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Le Havre as a Port Stop

Normandy - WWII Related Sites

When your cruise ship docks at Le Havre, you will not be short of things to do or places to go and see. Therefore, I will have to cover this port stop in a number of blog postings as there are simply too many options. I have broken the primary choices into the following six categories:

Normandy - The Landing Beaches

Normandy - Other WWII Related Sites

Normandy – The Cities/Villages to Visit (Carentan, Rouen and Bayeux )

Paris – The City of Lights in a Lightening Fast Day Tour


Le Havre and Honfleur

This posting will address item two on my list and represents my second entry addressing Le Havre as a Port Stop.

Other WWII Related Sites

Canadian Cemetery at Bény-sur-Mer â Reviers

If you want to visit a WWII cemetery to honour the Canadian fallen, this is one of the better options. Pristine, moving and located near Juno Beach, this site is the final resting place for a little over 2,000 Canadian soldiers. This cemetery also has crosses for a French resistance fighter and at least four British soldiers. There is a large memorial and two raised viewing towers that allow you to climb to a viewing area to get a better view of the crosses and overview of the cemetery. I noticed that the deceased were mostly killed on, or shortly after, D-Day.

Canadian Cemetery at Bretteville-sur-Laize

This cemetery is located a little under 20km south of Caen and contains the remains of Canadian soldiers who died after the initial D-Day landings. It too has The Cross of Sacrifice and memorial wall and is also kept in pristine condition.

German Cemetery of la Cambe

Located 25.5 km north east of Bayeux, this site has only German graves and the precise number of persons buried here is unknown. There are at least 21,222 confirmed dead, some of which have not been identified but the overall number is still in question. An agreement between the Germans and French in 1954, resulted in this cemetery being dedicated to only German soldiers and as a result, the remains of German soldiers who had been killed and buried elsewhere in Normandy, were moved to this location.

British Military Cemetery of Bayeux

This is the largest British cemetery in Normandy with just under 4,000 British soldiers buried here. I love Bayeux as a destination and recommend a visit to this cemetery to pay respects to the British soldiers who died. You do have the option of visiting one of the 10 other cemeteries where the remains of British soldiers can be found but this one is the largest. There are also just under 200 Canadian soldiers buried here along with the graves of soldiers who were French, Polish, South African, Australian, New Zealanders, Russians, Italians and Czechs. As with other burial sites, the inscription on the memorial wall states: Their Name Liveth For Evermore.

American Cemetery and Memorial at Colleville-sur-Mer

Located near Omaha Beach, this large and incredibly moving cemetery holds the remains of almost 9,400 persons killed in the D-Day landings or shortly thereafter. This is a large site that covers 172.5 acres and this tends to be the cemetery that most people visit when they want to pay their respects to the Americans killed during the second world war. There is a Wall of the Missing which is quite moving and a visitors center ( The visitor center is large, well put together and extremely informative. I recommend visiting the center before you tour the cemetery.

Pégasus Bridge (aka: Bénouville Bridge)

Bénouville Bridge was actually taken before D-Day as it was officially in the hands of the British on June 5th by 11pm. 180 British soldiers from the British Parachute Regiment, who had flown into Normandy on gliders, took control of the bridge in under 15 minutes and held that bridge and surrounding structures until those who landed on the beaches were able to join up with them. A few weeks later, in honour of those men, the bridge was renamed Pegasus Bridge as the members of that liberating regiment wore shoulder flashers that depicted Bellerophon riding the flying horse Pegasus.

The Peak of Hoc

An impressive climb by 225 American Rangers ensured that this point was taken. Located a little west of Omaha Beach between Grandcamp-Maisy and Vierville-sur-Mer, the Peak of Hoc was supposed to have artillery pieces facing out to sea. In order to protect the landing beaches of Utah and Omaha, Rangers were sent to scale the cliffs and secure the guns. Of the 225 Rangers, 140 were injured or killed during the ascent. When they arrived at the top, they found the heavy artillery had previously been moved.


If anyone has watched the movie the Longest Day, they will remember the story line about the paratrooper who landed in Sainte-Mère-Èglise and his parachute became hung up in the church steeple. He dangled from the roof of the church for several hours. This soldier was named John Steele and to this day, a mannequin dressed as a paratrooper hangs from the church. This is an interesting town as it has a ”0” marker in front of the town hall which symbolizes the start of the road to freedom from the German occupation. The arrival of the 82nd and 101st US airborne did not go smoothly and those who inadvertently landed in the village suffered heavy losses. The Airborne Museum (Musée Airborne), is located in this town and contains a collection of items used in the advance air landings of June 5/6th by both those who parachuted into Normandy and those who arrived by glider.

Cinéma Circulaire 360

Located in Arromanches, this 360 circular theatre, shows a high definition movie related to the battle for Normandy. I found this particularly interesting as it incorporates film footage from various sources (including German), so it is an excellent montage. There is a cost so check on their website to verify the current price of a ticket. We had bought the Battle of Normandy ticket for 28 euros each. That allowed us to enter the Caen Mémorial, Falaise Memorial, and Arromanches 360 circular cinema. If those three sites are on your radar, then save yourself some money and purchase the Normandy ticket package.

Dead Man's Corner Museum

Located at 2 Village de l'Amont, 50500 Saint-Côme-du-Mont, this is a great museum to visit. The only downside I found was the wait to get in as the entrance was crowded and overheated. We had to wait about 40 minutes inside an overheated, confining hallway to get into the viewing area but once in, it was a great experience. There is a very interesting 3D movie and loads of historical items to see at this museum. I recommend this as a Normandy stop as it incorporates items from various countries involved in the D-Day landings/battles which makes it a little more all encompassing than some museums that are specific to certain battalions or countries.

For further information on things to do and see in Normandy, look for my future postings. I will be posting the third in the Le Havre series entitled: Normandy – The Cities/Villages to Visit (Caen, Bayeux, Rouen & Carentan) after October 20, 2019.

As always, if you have any questions, comments or observations, please feel free to contact me at

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