Landing Beaches

Maps and Guide books are in a D Day folder at the house.

Utah Beach:
Musee du Debarquement. 50480 Sainte-Marie-Du-Mont.
Tel 02 33 71 53 35 | www.utah-beach.com

Utah Beach is the closest, just 20 miles down the coast and not far from Sainte Mére Eglise. The museum there provides a good introduction to WWII. It is very visual, with a select collection of jeeps and other artifacts, and it is not so big as to be overpowering. It's also ideal for children, with ice creams and drinks on hand from the nearby restaurant or the open air cafe, which does a good plate of chips with pork chop. The journey takes about 30 mins from Hibou Blanc.

Omaha Beach:
Musee-Memorial d’Omaha Beach.
Tel: 02 31 21 97 44 | www.musee-memorial-omaha.com

Further along the coast is the largest single landing beach of Omaha, where the US invasion force nearly came to disaster. Omaha also has three D-Day museums, all privately run. The Musee-Memorial d’Omaha Beach (the longest running) contains a reconstruction of the Omaha landing beach.

Musee D-Day Omaha.
Tel: 02 31 21 71 80 | www.omaha-beach.org

The Musee D-Day Omaha features an Enigma machine.

The Big Red One Assault Museum.
Tel: 02 31 21 53 81

Recent addition, dedicated to the US 1st Infantry Division which landed at this point on D-Day.

All of the landing beaches are well marked, with lots of information readily available. Many companies offer minibus tours with guides of the Normandy battlefields.

Battlebus, 16 Rue de la Maitrise, 14000 Bayeux.
Tel : 02 31 22 28 82 | www.battlebus.fr

D-Day Tours, Bayeux. Tel: 02 31 51 70 52

Museums


Airborne Museum, Ste-Mère-Eglise.
Tel: 02 33 41 41 35 | www.musee-airborne.com

This is an outstanding and child friendly museum that can be done in less than two hours. Located in Ste-Mère-Eglise, near the church square and featured in the 1960’s film ‘The Longest Day’. US paratrooper John Steele was caught on the church steeple during the D Day assault and a dummy hangs there as a memento to him.

The museum contains a WACO glider in original condition plus a Douglas C47 aircraft which was used in the parachute drops and towed gliders during Operation Overlord. There are numerous displays including vintage clothing, documentation, weapons, munitions and equipment.

Ste-Mère-Eglise is the little town which was at the centre of the US paratroop drops on the night of 5-6th June. Around the town many interesting shops and information sites give a feel of what life must have been like. Bullet holes in church pews and walls offer a constant reminder of what this town has been through.

Musee de la Liberation, Cherbourg. Fort du Roule Montee des Resistants 50200 - Octeville.
Tel: +33 (02) 33 20 14 12 | www.ville-cherbourg.fr

Perched on the top of Mont Roule overlooking the centre of Cherbourg, is a fort that was pivotal to the resistance during the invasion. It has since been turned into a museum detailing the years of occupation before the liberation of the city. There is a story that the German Commander carried on fighting for several days after peace had been declared because he had not heard the War was over. A 20 minute film with English subtitles shows images of Utah Beach Landings to the Liberation of Cherbourg.

Children go free. Adults 3.70 euros.

See the history of our region section for more information.

Memorial de la Liberte Retrouvee, Quineville.
Tel: +33(02) 33 95 95 95 | www.memorial-quineville.com

A beachfront museum that gives a fascinating insight into what it was like to be a civilian during the German occupation. Life size recreations of local village scenes, shops, cars etc take you through the war chronologically from the perspectives of locals. A film showing real footage from the invasion, brings it all to life.

Adult 6 Euros, Child 3 Euros.

Cemeteries - American


Colleville-Sur-Mer.
www.abmc.gov/cemeteries

The largest American Cemetery where 9,387 graves are marked with white crosses. It is a dramatic and moving sight and many of the words on the Crosses will bring tears to your eyes. The cemetery is set on a cliff top overlooking Omaha beach. There is a chapel, memorial and visitor centre.

Saint James.
Tel: 02 33 89 24 90 | www.abmc.gov/home.php

The cemetery, the chapel with the Memorial Room and the Wall of the Missing, commemorate the 4,410 soldiers resting there.

Free entry.

Cemeteries - German


La Cambe.
Tel: 02 31 22 70 7

The largest German war cemetery in Lower Normandy, houses the graves of 21,222 soldiers killed during the 1944 combat over a 7 hectare site. There is also a peace garden with 1,220 maple trees. It is the nearest of the German cemeteries to Hibou Blanc. It is very moving and very beautiful and should be included in any tour of the D Day Cemeteries.

La Chapelle-Enjunger.
Tel: 02 33 41 79 89 | www.volksbund.de

In 1944 the German and American dead were buried in this cemetery. In 1945-1946 the American authorities transferred American bodies to the cemetery at Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer (Calvados).

Cemeteries - British


Contact Commonwealth War Graves Commission for information on British Cemeteries.
Tel: 03 21 21 77 00 | www.cwgc.org

Bayeux.

This is the largest British Cemetery of WWII in France with 4,648 graves. It houses 4,116 Commonwealth graves (of which 338 are not identified) and 532 from other nationalities, including German. Other British Cemeteries are to be found at Baneville-Sannervile with 2,175 graves and Ranville with 2,562 graves.

The Association of Normandie Memoire.
Tel: 02 31 94 80 26 | www.normandiememoire.com

Organizes co-ordinates and promotes sites, museums and events relating to D-Day and the Battle of Normandy.