Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Jacques_Bustard, Apr 18, 2006.

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  1. Off to Normandy on hols this summer and wanted some advice and opinions on which bits to visit. I have in mind:-

    Pegasus Bridge
    Arromanches (is there a museum there?)
    Pont du Hoc
    At least one military cemetery

    Any other "must do" locations?

    Mrs JB is looking forward to the holiday although is unaware of my ideas!
  2. check out the meuseum in ouistream its dedicated to the free french commandos or th epace museum in cean its huge so avoid the nobel prize exibits and dont buy anysouveniers from cafe gondree because there really expensive but do get a drink there its amazing i hope ive helped
  3. Fine Museum at Arromanches,
  4. St Mere Eglise is good if you've done your homework and watched "the longest day" before you the museum there is good too. Bayeux for the allied cemetery(and a museum next to the cemetery) is very sobering and not far away (not sure of exact name) is the German cemetery which is good for seeing the differences between ours and theirs. Merville for the battery and same again for Longues...was there 2 years ago (2nd visit!) You will see loads of monuments as they are everywhere-but you'll have a good time :D ( forgot to mention...Omaha beach for all things "private ryan" related and museum and cemetery) :wink:
  5. Auchan is a must... stock up with anything and everything :D
  6. Little museum just up the hill from Omaha, small but very good and the owners is a friendly and talkative bloke.
    Les Longues Battery my favourite.
    Not to forget Pegasus Bridge and Le Grand Bunker too
    If you are driving keep a close eye out for concrete blockhouses hiding under what appear to be normal houses, saw quite a few that are'nt obvious at first glance
  7. Many thanks for the responses, I now have a very full intinery!
  8. Planned and Conducted a number of tours in Normandy as a project of mine spent alot of time on it and visited Normandy on numerous occasions.

    Try this itnerary for historistl importance and viuasl impact.

    CHERBOURG or reversE through CAEN




    POINT 54 (2nd DEVONS)
    GOLD BEACH (KING SECTOR) - MONT FLUEURY BATTERY - CREPON - CRISTOT (6 Green Howards and WO2 Stan Hollis VC) First VC of D Day oustanding story

    Operation Hillman and Morris (1 Suffolks)
    Pegasus Bridge (D Coy Oxs & Bucks LI)
    Merville Battery (9 Para)

    Ranville, Bayeux (British), St Laurent (US) Cementeries are very good to see

    Hope this is of some help, have a great time.
  9. Bouillabaisse

    Bouillabaisse LE Book Reviewer

    If you go a little further up the hill, on the left there's a little bar on a crossroads. Good Stella :eek: . I fell down a bomb crater at Pont du Hoc in the afternoon after a visit to Omaha :(
  10. The French have several routes marked out, I found these very usefull. Don't forget to go inland and tour the Bocage.

    Also found the Battleground Europe Books very good, would recommend Inland from King which describes Stan Hollis getting his VC and I reckon it would make a good wander through the Norman countryside. Also Major & Mrs Holts guide to the campaign.

    Patrick Delaforce has written a few books on Divisions involved in the campaign e.g. The Polar Bears: Monty's Left Flank, from Normandy to the Relief of Holland with the 49th Division
  11. Ouisterham good one as there is a fantastic creperie you can claim you are going for.

    The yank cemetery vis Omaha is impressive, but a strange one in comparison with a cwgc site, they have started to pipe music in, visually it is very moving tho, and may well buy you the right to go to a coastal battery or two.

    Find a good regimental link site too, as the other half can't refuse you that one.
  12. Definitely read up beforehand. All books mentioned are good.

    Personally I think the Frenmch tourist guide is one of the best overall -the 24.50 Euro one you can get from Arromanche and St Mare Eglise Musuem. It covers much more than the Holts guide which really only looks at D Day itself. It has the routes - but also lots of articles about different aspects of the landing and the battle.

    The Caen Musuem seems to be more about the war as a whole than D Dya or Normandy.
    Arromanches is mainly abotu Mulberry
    St mare eglise is mostly about americans
    Pegesus Bridge musuem has the British Airborne stuff -and a glider. Its good. But DON'T mention the place (or take bags) when you vist Madame Gondree's Cafe. The exhibits used to be in her shed and she feels betrayed by the airborne forces association. She is an exhibit in her own right - a witness to the battle.
    The Falaise Musuem is pretty good on the post D Day battle, as was the bayeux Musuem. It had 20+ cases on different battles within the camapaign. Sadly this collection has been sold and the musuem is less than half as good as it was.
    Fort Hillman (Colville Montgomery) is v good - visit on a Saturday and the bunkers are open.
    Merville Battery is good place to visit with a nice musuem about the attack by 9 para.
    The new complex near Mailly Grandcamp looks interesting.
    The battery at Longues Sur Mer is very impressive - you will recognise the OP bunker from the Longest Day.
    The Two big British Cemetries to visit are at Ranville and Bayeux. The German cemtry at La Cambe is a good contrast.
    If you go to Omaha and the Ameriocan Cemetry try to visit the German Decensive position WN62. Its a short walk from the car park and is where a weak p-latoon of Germans held out until 3 pm on D Day. The Heimdalh book on Omaha Beach will help you find the trenches used by sp0ecific Germans, including the FOO's Driver known as the "Beast of Omaha"
    The Panorama at Arromanches has a very atmospheric 360 degree interpretation - so if you want to know what it might look like to approach at low level in a fighter bomber or in a boat or drive through an orchard in a Sherman its good. Kids and yound soldiers like it

    If you and some friends want to do it in style I could arrange a trip using a C47.
  13. Its good on D Day but a little light on links to the post D Day battles. D Day was the start of the campaign, not an end in itself. I wonder if anyone is compiling something for the wider campaign?