Normandy D-Day beaches and battlefields are a popular tourist attraction to those on a visit to France. These beaches and battlefields are just four-hour drive from Paris and located along the north-west side of France. These sites are seen as the greatest invasion that marks the liberation of Europe from the Nazis.
Today, tourists look for D–day beach and battlefield tours in Normandy (private or self-guided tours) to discover the historical sites and learn more about history. Here is a list of popular sites of interest and must-see locations during your tour.
About D-Day Landings
D-Day is looked upon as a major historical event and a site of great triumph. The major D-Day Landings by the allies began in early June, and the forces divided the 60-mile coastal stretch into five sectors, namely Juno, Gold, Omaha, Sword, and Utah. While the Allies who landed here were successful against the Germans, but they did suffer and faced terrible tragedies as bitter fights erupted on those beaches.
D–day landing beaches
The landing beaches are free to all and allow free entry during the day and thus give you ample time to learn about the history of the D-Day, the landing operations, and how the allied troops joined hands to oust the German forces. A visit here will take you to the most strategic areas where you will find yourself face to face with the history of the D-Day landings in Normandy. Discover firing command posts, an artillery battery, memorials, cemeteries, fortified sites with shelters, and casemates.
Here is a list of the most important beaches that should be explored during your trip to the D-Day beaches and battlefields.
Sword Beach witnessed some major obstacles as strong German defenses were set up in the most easterly sector. The British and French forces encountered stiff resistance from the Germans. Points of interest include American Cemetery, the German artillery battery, Musée du Mur de l’Atlantique Le bunker, and Merville Battery. The visit will offer you an insight into the role of French commandoes in the D-Day Landings. As the museums’ showcase, while the troops managed to secure the spot, they could do so only after a bloody battle.
This is the beach that suffered the worst on D-Day, and the American troops found themselves ineffective in wiping out the German positions. Must-sees include the Pointe du Hoc, which was the strong point of the German fortifications and some museums like the Overlord Museum and Omaha Memorial Museum.
Hundreds and thousands of Canadian and British forces landed here and faced particularly intense fighting. However, because of their gritty determination, the troops managed to succeed and hold up against German troops. A must-see here is the Juno Beach Centre, a maple leaf-shaped museum that displays the role of Canadian efforts on D-Day as well as Canadian involvement in World War II.
The Gold Beach
Located along the east of Arromanches, the advances by the allied troops were generally fast because of successful aerial and naval bombardments. Dedicated to the D-Day Landings, the Ver-sur-Mer museum commemorates those historical events and how the aerial and naval bombardments took place.
The most westerly in location, Utah Beach, the beach was of paramount importance to the allied forces, who planned to eliminate German defenses. The extensive marshes around Utah Beach caused havoc for the airborne troops. The touristic points of interest include the Musée du Débarquement that retraces the D-Day chronologically and Musée Airborne, a major museum dedicated to American paratroopers.
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