Musée de la Bataille de Normandie - Bayeux - France

Address: Boulevard Fabian Ware, Bayeux (See map)
Telephone: +33 (0)2-31929341
Website: not available

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

Description: The Musée de la Bataille de Normandie in Bayeux (the first French city to be liberated) houses one of the largest collections to be found amongst the ever-growing list of military museums in Normandy. The exhibition covers the Allied as well as the German side. The full range of military 'objets d'art' is incorporated in this great collection: uniforms, propaganda material, tanks, artillery pieces, small arms, maps, dioramas, emblems, the lot! In addition to all this, there is the possibility to view a movie about the fighting in Normandy.

Amongst the large number of items on display, a few things are of particular interest. Note for example the picture of the Panzerfaust-head below. Although a score of museums dealing with WWII feature one or more panzerfausts in their collection, Bayeux is the only place where you can view the actual projectile out of its launching-tube, allowing you to see the simple cloth stabiliser (note the nails with which the cloth is attached to the rocket).

The simple German flame-thrower is another item that grabs the visitor's attention. Those of you who watch military-historical documentaries on a regular basis will surely remember the horrific images of the metres long jet of fire being squirted into bunkers and tunnels, generally resulting in a handful of burning men awkwardly jumping and running around flapping their arms about in agony. The fact that this gruesome scene can be created with such a small and basic device is simply frightening.

Finally, a practical note: Take into account that the museum is closed during lunchtime in the off-season.

British Churchill tank equiped with a flame-thrower. For this purpose there was a small trailer attached.

M10 tankdestroyer. It had a crew of 5 which could shoot 54 times at enemy tanks. Topspeed: 40 km.

German made flame-thrower.

Pistols of German officers. On the right the famous Luger.

Panzerfaustrocket on its way to its target.

Skoda transport truck used by the 21st German Panzer Division.

HMC M7 Priest self-propelled artillery equiped with a 105 mm Howitser.

Large American bulldozer (Caterpillar type 7).

Impressive diorama showing how it must have been after a fierce battle.

Various artillery pieces used by the Germans. At the front is a PAK 36 with anti-tank grenade.