Top 10 Things To See When Visiting The D-Day Beaches In Normandy

 
 
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Normandy’s WW2 and D-Day museums are filled with a wealth of artefacts and information about the events of 1944. Some museums such as the American Airborne Museum are very specific in their focus whilst others like the Memorial de Caen are far more wide-ranging. Whatever you are most interested in about D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, you are sure to find a museum or three that will help you uncover the incredible historic events that happened here during WW2. Discover the effects of the war not just on the armed forces involved but also on the French civilians caught in the crossfire, as well as seeing up close a huge variety of artifacts and exhibits.

More modern museum techniques including multimedia exhibits like the cinema at the Arromanches 360, or interactive displays at other the Memorial de Caen, help to tell the story of the landings and the fight across France to push the Nazis back into Germany. You can also see all manner of artefacts from all sides of the battle such as mannequins dressed in uniforms, caches of arms and munitions, equipment, documents, letters, plans, photographs – even full-size aircraft and gliders, in the museums across the regio

Pegasus Bridge Memorial Museum 

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This location is the scene of one of the most famous missions that the airborne divisions took place in – the capture of the River Orne Bridge. Major John Howard, and his 180 troops, famously captured these bridges and held them intact.

In 1944, June 26th the bridge of Caen Canal was baptized in the name of ‘Pegasus Bridge’ in honor of British troops. This was significant as the men in this airborne division wore the emblem of Pegasus (a winged horse) on their sleeves.

The bridge became famous in 1961 due to the release of ‘The Longest Day’ a film produced by Darryl Zanuck about D-Day. It was replaced by a new bridge in 1994, and the original is in the park of this museum on display.

Opening times & fees

The Memorial Pegasus is open everyday from 1st February to 15 December. A visit, with guide, lasts about 1h15.
1st February to 31st Marh from 10.00 to 17.00
1st April to 30th September from 9.30 to 18.30
1st October to 15th December from 10.00 to 17.00
Entrance Fees

Individuals

Adults 7.00 €
Children (8+), students 4.70 €

www.memorial-pegasus.org

Dead Man’s Corner Museum

On June 6th, 1944 in Normandy, France paratroopers from the US (101st Airborne Division) drop into France and become the first ever soldiers to reach this territory. Their aim was to take over Carentan, which was being defended by Germans. The Germans in charge of this defense are their most elite troops, the Paratroopers of Major von der Hyte of 6th Fallschirmjager Regiment aka the Green Devils.

The Germans have taken hold in Saint-Come-du-Mont and have been ordered to defend Carentan with every last man they have. The Americans know it is crucial they take this town as quickly as possible and await light tank support that is coming to them from the 70th Battalion.

The tanks come from Utah beach, pass through the town of Sainte-Marie-du-Mont and arrive at a crossroads which leads off to Saint-Come-du-Mont and Caretan. This crossroads is known since this day as the Dead Man’s Corner by the Americans. Standing at the crossroads is a solitary house, which the German troops use as their headquarters. This is where the Dead Man’s Museum is located – in this same building in Saint-Come-du-Mont.

Airborne Experience:

Until May 31, Dead Man’s Corner Museum:
Adults: 5.95 € – Children (6-17 years): 4 €.

Starting June 2015: D-Day Experience opening. Combined ticket 2 museums (D-Day + DMC Experience Museum): Adults: 12 € – Child (6-17 years): 9 €.
Family Pass (2 adults + 3 ch.) 40 €

www.paratrooper-museum.org

The Juno Beach Centre

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The Juno Beach Center is the World War 2 and cultural museum of Canada, located in Normandy, France. This center pays tribute to the Canadians who sadly lost their lives whilst participating in the War (45,000 lives lost).

This museum was opened in 2003 by volunteers and veterans who wished to create a lasting memorial to the Canadians who participated in World War 2, and the focus of the museum is to preserve their legacy through remembrance and education.

The Juno Beach Center shows people Canada’s influence and input during the War and also gives people an opportunity to learn more about the culture and value of Canadians.

ADMISSION PRICES
ADULT RATE REDUCED RATE
Juno Beach Centre 7.00 € 5.50 €
Temporary Exhibit Only 3.00 € 3.00 €
Juno Park Only 5.50 € 4.50 €
Juno Beach Centre + Juno Park 11.00 € 9.00 €
Family Pass (maximum 2 adults and 3 children over 8 years of age)
Juno Beach Centre: 21 €
JBC + Juno Park: 33 €
Free for Second World War Veterans, Second World War widows, war disabled and accompanied children under 8.

April — September 9:30am — 7:00pm

www.junobeach.org

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Merville Battery Museum

The SHAEF designate the Merville battery a priority D Day Objective.

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The Merville Battery casemate (Type 611) was classified as being a priority objective on D-Day by the SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces). This was due to the likelihood of it holding far larger weapons and artillery than other casemates, due to its size. Normal casemates held 100mm guns whereas the 611 housed guns that were 155mm and had a tremendous range of approximately 17km.

As well as this reason, another was due to the fact that beaches used in the invasion were threatened by the Merville Battery – this threat meant the possibility of Operation Overlord being set back. Therefore it was vital to take out the guns of the battery before the June 6th invasion began. This meant the battery attack became a priority.

No aerial photographs were able to take images precise enough to identify the guns in the battery, so nobody knew for sure which were in there; however, it was considered the arms must be great to go to so much effort of the housing around them.

OPENING HOURS 2014

14th March – 30th September :
every days from 9.30 a.m. to 18.30 p.m.

1st October – 14th November :
every days from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.

Parking, toilets. The visit takes about one and a half hours.

Contact Madame Dagorn, directrice, au 06 64 95 81 97.

RATES

Adults : 6.00 €.
Children – 6 years : free.
Children from 6 to 16 years : 3.50€

www.batterie-merville.com

Musee Airborne, St Mere Eglise

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Sainte-Marie-Eglise entered the history books on June 5th, 1944. Late at night, a house is on fire and firemen are trying to control it, with the help of local people. This town is under a curfew, and so German soldiers surround them by gunpoint.

Suddenly paratroops descend upon the town primarily from the 101st Airborne Brigade and following this there was two hours of fighting between the Germans and Americans. The Germans opted to retreat to Fauville (2km away) where their commander’s headquarters were located.

The American troops attack again at dawn but by this time the Germans have had time to organize their defenses. Attacks go on for days and finally ended on June 10th, 1944. Fighting will never happen again in Sainte-Mere-Englise.

SCHEDULE

  • Open every day
  • Last ticket sales one hour before closing
  • May to August : 9 m-7pm
  • April to September : 09:30am-6:30pm
  • October to March : 10am-6pm
  • Closed in December and January except during Christmas Holidays

INDIVIDUALS :

  • ADULT : 8.00 €
  • CHILD (6 to 16 year old): 5.00 €
  • FAMILY : (2 adults and 2 Children) : Adults : 7.50€ / Children : 4€

www.airborne-museum.org

Overlord Museum Omaha Beach

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This museum is located within a very close distance of Omaha Beach, famous following World War 2. The museum tells the story of the Allied landing and the events through to the liberation of Paris. You’ll find vehicles, weapons and personal items from soldiers in this collection.

At Omaha Beach on June 6th, 1944 the Americans landed and fought against enemy fire for 3.5 hours as they made their way to the top of the cliff. During this day 3,881 American troops were wounded, killed or classed as missing.

Opening times : Open 7 days a week

  • From 1 March to 31 May: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • From 1 June to 31 August: 9:30 am to 7:00 pm
  • From 1 September to 30 September: 9:30 am to 6:00 pm
  • From 1 October to 31 October: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • From 1 November to 31 December: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Annual closure: from 23 to 26 and 31 December, January and February

PRICES 2015
Full Price : €7,50
Reduced price : €5,50 (on presentation of proof)
Normandy Pass : €6,50

http://www.overlordmuseum.com/

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Arromanches is a historic place due to the Normandy landings and was the location where an artificial port was constructed and installed.

On the beach of Arromanches, the Allies managed to establish an artificial harbor which allowed them to unload heavy equipment with ease.

Arromanches was lucky that the events and fights of D-Day did not spread here; the troops avoided battling here so that work on the port could continue.

The temporary port was one of two that the British constructed; the other was created at Omaha Beach. The port that was constructed at Arromanches is still visible in part today, on the beach and out in the waters.
Arromanches is a tourist town these days, it is used as a base for tourists wishing to visit local battle sites and cemeteries of the War – it is ideally located for these places. The museum at Arromanches itself focuses on the harbors created and Operation Overlord.

Individuals Tariffs

Adults 7.90 €
Children, Students 5.80 €
Groups tariffs (20 or more people)

Adults 6.20 € Group reservations
Children, Students 4.00 €

www.arromanches-museum.com

Utah Beach Museum

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This Museum is built on the actual beach where the Americans landed on D-Day, Utah Beach. The Museum tells the story of D-Day in a variety of sequences (10 in total) that begins at the landing preparation through to the success of this day. The Museum holds vehicles, objects and oral historical records of these events.

Take the opportunity to view a B26 Bomber, there are only 6 remaining worldwide. You can watch ‘Victory In The Sand’, a film that has won awards and shows the action of American troops. Walking through this Museum and paying attention to the displays on offer will give you a better understanding of the choices the Allied armies made and why the mission was a resounding success.

OPENING HOURS
October 1 to May 31: 10:00 AM TO 6:00 PM
June 1 to September 30: 9:30 AM TO 7:00 PM
Last ticket sales one hour before closing

Tarifs 2015
Adults : 8.00 €
Children under 15 : 3.50 €
Group rate (adults) : 6.00 €
School groups : 3.00 €
Children under 7 and WWII veterans : Free
guided tour of Museum and Utah Beach : 12.00 €
Museum accepts cash, credit cards, checks, and vacation vouchers.

www.utah-beach.com

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