Author Topic: Off to Normandy  (Read 1692 times)

Offline Sander93

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Off to Normandy
« on: 08-07-2010, 18:07:56 »
So for the first real time in my life I'll be heading for Normandy next week, I've only been there for two short days when I was like ten and the next time we would go we had to cancel. I'm pretty excited about it as it probably is the largest collection of WWII stuff, but I don't really know where to go.

So I was wondering if anyone here got suggestions on where to go, good spots or museums, must-go places etcetera. Basicly I'll only need names, I think I can find most of the adresses on my own.

One thing I would like to go see is this (coastal?) town on some kind of hill. I only have a very thin memory of it but they had a Sherman out near a road, and there was a very good museum focusing mostly on ships, with big models and all. I think the major subject there was the makeshift harbour the Allies built.

Offline siben

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Re: Off to Normandy
« Reply #1 on: 08-07-2010, 18:07:55 »
I think u mean the museum in arromanches.

Anyhow, the folowing link has almost everything that is there to see. It's dutch but i am sure you can navigate true it, it is all verry clear no matter what language you speak

http://oorlogsmusea.nl/country.asp?countryid=4&provinceid=23

Offline [A9]Bard

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Re: Off to Normandy
« Reply #2 on: 08-07-2010, 18:07:43 »
Been there twice.
Graveyard "the famous one" is a must, at arromanches there is a 360 theater showing sherman in action and a flyover at the coastline. In Caen there is a museum I heard good stuff about but never got a chanse to visit.
Do not enter every small museum like I did, they are mostly shit.

Go to the local turisteoffice and pick up some good tips first.

Also a walk along the coastline at water is nice, you really get the picture of allies attacking the beach.

and.. oh oh.. visit when there is .. hmm whats it called when the sea is withdrawn :-) and you will se bits of the artificial harbor built at Arromanches in the summer of 1944.  


oh and if you drive further south from arromanches you will se the mighty cannons and bunkers.


If your driving and have the time I thought Bastogne was nice to visit. Almost bought a thomson there.
« Last Edit: 08-07-2010, 18:07:51 by [A9]Bard »


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Offline Josh094

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Re: Off to Normandy
« Reply #3 on: 08-07-2010, 18:07:52 »
I recomend the Falaise pocket museum: http://battlefieldsww2.50megs.com/falaise_museum.htm

360' theatre at Arromanches: http://www.france4families.com/Normandy/RegionsNormandyWarArromanches360.htm

Port en Bessin underwater wrecks museum

The deadman's corner museum: http://battlefieldsww2.50megs.com/deadmans.htm
(which you may recognise from BIA.


St. Mere Eglise

and basically anywhere else included in the FH2 game for fun :P


Offline Fuchs

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Re: Off to Normandy
« Reply #4 on: 08-07-2010, 19:07:51 »
There is one museum I loved because of the huge amount of interesting stuff they had, Musee D-Day Omaha. Cheesy name, cheesy museum but an insane amount of stuff. Panther mantlet + gun, PaK guns, LCP's, Belgian gates, howitzers outside and inside cramped full of the most beautifull stuff.
Location: Route de Grandcamp, 14710 Vierville-sur-Mer.

Then theres the Musee Airborne in Sainte-Mere-Eglise, you can't miss it. Dakota and Waco, halftrack, IIRC a Sherman too, Kettenkrad, amazing amount of weapons. Awesome. Plus you just shouldn't miss St-Mr-Eglise, just for the church already. Eglise is very touristic though, don't buy anything, sky high prices.

Theres the artillery/bunker thing bought by a Dutchman you most likely read about in the papers. It was only unveiled after I went to Normandy but you can easily found something about it, I forgot the location etc. but the bunkers are very well preserved.

Pointe du Hoc is a must to visit, basically all the craters and destroyed bunkers are still there. Very impressive to see.

Bayeux has an interesting museum as well, very commercial though but modern too. Sadly not allowed to take pictures but hide your camera when you enter the museum and play stupid tourist when they notice yout aking pictures.

And just go to villages like Carentan etc. except for the war it's more cultural too. Caen is a beautiful city too. Don't forget to swim on Omaha Beach. I was on a spartan campsite right next to a part of Omaha Beach (Vierville-sur-Mer) the first museum I mentioned is basically in front of the road to the campsite. If your looking for a cheap place to hide out; go there.
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Offline SJonni

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Re: Off to Normandy
« Reply #5 on: 13-07-2010, 04:07:17 »
Was there last summer, and I really want to go again, as we didn't manage to visit all the stuff we were planning to.

Offline Abuzer

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Re: Off to Normandy
« Reply #6 on: 08-07-2012, 03:07:35 »
I'm going in one week! Anymore good stuff left to recommend?

Oh boy, it's gonna be so good  :)
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Offline LHeureux

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Re: Off to Normandy
« Reply #7 on: 08-07-2012, 10:07:25 »
Post your pictures here please  ;D
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Offline Sander93

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Re: Off to Normandy
« Reply #8 on: 08-07-2012, 14:07:45 »
I'm going in one week! Anymore good stuff left to recommend?


The museum in Bayeux is one of the better ones. Most of the other ones are either small or just show a lot of pictures and stuff. Bayeux has a pretty large collection of actual items and vehicles.

And Falaise is definately worth a visit. Nice town and there's a museum about the Falaise Pocket there as well. It sure wasn't a modern museum and seemed to be low on funding but the owner was very nice and he had a lot of items and vehicles as well.

Can't remember much else. There was this AA/artillery battery somewhere that has a C47 plane and is open to public, which was pretty awesome. You can go in one of the bunkers and 'experience' the landings as if you were a German soldier. Don't know what it was called though.
Found it: the Merville Battery
« Last Edit: 08-07-2012, 14:07:56 by Sander93 »

Offline luftwaffe.be

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Re: Off to Normandy
« Reply #9 on: 08-07-2012, 16:07:52 »
I liked le grand bunker, it's a german observation bunker completely open for public, and stuffed with weapons and uniforms. You can climb all the way up to the roof to get a nice view.

http://www.musee-grand-bunker.com/englishversion.asp

Offline Abuzer

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Re: Off to Normandy
« Reply #10 on: 08-07-2012, 18:07:24 »
I'll post some good pictures here. of course  :)

I'm going with my girlfriend, poor girl thinks bunker and invasion-beach seeing will only take one afternoon, muhaha! But if anybody has some nice restaurants or something to recommend, your welcome as well..

The to-see list as so far:
- Omaha beach
- Arromanche museum (360 and stuff)
- St. Mere Eglise
- Quistreham (because of the longest day scene)
- St. Mere Eglise
- Purple Heart Lane (bound to recognize some landsmarks)
- Le Grand Bunker
- Pointe du Hoc
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Offline Lightning

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Re: Off to Normandy
« Reply #11 on: 09-07-2012, 00:07:02 »
- Quistreham (because of the longest day scene)
It's Ouistreham and The Longest Day scene of this town was shot in Port-en-Bessin!

The bunker-museum (Le Grand Bunker Musée) in Ouistreham is pretty cool though if you do go there. Also Port-en-Bessin could be nice to go to if you're familiar with the FH2 map.
« Last Edit: 09-07-2012, 00:07:14 by Lightning »

Offline Abuzer

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Re: Off to Normandy
« Reply #12 on: 09-07-2012, 04:07:07 »
I'll visit Port as well, I'm no barbarian... I trust I can find my way there, just from memory   ;)
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Offline Natty

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Re: Off to Normandy
« Reply #13 on: 09-07-2012, 08:07:08 »
assuming you're driving;

- Sainte mere eglise. Cute little town, take a stroll around the church and see a bunch of the ww2 exploiting souvenir shops and cafés all based on the invasion

- Batterie Crisbeq - just up from Utah beach, nice little battery you can walk in to a bunker, it has fantastic view over the slopes and fields leading down to the beach + some flak guns etc. If the battery is closed you can jump the fence and lol around between the flak pits (we did)

- Pointe du motherfuckin Hoc! No buts, just go.

- Merville battery

- Pegasus Bridge, eat a baguette at the Madamde Douvres café, it's classic! lots of seniors there. also it's worth listening to the guide in the museum, as well as of course take a stroll over the bridge itself, it's on land now

- Omaha (not much to see) you need to walk quite far to get to the classic widerstand nests, or drive to the

- Omaha memorial - massive sight, a must see. From here you can get to the Widerstands nests easier than from the actual beach.

- Hillman Bunker (bunker with "live action") http://www.ww2museums.com/article/462/Hillman-Bunker.htm

- Bernieres-Sur-mer, classic town. a bit hard to find without GPS. Has Juno Beach (we missed it because we were on top of the plateau above it, acidentally running in to a battery with 4 intact bunkers + guns)

Make sure you have GPS in the car! The roads in normandy are really stupid and it's super easy to miss the turns and find the roads. I would add your locations to the GPS at the hotel or so, get the adresses from the internet.

Places I didn't visit but wish I did when I was there;
- Port-en-Bessin
- Dead Man's corner
- Carentan

Overall, actual ww2 sites are always cooler than museums in Normandy. You have museums up to your ears, trying to squeeze as much dough out of tourists as possible, and indeed they have large collections of cool stuff, but the memories you bring home will be from actual locations.

Enjoy your trip! Im jealous, we will probably re-visit Normandy next spring and catch all the places we missed the first time.
« Last Edit: 09-07-2012, 08:07:46 by Natty »

Offline GuinNess

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Re: Off to Normandy
« Reply #14 on: 09-07-2012, 08:07:53 »
Coastal guns of Longue-sur-Mer, there is also the observation bunker from 'the longest day'