Location and info
This is the German Military Cemetery at La Cambe, Normandy and contains the remains of over 21,200 German military personnel.
The sign in front of the cemetery reads: ‘In the Same Soil of France. Until 1947, this was an American cemetery. The remains were exhumed and shipped to the United States. It has been German since 1948 and contains over 21,000 graves.
‘With its melancholy rigour, it is a graveyard for soldiers not all of whom had chosen either the cause or the fight. They too have found rest in our soil of France.’
The majority of those buried here – many un-named and simply resting under cross-shaped stones marked with Deutsche Soldaten – were killed during the battle of Normandy. Some of the unnamed graves contain up to five soldiers.
At the centre of the graveyard is a large mound flanked by two large statue and topped by a huge, dark cross of basalt lava. This marks the last resting place of over 200 unknown soldiers and 89 known soldiers, buried together in the mass grave.
Buried near the mound is the infamous Tiger tank commander Michael Wittmann. Awarded the Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords, Wittman and the crew of his Tiger 007 were buried in an unmarked site after their deaths in August 1944 but were discovered in 1983 and re-interred at La Cambe. Their graves sit underneath an oak tree and always have fresh flowers nearby.