- Museum of the Battle of Normandy, Boulevard Fabian Ware, Bayeux, France
- +33 (0)2 31 51 46 90.
The Memorial Museum of the Battle of Normandy in Bayeux relates how the Allies fought the Germans during the first ten weeks after D-Day. A wide range of vehicles, uniforms and military equipment gives visitors an impression of the everyday life of soldiers and civilians during that crucial period.
The Memorial Museum of the battle of Normandy is located next to the British military cemetery in Bayeux. The museum shows, step by step, how the Allies battled the German forces for ten weeks, from the Allied landings on D-Day until the withdrawal of the Wehrmacht beyond the River Seine. The museum provides a 2.000 square meters space where the military actions and the soldiers’ and civilians’ everyday life during the battle are illustrated by mannequins, pictures, weaponry and other means. In addition to the armour displayed outside, a vast hall houses vehicles and pieces of ordnance, as well as a diorama evoking the decisive struggle in the Falaise pocket. An archive film recounts the battle in both French and English.
The permanent exhibition is not limited to the armed confrontations, but also deals with aspects of a military campaign that are often ignored: the feeding of the troops, the care for the wounded, logistics, communication, engineering and so on. The significant role played by the Allied air forces is not forgotten either.
Bayeux was the first city in France that was liberated. Therefore the museum also recalls the highly symbolic visit of general Charles de Gaulle a few days after the landings. His enthusiastic reception by the population of Bayeux led the Allies (and specially U.S. president F.D. Roosevelt) to recognize him as the only legitimate leader of France.
Fought between the iconic landings on 6 June 1944 and the liberation of Paris on 25 August, the Battle of Normandy is often overlooked. Yet this campaign decided the course of the war in Northwestern Europe. The losses were huge: more than 100.000 people were killed during the 80 days, 20.000 of them civilians.
Bernard Montgomery was one of the most renowned Allied generals. He gained great popularity after his victories in North Africa (El Alamein). Thereafter Montgomery led the Allied ground operations in Normandy, The Netherlands and Northern Germany. His operational choices and
Edouard Gérard managed to reach Britain after the German invasion of his home country of Belgium. He joined the Belgian army in Britain and took part in the invasion of Normandy where he died at the age of 20. He was the first Belgian soldier to die in the Battle of Normandy.
The Memorial Museum of Civilians at War in Falaise opened in 2016 and covers over 1,000 m² of exhibition. Each of the three floors focuses on a different theme: Occupation, Liberation and Reconstruction. The museum is dedicated to both the life and survival of civilians during WWII. Testimonies of survivors and a collection of objects and archives are presented.