D-Day is considered to be one of the biggest military operations ever undertaken in human history. It marked the day when the Allied forces stormed the beaches to overthrow the German Army and liberate the European countries that had fallen. The day marks the moment the Allied troops got a foothold in Europe and signaled the beginning of the end. Paying a visit to those iconic places has become very popular and here’s how to craft the most awe-inspiring D-Day tour in France.
Refresh your history
Before you go to France on a D-Day-inspired tour, the best thing you can do is re-read some of the history of that time. Refresh your mind about the grim fate that met the brave Allies who understood they were storming the beaches, knowing how likely they were to get mowed down by bullets. They made those sacrifices for the freedom of the western world, so make sure to visit historical France with your eyes wide open.
There are plenty of beaches to choose from when beginning your D-Day tour, but American travelers might first want to check out Utah Beach. Here you will come across some well-preserved artifacts and exhibits at the Utah Beach Landing Museum.
The facility is housed within the remains of a German war bunker, and it is widely considered to be the areas best D-Day museum. From Utah Beach, you should travel inland to Ste-Mere Eglise, a village that was famously liberated by American paratroopers. This provided the first safe base for Americans to begin their assault on Germany.
There is still more to see at Utah Beach, and the Airborne Museum should be your next port of call. Here there is a building that details the brave effort all the troops undertook on D-Day to get the Allies behind enemy lines. Finally, there is the D-Day experience which allows people to relive that fateful day from the perspective of a member of the 101st Airborne Division.
From Utah Beach, head along the coast to Omaha Beach, which is the location of the American Cemetery. It is the final resting place for over 10,000 Americans and a must-see if you plan on paying your respects to those fallen heroes. The beach itself is the site of some of the most intense battles, and there are statues and memorial all along the beach to take in.
To understand just how much damage the weapons used in World War II could cause then check out the Pointe du Hoc Ranger Monument. This monument is filled with craters caused by artillery to give you an understanding of how much bombing the Allies had to do to make their way into France. There is also the German Military Cemetery which holds around 300 mostly unnamed German soldiers.
It would be impossible to do a D-Day tour of France and not swing by Caen, to see one of the world’s most comprehensive World War II museums. Here you will come face to face with hundreds of artifacts and films that help to portray just what it was like for soldiers who stormed the beaches. The displays help to put the Battle of Normandy into context and explain the sheer scale of the operation.
France is where the fightback against the German Army began for the Allies. Thousands of troops lost their lives fighting for the freedom of Europe, and when visiting France, these are the places you should visit to craft the most awe-inspiring D-Day tour.