Musée du Débarquement - Arromanches - France

Address: Place du 6 Juin, Arromanches (See map)
Telephone: +33 (0)2-31223431

Shop: shop present
Restaurant/refreshments: refreshments
Size of the museum/site: small
Year of visit: 2002
Overall rating:

Description: At Dieppe the Allies learned a very painful but also valuable lesson: capturing an intact port (to be used as a starting-base for further campaigns inland) along the Atlantik Wall, simply can't be done because of the heavy defences and the inevitable damage to the port that would result from the attempt. So, if the Allies wanted to open a second front in the west, they had to cook up a pretty creative plan. And so they did. A complete prefabricated harbour was to be towed over the Channel (in pieces of course) to Arromanches just after the D-day beaches were secured.

The strongest point of the museum is without doubt the way the assembling, installing and operating of the artificial harbour is explained. Especially the map and the numerous scale-models of the harbour are very useful. As the museum is situated at the actual site of the artificial harbour, it offers a great view of the (few) remaining parts of the harbour scattered about the place. The film about the role the harbour played during the Normandy campaign should also be considered as a great feature.

The museum's magnitude is quite modest, and apart from the things mentioned above, it hasn't got any really spectacular things to offer. If you have a special interest in the artificial harbour used to launch the Allied armies into continental Europe, this is however THE place to go.

One of the various types of dummy paratroopers used during operation Overlord.

Two American soldiers manning a communication centre.

Scale-model showing a floating bridge.

This is a bridgehead, where ships were loaded and unloaded.

Allied troops debarking on French soil.

Money brought in circulation when the Allies liberated France.

The museum (the white building) is built on the site of the artificial harbour.

Parts of the artificial harbour. Seagulls have taken over control.