Normandy-9/28/2015 - 10/1/2015

Trouville Caen-Arromanches American Cemetery Pointe du Hoc Mt. Saint Michel Dinner in Honfleur

The memorial de Caen (Caen memorial)

The Mémorial de Caen is a museum and war memorial, located on the northern outskirts of Caen and built on the site of an old bunker. A visit here will give you an overview of World War II and the Normandy D-Day Landing Beaches. The huge exhibition takes you from 1918 and the damaged peace through World War II and on to 1989 and the fall of the Berlin Wall.  The museum was officially opened on 6 June 1988 on the 44th anniversary of D day by French President François Mitterrand.

The building is a modern purpose-built structure with a long rectangular shape.  The building is pretty stark and on the right you can see the allies flags flying.


A plaque honoring General Dwight Eisenhower.

The entrance is really small compare with the size of the building.


As soon as you walked inside it opens into a spacious lobby, where the award-winning amenities of the museum are located: a large bookshop, library, cafe, children's play area, and more. Above the lobby hangs a 1941 Hawker Typhoon used by the RAF.  


We found out that it takes a minimum of 4 to 6 hours to visit the museum and we did not allow enough time to explore it so we tour the property quickly and then we left without seeing the exhibits.


On the outside there is a large sculpture inspired by the famous photo taken by Eisentaedt on August 14 1945 in the U.S.  The sculpture is named "Osez le Feminin" (Dare Feminism)

The sculpture stirred a lot attention and Feminist demands the removal of the sculpture.


This sculpture created a lot of stir and feminists demanded to take it down.  Click on LINK to see details

Arromanches les Bains

Arromanches is basically a little seaside village and is the center of D-Day tourism industry because is was the location of the artificial Mulberry harbor, "port Winston" that facilitated the landings of two and half million men and half a million vehicles.  We arrived in Arromanches in time for lunch and stopped by La Ripaille, a French restaurant owned by Kevin & Coralie Gancel.  There are really not a lot of choice around as there is only a main street leading to the beach.

The front of the restaurant.


When we walked we were a bit taken by the bright colors inside the restaurant.  The atmosphere looks really friendly and cozy.


I ordered a Poulet D'auverges, a specially of the region served with French Fries and ratatouille


Hoa ordered a Steak with French Fries and ratatouille


Kevin ordered some sort of white fish with a butter lemon sauce.


Kristie also ordered the same dish as Kevin but opted for a creamy sauce.


Enjoying our meal...

We are glad we decided to eat at La ripaille!  It is a cute French restaurant, very good service, and the food was decent.


Arromanches les bains harbor

We are now on the beach leading to the Museum.

On the main street on display is a giant canon


Arromanches is a modest seaside resort that owes its fame to the gigantic landing operation of June 1944.

In the little port are the remains of a Mulberry harbor, the most extraordinary maritime achievement of the war.


Musee du Debarquement.

 It was the first museum to be built in commemoration of June 6th 1944 and the Normandy Campaign.
The D-day Museum overlooks the very spot where one of the Mulberry Harbors was constructed and where its remains can still be seen today, just a few hundred meters from the shore.

The D-Day operation of June 6, 1944 brought together the land, air and sea forces of the allied armies in what became known as the largest invasion force in human history. The operation, given the codename OVERLORD, delivered five naval assault divisions to the beaches of Normandy, France. The beaches were given the code names UTAH, OMAHA, GOLD, JUNO and SWORD. The invasion force included 7,000 ships and landing craft manned by over 195,000 naval personnel from eight allied countries. Almost 133,000 troops from England, Canada and the United States landed on D-Day. Casualties from the three countries during the landing numbered 10,300. By June 30th, over 850,000 men, 148,000 vehicles, and 570,000 tons of supplies had landed on the Normandy shores. Fighting by the brave soldiers, sailors and airmen of the allied forces western front, and Russian forces on the eastern front, led to the defeat of German Nazi forces. On May 7, 1945, German General Alfred Jodl signed an unconditional surrender at Reims, France.

In the gallery you can find a collection of models, photographs, dioramas, arms and equipments.

The museum directly overlook the remnants of Mulberry.

The Mulberries comprised floating roadways and pierheads which went up and down with the tide. In order to avoid rough seas, huge hollow concrete blocks and old hulks were sunk in order to form a breakwater. The task of manufacturing all these components was undertaken by the British, whose war industry was already in overstretched. And yet in less than 9 months, the British had completed the work. Huge quantities of raw materials were used and tens of thousands of men were involved in this massive scheme.



This is the hall of Allied Nations where you can find about all the different nationalities that took part in the Landings on June 6th 1944.


Stanley Hollis, Hollis was 31 years old, and a Warrant Officer Class II (Company Sergeant-Major) in the 6th Battalion, The Green Howards, British Army when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC:

in Normandy on 6 June 1944 Company Sergeant-Major Hollis went with his company commander to investigate two German pill-boxes which had been by-passed as the company moved inland from the beaches. "Hollis instantly rushed straight at the pillbox, firing his Sten gun into the first pill-box, He jumped on top of the pillbox, re-charged his magazine, threw a grenade in through the door and fired his Sten gun into it, killing two Germans and taking the remainder prisoners.

He later found that two of his men had stayed behind in the house. In full view of, the enemy who were continually firing at him, he went forward alone, distract their attention from the other men. Under cover of his diversion, the two men were able to get back. It was largely through his heroism and resource that the Company's objectives were gained and casualties were not heavier. He saved the lives of many of his men.


Model of world war II soldiers, and radio equipments.

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