Musée de la Seconde Guerre Mondiale - Avranches - France

Address: Le Val Saint-Père, Avranches (See map)
Telephone: +33 (0)2-33683583
Website: not available

Shop: shop present
Restaurant/refreshments: restaurant
Size of the museum/site: medium
Year of visit: 2003
Overall rating:

Description: As the name suggests, this museum deals with WWII in general. Exhibits covering different episodes and localities of the war are on display, with the main focus on the events that happened in France. The collection boasts a nice mix of small items of interest (like the German alarm bell used at Pointe du Hoc), a few life-like dioramas and some detailed scale models of vehicles and frontline situations. It also features a film about the fighting in Normandy.

Although the museum covers various interesting subjects and is well put-up, it lacks a real 'breath-taker' or, as it is a French museum: a 'Piece de la resistance'! The disadvantage of a general museum about World War Two (in contrast to a museum covering a specific topic) is that most things in it can be seen in lots of other museums. All-in-all a good museum, especially useful for people who are just starting to get interested in the history of WWII, but nothing really spectacular, hence the three-star rating.

Small mistake of the museum: A German book containing marching songs is accompanied by the explanation "Book of Catholic Prayers"! Professionals can make mistakes too!

Alarm bell used by the German defenders during the assault of Pointe du Hoc.

Various German soldiers during a brief pause in the fighting.

German soldier in winter-outfit freezing his limbs off.

Pipers were frequently seen with the frontline troops, trying to keep up the fighting-spirit and scaring the enemy at the same time.

A very fine scale model of the capture of one of the many Normandy bridges.

Warm welcome for the Allied liberators!

Paratrooper entangled in a tree.

Great diorama depicting a common scene involving a member of the French resistance, a railtrack and some explosives!