Most of the museums I visited in France are in Normandy and at the Pas-de-Calais. Some of them I visited only recently, others years ago, and I know that some of those museums have been refurbished since I last visited them. When I visit them again, I will update my reviews.

Aout 1944 museum FalaiseAoût 1944 Museum
Falaise – I remember us making a considerable detour to visit this museum and that it wasn’t particularly worth it. But we did because I was interested in what happened at the ‘Falaise gap’ in late June 1944. It mainly has interesting vehicles on display, but very little in the way of interesting American uniforms and equipment, let alone paratroopers. The upside, though, is that there’s a beautiful castle nearby which is fun to visit with kids.
See photos of my visit here
Dead Man's Corner Museum NormandyDead Man’s Corner Museum
Saint-Côme-du-Mont – Along with the Airborne Museum at Sainte-Mere-Eglise, the Dead Man’s Corner is a required stop on your tour of Normandy. It has the greatest collection of unique paratrooper uniforms, helmets and equipment, all tastefully displayed. And they have a great shop too. Visit web shop.
V3 Base at MimoyequesMimoyecques Base V3
Landrethun-le-Nord – This is the museum I tried to visit last year, but contrary to the advertised opening dates, there was nobody home. Maybe I’ll try again next time round, as it’s the only V3 base (which was only almost completed when the war ended), next to several V2 installations in the Pas-de-Calais area.
Musée Airborne
Sainte-Mere-Eglise – As I said, this is the required stop. It has many uniforms and some unique pieces, such as a complete Waco-glider, which I found very interesting. A visit to Sainte-Mere-Eglise is worthwhile anyway, plus there are some militaria shops in the town.
Musee Memorial OmahaMusée D-Day Omaha
Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer – This museum is nice and has a few items I haven’t seen anywhere else (such as a cardboard box full of luminous disks) but the layout isn’t really up to today’s standards. Good if you are making a big tour of Normandy, but you can skip it if you’re on a tight schedule.
Musee des blindes - Tank MuseumMusée des Blindés
Saumur – This is the only one in my list that has nothing to do with paratroopers, but I thought I’d mention it in case you’re on holidays in the Loire Valley. It’s a tank museum, and the largest in the world at that. I haven’t seen WW2 German tanks of any in better condition than there. Absolutely fantastic pieces. Also great for visiting with kids.
Rangers Museum Grandcamp-MaisyMusée des Rangers
Grandcamp-Maisy – This is a nice little museum, but maybe a bit too small.
Also to be skipped on your small tour of Normandy, unless you are a Ranger collector or SPR fan.
D-Day Museum ArromanchesMusée du Débarquement
Arromanches – This is the museum in Normandy to visit with kids. Focuses on the overall invasion plans, the Mulberry harbor and has some good paratrooper stuff. It was already great the two times I visited it, but a few years ago they renewed the show cases and made some other refinements.
Utah Beach MuseumMusée du Débarquement (Utah beach)
Sainte-Marie-Dumont – A nice and fairly new museum. It has a great view on the landing beach. I would recommend it only for an extended tour of Normandy, because there isn’t much here for you if you are primarily interested in paratroopers.
Batterie Todt AudinghenMusée du Mur de l’Atlantique
Audinghen – Cap Gris Nez – Housed in a blockhouse that is one of the largest structures in the atlantic wall, this museum holds many weapons and uniforms and really worth a visit. The German railroad gun outside is really impressive!
Bayeux Memorial MuseumMusée Mémorial de la Bataille de Normandie
Bayeux – This is a very large museum in the city that was fiercely fought over right after clearing the beachheads. It has many mannequins and good invasion force uniforms, weapons and equipment. Besides, Bayeux itself is worth a visit.


WW2 Museum reviews France — 1 Comment

  1. Sad that you found the museum at Falaise uninteresting.

    At the museum entrance, there was a superb example of a Bailey Bridge; the one you must have walked across to enter the building.

    General Eisenhower remarked that the Normandy Invasion would not have been the success that it was, without the Sherman Tank, The DC47, and The Bailey Bridge; the latter being a Brithsh invention, in case you didn`t know!

    The museum at Falaise showed at least, that there were other nations involved in the invasion of Normandy, apart from The USA! (ALL that were present did a magnificent job, and no mistake).

    My dad was on board a Royal Navy minesweeper on June 6th, 1944. The minesweepers were assigned in groups of six to sweep the approaches to the invasion beaches, making the way safe for the troop – carrying vessels. My dad`s ship HMS Bootle J143, was in the group assigned to the approach to Sword beach. Bootle herself was actually damaged, but managed to carry on regardless. I knew nothing of this until just three weeks before my dad died. He never ever spoke about it before then.

    From me, the biggest possible THANK YOU to all those of every nationality who took part in the invasion which saved us from a terrible fate.

    Good luck my friend with your research.

    Neville Harrison.

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