Utah Beach is a wide, flat, muddy expanse of sand. When the Allied soldiers landed, they had to cross several hundred meters of exposed land, just to reach the German front lines. The death and destruction must have been tremendous. The beach was lined with barbed wire, metal tank traps, anti-tank trenches, and other defenses. The German lines...more
This is an excellent museum. It is dedicated to the American parachutists of the 82nd and 101st airborne divisions who dropped on Sainte-Mère-Eglise in the night of 5-6 June 1944.It contains a rather nice Douglas C47 which was amongst other things actually used in Operation Market Garden.more
Making a stop over at Sainte Mère Eglise requires a visit to the airborne museum.This museum is really unique. Full of authenticity. Maintained with limited budgets and though make us awake of the premanent threat of the reality of the war.I strongly recommend it, even to childrenmore
In the middle of the village square one finds a big monumental stone, that marks the first liberated point (in a village) on European mainland. From here the freedom spread over Europe and General Patton ordered that every mile that they advanced a milestone to be erected to mark there progress. This is the first of them, follwed by many until in...more
Of course you have to visit the church of Sainte-Mere-Eglise. "Eglise" means church in French, so actually the village is named after the previous chapel, devoted to Saint-Mary, that stood on the place of where the church is now. In the church one can admire the beautiful stained windows that commemorate the dropping of the 101 paratroopers. Walk...more
The village of Sainte-Mere-Eglise is proud of it's airborne museum. It holds many memorabilia from the fighting in and around Sainte-Mery-Eglise. Among it the famous "clickers" that were used as communication device between the scattered 101-paratroopers. One click had to be answered by two clicks, then one knew that the other party was not the...more
The Museum at Utah describes the invasion of the beaches on 6 June 1944. The museum discusses German and American uniforms and equipment, along with the plans of the attack and the results. This is a nice museum with many great artifacts. Outside you will find some weathered vehicles from both sides used during the battle.The museum building was...more
You must visit the Airborne Museum if events of June 1944 interest you at all. I'm not a paratrooper, never have been nor will be a paratrooper, but I was fascinated by the newspaper articles, personal artifacts, and displays that this museum has to offer. I could have read every single sign in there and that's not normally my modus operandi. Very...more
This monument is located in front of the Utah Museum. It is dedicated to the dead from all Allied nations involved in the repatriation of France and the defeat of Germany. There are numerous monuments like this throughout Normandy erected by the French people to honor those who gave their lives for France.more
The German defenses at Utah began at the water's edge with underwater stakes and tank traps. On the sand, the soldiers encountered line after line of barbed wire, mines, and trenches. At the dunes was the first line of German soldiers manning a variety of machine guns, rifles, and artillery pieces.more
Inside the small church, two stained glass windows commemorate the Allied liberation of Sainte-Mére-Église on June 6 of 1944. One window depicts paratroopers falling from the sky around the Virgin Mary (representing the town of Sainte-Mére-Église). The red chains encircling her (representing the Nazi occupation) are being destroyed beneath them....more
In the heart of Sainte-Mére-Église, its small, 11th century church, which was immortalized in “The Longest Day,” now greets WW2 fanatics from around the world. A mannequin hangs from its tower, indicating the spot where American paratrooper John Steele landed during the early hours of the Normandy invasion. While the original stained glass windows...more
11 rue des Clarons, Sainte-Mere-Eglise, 50480, Fra
Good for: Families
Who needs another darn snowglobe?!
But the giftshop at the Airborne Museum was pretty impressive. It sold a lot of history books, which I love. And the souvenirs weren't too tacky (well, some were).
What to buy: If you're looking for WWWII history books, in French and/or English, this would be a great place to buy them. I've never seen them in my local Barnes and Noble, or any other bookstore for that matter. And I know my bookstores!
What to pay: Average price for a nice book
On the way from the Airborne Museum and St. Mere Eglise to our next stop (Utah Beach), we passed this memorial to the Airborne troops. I really like the way it seems like this troop is looking over the fields in front of him, like he's on watch...
On a side note...
It's not often you see much blatant appreciation for the United States in France, but in this area of France, it's very evident. There are houses that have American flags in their windows and there are numerous small memorials that thank the troops for their service. Some may think this is just playing into the whole touristy thing, but I don't think so. No one is forcing those everyday Joes to put American flags in their windows. To those who say the French hate Americans, one only has to visit this small corner of the world to see that it's just not true.
Thank you for listening. :-)
Sainte-Mere-Eglise now-a-days is a small village in the middle of agricultural Normandian land. The proud community (city) hall is one of the few large buildings and in a matter of minutes one stands outside the village and enjoys wide grane, corn and grass fields. The land produces the fine products of Normandy, such as the famous (and deliscious) camembert cheese.
Fondest memory: Watching the magnificent colours of light shining through the stained glass windows of the church as the sun shone through them.