less than 10km from the gîtes

NORMANDY AMERICAN CEMETERY

There are places you will visit and never forget. The American Cemetery in Omaha is one of those.
Of course, you can drive there. The cemetery is only 8km from Port-en-Bessin but you can also reach it by the beach and walk in the footsteps of the soldiers who disembarked on the morning of 6 June 1944.
To do this, go to the place called Le Ruquet in Saint Laurent sur Mer. From there, walk along the beach or cross the dunes… (This access is temporary close because of security)
Once you have reached the level of the flags, slowly climb this small path that will lead you to the heart of the cemetery.
And there, feel all the emotion of this place of memory.
In this imposing cemetery, built on top of the cliffs of Omaha Beach, lie 9286 soldiers.
In a reserved space, 30 graves of soldiers are buried together. One of them is Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt of Utah Beach, who died of a heart attack one month after D-Day. He lies next to his brother Quentin, who was killed in France during the First World War.
In the heart of the cemetery, the bronze statue 8 meter high is signed « The spirit of American youth emerging from the waves ». Around it, the thousands of white tombstones of soldiers who gave their lives for freedom.
Pierre-Louis Gosselin is a passionate person. As a child he met a veteran of the Big Red One, one of the first American infantry divisions to set foot in Omaha Beach on June 6,1944. This is the beginning of a long history that will see the creation of the Big Red One Museum
https://www.facebook.com/Big-Red-One-Museum-103517766447106/
Overlord Museum retraces the period from the Allied Landing to the liberation of Paris, using an unpublished collection largely found on Normandy ground and constituted for more than 40 years by a witness of this period and actor of the reconstruction of Normandy.
From the effects of soldiers to the largest armored tanks of the time, the 6 armies in Normandy are presented there through scenes reconstructed to scale 1 and using more than 35 vehicles, tanks and cannons.
After having retraced the main lines of the end of the 1st World War to June 44, follow in the footsteps of the D-Day men. A life-size experience through scenes of amazing precision and realism.
http://www.overlordmuseum.com/en/
On the Omaha Beach site itself, discover an important collection of personal objects, vehicles, uniforms and weapons. Numerous scenes, superb archival photos, maps, thematic panels and a film accompanied by testimonials from American veterans explain the landings on Omaha and Pointe du Hoc.
http://www.musee-memorial-omaha.com/en/partenaire/american-cemetery/

less than 5km from the gîtes

GERMAN BATTERY OF LONGUES SUR MER

The German coastal defence battery of Longues-sur-Mer, a major work of the Atlantic Wall, consists of a firing command post and four casemates, each containing a 150 mm artillery piece.
Located in the heart of the Allied assault sector, atop a cliff overlooking the English Channel, it played a strategic role in the Allied forces’ landing on 6 June 1944.
Despite the aerial bombardments carried out during the night of 5 to 6 June, the battery was still operational on the morning of 6 June. It was neutralized during the day by ships cruising offshore and recovered on June 7 by British soldiers of the Devonshire Regiment.
http://bayeux-bessin-tourisme.com/en/visiteguidee/batterie-de-longues-sur-mer/

50km from the gites

UTAH BEACH

Utah Beach is the code name given by the Allies to the Madeleine beach in Sainte-Marie-du-Mont. It is the westernmost of the 5 landing beaches.
Initially, in the Normandy landing plan of Operation Overlord, 4 landing beaches were planned in Calvados. But only the deep-water port of Cherbourg was able to receive the necessary supplies for the rest of the operations, especially the Battle of Normandy. Utah Beach, in the Channel, closer to Cherbourg is therefore added to the strategic plans with the lock of Sainte Mère Eglise (central crossroads) to cut the Cotentin and quickly free Cherbourg.
The village of Sainte Marie du Mont will be an important landmark for the American parachutists, scattered after the parachuting, thanks to its unique bell tower visible for miles around.
The Airborne Museum is located in the heart of Sainte-Mère-Eglises, facing the bell tower on which John Steele was suspended.
The museum offers you a route to understand and feel the events of D-Day and the assault of the airborne troops.
To discover on the spot, historical objects, offered by American veterans, an authentic glider and a C-47 plane having participated in the D-Day. Operation Neptune: In the third and new building, prepare to experience the parachuting of June 6,1944 !
Embark at night in a C-47 in England, then land on Ste Mère Eglise Square in the middle of the fighting and take part in the operations that followed.
http://www.airborne-museum.org/en/
The Utah Beach Landing Museum
Built at the very place where American troops landed in Normandy on 6 June 1944 in the Channel Department, the Utah Beach Museum tells the story of D-Day in ten sequences, from its preparation to its completion and success.
Thanks to this complete chronological journey, dive into the History of the Landing and discover a collection rich in objects, vehicles, materials and testimonials.
Admire an authentic B26 bomber, an exceptional aircraft of which only a few examples remain in the world, and relive the story of the American soldiers through the film « The Beach of Victory ».
http://www.utah-beach.com/museum/introduction/?lang=en

less than 10km from the gîtes

GOLD BEACH

It is the most westerly beach in the Anglo-Canadian zone, from Asnelles to Ver-sur-mer.
Gold beach was divided into sectors named with a letter from the alphabet, namely H (How), I (Item) J (Jig) and K (King).
The one of How, corresponding to Arromanches, will not be used; this will mean that the city, although directly on the seafront, will be liberated… by land (by the 231st Brigade).
Located on the heights of Arromanches, the Arromanches 360 circular theater dominates the vestiges of one of the two artificial ports installed by the Allies. On June 8,1944, two days after the liberation of Arromanches, the first Phoenix caissons were submerged offshore to form a dike to allow the ships to unload in the shelter of the swell. Floating bridges and platforms following the movements of the tide complete the system.
On June 14, the first unloading starts. In 100 days, »Port Winston » can land 400,000 soldiers, 4 million tons of equipment and 500,000 vehicles. He remained in service until December 1,1944.
Dozens of Phoenix caissons are still visible today and continue to provide Arromanches with a calm and sheltered body of water.
http://www.arromanches360.com
The landing museum in Arromanches is a must to understand the operation of the famous artificial harbour.
Located in front of Arromanches beach, it gives you all the secrets of the Winston artificial harbour from its conception to its exploitation after the landing of Allied troops on June 6,1944.
Movies and 3D animated and animated models allow you to understand this exceptional work of the Battle of Normandy.

less than 5km from the gîtes

SWORD & JUNO BEACH

On June 6,1944, the landing of the Canadians on Juno Beach was one of the most successful military operations on D-Day. Juno represented five kilometres of coastline from La Rivière to Saint-Aubin.
The Juno Beach Center honours the 45,000 Canadians who lost their lives during the Second World War, including 5,500 in the Battle of Normandy and 359 on D-Day.
Founded in 2003 by veterans and volunteers, this museum showcases the civil and military war effort of all Canadians and on the various fronts during the Second World War. Its mission is to make this history known through educational and commemorative actions.
http://www.junobeach.org
Between Caen and the sea, the Pegasus Memorial retraces the arrival of the 1st liberators of the 6th British Airborne Division on Normandy’s soil during the night of June 5-6,1944.
http://www.memorial-pegasus.org/mmp/musee_debarquement/index.php?lang=uk

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