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Please suggest 1 more D-Day museum.

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Feb 3rd, 2016, 12:20 PM
  #1
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Please suggest 1 more D-Day museum.

My cousin and I will have 3 full days to explore the D-Day area. We're staying in Bayeux. So far, we have plans to visit Arromanches 360, Musee Airborne in Sainte-Mere-Eglise and Memorial Pegasus, in Ranville.

I would appreciate suggestions of 1 additional museum. Possibilities I currently have are Arromanches Musee du Debarquement, Musee du Debarquement at Utah Beach and the Musee Memorial Bataille de Normandie in Bayeux. I have already visited the Memorial de Caen and prefer to experience new D-Day museums.

As we are limited to 3 days and of course have numerous other sites to visit, we don't want to spend time in museums that might be redundant or not as interesting/comprehensive. Any suggestions/recommendations you may have would be appreciated.
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Feb 3rd, 2016, 01:25 PM
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I think many of the museums in Normandy become redundant --AFTER Arromanches, ste. mere Eglise, Pegasus and Omaha.
You MUST go to the American Cemetery. And the Bayeux Tapestry.
i think you will hae it covered. We had a lovely lunch at Arromanches on the quay.
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Feb 3rd, 2016, 02:05 PM
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Visit one of each of the cemeteries. One American, one German, one British, one Canadian (I think those are it, for the war cemeteries). You will find the differences striking and humbling.

For just one more museum, not far from Ranville is a small mom and pop type museum - the Merville Battery. My last visit to it was over 15 yrs ago so it might be less mom and pop than it was. It was charming and so interesting.

I have been to Normandy 5 times and now it's become a tradition. Each 5 yrs I go back, once with my Dad (history buff, not a soldier).

I really liked the museum in Bayeux and you've made a great choice with the Arromanches 360.
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Feb 3rd, 2016, 02:52 PM
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The American cemetery has an exhibit. I especially liked the paratrooper museum since my Dd was one. We went to most of the beaches but not all the museums. I agree with flygirl about visiting three different cemeteries.
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Feb 3rd, 2016, 04:27 PM
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Gretchen, yes, we're definitely going to the American Cemetery and also see the Bayeux Tapestry. I missed the tapestry on my last visit. Do you remember which restaurant you enjoyed in Arromanches? I seem to remember there were several along the quay.

flygirl, we are definitely planning on the American, German and British in Bayeux. Also hoping to visit the Canadian on our way from the Pegasus Museum to the Chateau Fontaine-Henry. Is this the Merville Museum you visited http://www.batterie-merville.com/the-museum/?lang=en? How fortunate you've been to Normandy 5 times AND once with your dad! Glad you like the 360 and thanks for the Bayeux museum recommendation.

flpab, I am so looking forward to the paratrooper museum. I've read such good things about it. And, yes, I believe in paying my respects for those who made the ultimate sacrifice whenever possible. My most memorable was the American Cemetery in Carthage, Tunisia. We were the only people there that day and it had been quite some time since an American had visited. I felt so honored to have the privilege to walk among our fallen. That memory remains poignant to this day.
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Feb 3rd, 2016, 05:21 PM
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As you are planning to visit the Canadian War Cemetery at Bény-sur-Mer, I suggest that you stop at the nearby Juno Beach Centre at Courseulles-sur-Mer. It provides a good overview of the part that Canada played not only in the D-Day landings,but also the rest of the campaign through Normandy and North-West Europe.

http://www.junobeach.org
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Feb 3rd, 2016, 05:37 PM
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DeeDee, my Dad's first jump was in North Africa/Tunisia, That is great you visited there.
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Feb 4th, 2016, 07:37 AM
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I don't know if it's the same place Gretchen enjoyed, but I've had a couple of lovely lunches at La Marine, right on the water.
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Feb 4th, 2016, 07:54 AM
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We were interested in the paratrooper museum because the gliders they used were made in my home town of Troy, Ohio. And to SEE them--plywood and canvas--is so totally amazing vis a vis to our technology now.
Do eat at La Petite Bistro in Bayeux--right across from the Cathedral, which is also very much worth a visit.
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Feb 4th, 2016, 07:57 AM
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Falaise museum is worth it for the story of the battle of the Falaise gap. The suicidal Czech regiment who went into it with the clear intention of killing as many Germans as possible.
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Feb 4th, 2016, 11:00 AM
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averendrye, thank you for the suggestion and link to the Juno Beach Center. Wow, what a museum. It didn't exist when I was last there in '99. I hope we'll have time to visit.

flpab - incredible your father's first jump was over Tunisia and he was part of the North Africa campaign. He must have had some incredible stories to tell.

StCirq - thanks for the La Marine recommendation! The view looks great, seafood and they have outdoor dining!

Gretchen, thank you so much for the recommendation for Au Ptit Bistrot. I was actually reading Tripadvisor reviews on it last night! It's just a block from where we're staying at Le Castel. So, we'll definitely dine there.

billboburgler - I just read the wiki page on the battle of Falaise. I had no idea such an important battle occurred there. I have been thinking of stopping at Falaise to visit the Chateau de Falaise on our way down to the Loire. My family descends from William the Conqueror. (Fairly rare for an American family to trace!) Now, we have another reason to stop in Falaise. Thank you for educating me about such an important part of the Battle of Normandy.
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Feb 4th, 2016, 11:13 AM
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Hi again

I am indeed lucky to make it back so many times! Once when I was 16, and again in 99, 2004, 2009, and then 2014. I feel compelled to make the 75th because it's so big although to be honest I also feel like I've seen this so many times maybe I should branch out.

It's interesting to see the changes every 5 yrs though. In 1999 any exhibits, to the extent they existed, were mom and pop type - I am not sure if the Caen Museum was running yet. Dad and I visited it in 2009 and it was amazing. Now, there are so many museums in the area it kind of detracts, IMHO. I mean, they are EVERYWHERE. I also think if I go to the 75th that I should go either just before or just after D-Day - being there on actual D-Day means you are pretty limited in what you do. You can't get around very easily. Three of my visits were on actual D-Day, one visit was a week early, and one visit was in April.

I believe Dad and I also visited the Canadian cemetery in Beny sur Mer. It was definitely a Canadian cemetery, and that name rings a bell. The Commonwealth cemeteries are like strolling through a lovely garden, esp that Canadian one.

Yep, that is the museum! Enjoy!
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Feb 4th, 2016, 03:35 PM
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Dee_Dee

If you plan to visit Falaise on your way south to the Loire, you should try also to visit the Polish Memorial at Mont Ormel. http://www.memorial-montormel.org

The 1st Polish Armoured Division, part of 2nd Canadian Corps, was virtually encircled on these heights for several days by the retreating Germans before the Falaise Gap was finally closed. Besides the incredible panoramic views over the battlefield, the memorial has a very good multi-media presentation of the entire battle. It is well worth a stop.

Too many people seem to think that the Battle of Normandy was the D-Day landings followed by a triumphal drive to Paris when in fact it was a hard bloody slog for nearly three months with casualty rates similar to those of the Battle of the Somme in the First World War.

I'm glad to hear you are planning to spend some time beyond the justly famous beaches to get a better sense of the entire battle. I've been to Normandy many times, but there are still many places I have yet to visit.
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