Certified by the Normandy Region

Wartime communications: Enigma, radio, Morse code and cartography

To mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings, we will be welcoming a number of speakers specialising in signals. They will be presenting equipment and giving demonstrations. These events are part of our general programme, which can be viewed here.

Enigma Edmond Kern
Radios Patrick Grandjean
Cartographe morse Sylvie et Eric Kersch

Meet these experts on 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 June 2024 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

  • Where: inside the museum
  • Conditions: access with a museum entrance ticket

An ENIGMA machine in working order

Presentation and demonstrations by Edmond Kern

 

The subject: The ENIGMA machine which was invented in 1919 by Alexander Koch was adopted by the Reichsmarine in 1926 then by the Reichswehren in 1928. Thanks to this revolutionary machine and its billions of possible combinations, the Germans thought their communications were inviolable… It was not until 1973 that they learned that a large part of their messages had been decoded by the allies! Operators were instructed to destroy their machine along with their code books, which is why a working Enigma machine became extremely rare.

A few words about the speaker: Edmond Kern is a great specialist in ENIGMA. He travels in France and abroad to passionately discover this extraordinary coding machine whose impact on the course of the war was essential. It will show you how it works and how to encode/decode your first name.

ENIGMA by Edmond Kern

Radios during World War II

Presentation and demonstrations by Patrick Grandjean

 

The subject: Who doesn’t remember the crackle and messages from Radio Londres broadcast on the eve of the landing? The radio played a major role during the conflict and took many forms. This is what you will see (and hear!) in this exhibition where you will discover several models. Patrick Grandjean will explain to you how they work, their history and that of the men, women and also children who could be, in turn, user, saboteur, builder… Other examples will evoke the memory of production and war propaganda.

A few words about the speaker: Patrick Grandjean is a technician who is passionate about old TSFs and a specialist who likes to share his passion. He is a true radio “MacGyver” who has been entrusted with the restoration of numerous devices.

Radios ww2 by Patrick Grandjean

The Kersch couple, Sylvie and Eric, former soldiers, are two specialists in communications and logistics in times of war. They will come and share their knowledge with you and present equipment and documents. Come and chat with these enthusiasts who have no shortage of anecdotes and surprising details. You can even try your hand at Morse language.

Telegraphy workshop with Sylvie Kersch

During this workshop, Sylvie Kersch will talk about the history of telegraphy, which began in 1792 with the optical telegraph! Then came wired electric telegraphy with the ‘MORSE’ code, followed by wireless telegraphy (TSF: radio).

To explain all this, she has a wealth of documentation and various reproductions of devices whose sounds and behaviour will speak to most of you.

For the kids

Kids (and adults too) can try their hand at using the letters of their first name transformed into a MORSE code. This little exercise will lead to the award of a ‘US radio operator’ diploma.

Sylvie Kersch

Cartography workshop with Eric Kersch

Eric has a great deal of knowledge about cartography and a wide range of materials, which he will introduce to you during this workshop. Depending on your interests, he can present the world of cartography from different angles:

  • The ‘historical’ approach: from the origin of maps through the great geographers to today’s GPS.
  • The ‘Military’ approach: from Napoleon 1st, through the ‘Canevas de tir’ of 14/18, to paper staff maps and the immaterial maps of drones.
  • The ‘’D-Day‘’ approach: with maps on the organisation of operations and targeted explanations on Omaha Beach with copies of original ‘’BIGOT‘’ maps.

For the kids

A mini sandbox that allows you to reproduce in 3 dimensions a portion of terrain for which you have a map, in order to inform a combatant unit about the upcoming course of an attack.
This use of the sandbox is in the form of a ‘contract’ with a ‘mission order’ given to the child to reproduce the decor of a piece of map in the sandbox. This action is rewarded with a ‘US Engineers D Day 1944’ diploma.

Eric Kersch Cartography

We remind you that this series of demonstrations is part of a rich program offered to you on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the landing by the Normandy Victory Museum from June 1 to 12, 2024. The full programme is available here.

To make sure you don’t miss any of these events, take advantage of the DDAY 80 ticket, valid for twelve days.

The DDAY 80 ticket is a skip-the-line ticket valid from June 1 to June 12, 2024. Between these two dates, you can enter and leave the museum as many times as you like!

Of course, you can always buy our traditional one-day ticket.