Normandy | Overlord Museum

For those with a keen interest in World War Two and the D DAY landings, in particular, I can recommend spending a week in this area of the French coast.

This one is hard to miss. Being an enormous, grey, concrete block situated on the roundabout leading the American cemetery, protected by two Sherman tanks. This is a big contrast to the relatively intimate Omaha Museum. Although, admittedly, I was not exactly sure what to expect from this recent addition to the countryside.

You start with a similarly dark interior backdrop and many photos depicting life leading up to the war with detailed explanations. In the background, you can already hear the sounds of battle played over large speakers. This I found a bit strange – sounding like a movie.

Turning the corner to the main exhibit the sound made more sense and gave an added drama which drove home the nature of what these men went through.

Large exhibits depict various areas with some interesting machinery like a Canadian 2-ton truck, some tracked vehicles and an enormous flatbed trailer stacked with, perhaps, three hundred jerrycans. On exit, a jeep is displayed vertically – perhaps not its natural state of use… What was really interesting was a corridor lined with photographs of D Day soldiers, the survivors of which shared their personal experiences. Very poignant and moving.

A tremendous rainshower prevented all the visitors from straying outside. Forcing us all into walking circles around the gift shop for twenty minutes with nothing particularly interesting to see nor original of thought. The mental souvenir serves as a more powerful reminder of what our previous generations fought for…

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