On June 6 we checked out of the London hotel (had to have the bags ready for pickup by some unholy hour) and after a very early breakfast, headed for Portsmouth and the D-Day Museum – and Le Boréal. The drive through the English countryside was gorgeous. The gallery for this day is Portsmouth, but I’ll share some photos here. Our first goal was Southwick House, somewhat north of Portsmouth, the advance command post of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF). In other words, Eisenhower’s HQ for D-Day and beyond.
We heard an absolutely fascinating lecture on the process of planning D-Day, and how Ike made the actual go-ahead decision for June 6. He based it on the weather predictions of a 28 year old Scot named John Stagg, who had a reputation for accuracy, and more sources of weather information than the Germans had. The lecture was in the map room:
We then adjourned to the room across the hall, where the D-Day decision was actually made. I love history and I really enjoyed this. I spent the trip, and some time after, reading Stephen Ambrose’s book D-Day, which I recommend heartily.