D-Day landing museums within easy range of the campsite
Located on the Utah D-Day landing beach, Le Cormoran campsite is close to several museums with a World War II theme dealing specifically with the D-Day landings in Normandy. Here you can admire impressive collections of historical objects and military vehicles exposed in modern and immersive visits.
The Airborne Museum is situated in Sainte-Mère-Eglise, just a few miles from the D-Day landing beaches. Thanks to hyperreal scenes, you’ll be totally immersed in the D-Day landings in Normandy on June 6th 1944. Climb aboard a glider and a C-47 plane and witness the fighting that led to victory.
Utah Beach: Musée du Débarquement
Located in the Cotentin and Bessin marshlands regional nature park, Madeleine beach made history one Tuesday morning in June 1944. The Utah Beach museum invites you to relive the entire military operation, from its preparation in England to its victory on the Normandy beach. Situated at the exact spot where the fighting took place, you’ll get the chance to admire an authentic B26 bomber and try out two flight simulators.
World War II Museum
Mémorial de la Liberté Retrouvée (Memorial to Liberty Restored). This museum retraces over 1000m² events from the 1940 exodus up until the liberation in June 1944. Vehicles, models, sounds and scenery plunge you back into the everyday life of civilians and soldiers. Walk the streets in a reconstruction of a French village at the time of the occupation or visit the interior of a blockhouse equipped with a 5cm KWK gun.
The museum is composed of two completely distinct buildings. Dead Man’s Corner, formerly a house occupied by the famous German parachutists of the 6th regiment known as the “Green Devils” and D-Day Experience which offers an extraordinary immersive experience. Pilot a flight simulator in a genuine C-47 plane and relive the tale of the American airborne troops as they land on the French beaches.
Normandy Victory Museum
After the landing of the allied forces on the Normandy coast, two long months of fighting were to take place in the local countryside. The Normandy Victory Museum is dedicated to this period, otherwise known as the “Battle of the Hedgerows”.
Through 2 000 m² of reconstructions you’ll be able to march alongside the American soldiers as they fight the German backup divisions. Imagine civilian life in 1944 as you cross over a road in wartime Carentan. You’ll see different period military vehicles including a genuine 1943 American GMC, a D-Day landing craft or even a British FV 432 tank which was used to transport troops.
Musée de la Libération
Located in the fort du Roule, a Second Empire fort, the Liberty museum exposes the everyday life of civilians and American soldiers before, during and after the German occupation. Because of its strategic defense position, the fort was occupied by the German army during World War II. From the peak of the 117 m high Roule mountain you can admire a panoramic view over Cherbourg and its harbour.
Thanks to an extensive collection of objects and photos as well as the multimedia guide “Cherbourg 1944, you’ll find out all about the liberation of the town and the importance of recovering this deep-water port in order to ensure that the landings in Normandy would lead to victory.
Hangar à Dirigeables
The Ecausseville Airship hangar was built in 1917 by the French Aeronautic Maritime Service in order to counteract the rise of German submarines. As the French navy abandoned the building of airships in 1936, you’ll discover how the building was put to different uses: as a military base grouping mobile heavy artillery units, during the German occupation and then the liberation by the American forces… as a storage warehouse for rural hospitals and also for spare parts for ships and planes. At the end of the sixties it was also used as a zone for developing the trial balloons that carried the first French H bombs. It was classified as a historic monument in 2003.
Don’t leave without trying the Aéroplume! Hooked up to a giant helium balloon you can take to the air. Thanks to two wings you can manoeuvre round the airship hangar using each of your hands. Discover what it feels like to fly!