each trip to Normandy and the D-Day area is something quite special for me, Bente and our son Rune. Each time, the visits are moving and emotional. Normandy has given us so many memorable experiences - big and small, during our numerous trips to the area.
Experiences I would like to share. About five years ago my book project slowly began, a book that initially was thought, as a superficial travel companion to D Day, the landing beaches and Normandy. However, the project became bigger and bigger. Instead, I decided that the book should become a comprehensive travel guide, to D-Day, the landing beaches and Normandy.
The book, released mid april 2019 deals with D-Day and the first days of fighting in Normandy. The book is perhaps the most detailed Danish military and historical travel guide to D-day ever, a comprehensive guidebook with suggestion for 17 tours, to the historical places and spots, where the largest amphibious landing operation in history took place. In my book there will be GPS coordinates to more than 600 historical sites, memorials, war cemeteries and museums. In addition, there are small tips about where to stay, where to eat and other attractions - also for those traveling with children.