Normandy Victory Museum

Musée de la bataille des haies

Presentation of the museum

Aviateurs WW2

27 staging orchestrated in every detail by local and passionate historians

Normandy Victory Museum
Normandy Victory Museum

Nearly 10 000 authentic collectibles

The Hedgerows hell museum collections in Carentan

About twenty old military vehicles

Old military vehicle (GMC)

And throughout the year many events and temporary exhibitions

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Discover an unmissable museum in La Manche

The NORMANDY VICTORY MUSEUM is one of the must-see museums in Normandy, on the theme of Second World War and Memory. It focuses on a story a little less known than the Landings and yet just as decisive! The Battle of the Hedges.

Beyond the educational mission of our museum, we wanted to pay tribute to all those soldiers and civilians who led long and fierce battles and paid a high price for Freedom.

Victory was not achieved on D-Day!

It took another 100 days of fierce battles on Norman territory for peace to finally be announced.

Many museums in Normandy evoke the landing in 44 but here since 2017, we have endeavored to highlight a lesser known event: the Battle of the Hedges. Our objective is to make this period better known but also to pay tribute to the civilian and military victims and to the allied combatants, including many Americans. The importance of their commitment and their losses are at the origin of the choice of the name of our museum: NORMANDY VICTORY MUSEUM in American language and in subtitle: Museum of the battle of the hedgerows. Read the article about the Battle of the Hedges.

Your visit will allow you to learn a little more about this period of history, to understand, to feel and to transmit so that Peace, so fragile, is preserved.

The visit in detail

A journey through some 27 ultra-realistic sound stages

As soon as you enter the vestibule of the museum, you find yourself in rue André Gidon. A decor entirely reconstructed from historical elements by our decorator and representing a street in the 1940s.

Then you got caught up in the poignant atmosphere of the museum. The first scenes are presented to you and it begins with a reconstruction of the occupation. Progress is then made in chronological order until the counter-attack at Mortain which marks the end of the Battle of the Hedges. The scenes are full of details, reconstructed from period photos and produced by our team and under the direction of a history teacher. Some scenes are soundproofed to accentuate the immersive nature and understand what military and civilians felt in such difficult times.

List of main scenes (click to open)
  • The Germans in La Manche
  • A Norman interior
  • The Occupation
  • Collaboration
  • FFI resisters
  • The Atlantic Wall
  • The Barge
  • Bloody Omaha
  • Objective Saint-Lô
  • Disembark at Utah Beach)
  • D-Day paratroopers
  • Sainte-Marie-du-Mont
  • Americans of the 327th
  • So many planes!
  • The A10 Airfield
  • Ruins and desolation
  • German reinforcements
  • US Medical Post
  • The first prisoners
  • The Battle of the Hedges
  • The machine gun
  • The Breakthrough “Cobra”
  • The climb to Cherbourg
  • Hell on wheels in battle
  • The “Roncey pocket”
  • Avranches liberated
  • Operation Lüttich
  • The “Lost Battalion”
  • Bury the dead
  • Demining
  • Relocate before winter
  • Prisoners Barracks
  • What remains today?
Throughout your stroll through the scenes, you will discover more than 10,000 authentic objects, installed in display cases or directly in the scenes. These objects and relics have been collected over time by our team in the region or elsewhere. Some were offered to us by the actors of the time or their descendants who wish to participate in the transmission of their family history and History with a big “H”.

Two new scenes in 2022

This is a flagship achievement of our new facilities: the landing craft and its film

In small groups, you are invited to board an authentic landing craft. Then you watch a short film made exclusively for our museum. He takes you along with Bill Parker, a veteran who tells you about “his Landing”.

This film, which combines archival footage and illustrations, is an original cinematographic work that is accessible to all audiences.

A P-47 Thunderbolt fighter inside the museum

It is actually a full-scale model, made by Patrick Letouzé, also known for having made Cushman motorcycles and the Stuart tank which is in front of the Dead Man’s Corner, in Saint Côme du Mont. The aircraft is in the colors of the squadrons of the 50th Fighter Group and reproduces the colors and the “nose-art” chosen by the pilots at the time, according to the official documentation and the advice of André Gidon, living memory of the A10 Airfield.

It is now sheltered from bad weather and integrated into a crash scene in the Normandy bocage. Of course nothing “creepy” in this achievement which emphasizes emotion and historical details.

Handling* and photos allowed

In the museum you are authorized and even invited to touch certain objects to better understand and experience the sensations of the actors of the time: helmets, dummy weapons and various equipment. It’s not a game but again, to understand! A weapon, a helmet, an outfit, a kit, it’s heavy, very heavy…

The objects you can handle are clearly indicated and everywhere in the museum you can take pictures (without flash).

Archival images and testimonials

At various places in the museum you are offered archival films. Some filmed by the Americans during the operations (subtitled in French).

“Cobra, la percée”: testimonial film (in French*)

Your entrance ticket gives you access to a screening room with around fifty seats where, every 30 minutes, the exceptional documentary by Bernard SIMON: Cobra, la percée is broadcast. (watch trailer). This documentary, released in 2014 on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the landing, gives the floor to a dozen witnesses, many of whom are coming out of silence for the first time. All from the Marigny sector, they recount the years of occupation, the landing but above all the famous Operation Cobra which put an end to the battle of the hedgerows, at the cost of the largest carpet bombardment of the Second World War. It is a poignant document, not to be missed during your visit and which can be shown to the youngest, who will hear the testimonies of those who could be their grandmas and grandmas.

*Film subtitled in English

“Portraits of veterans” photo exhibition, audio documents and videos by Florent Plana

In collaboration with Florent Plana, professional guide in Normandy, known for his countless interviews with veterans (more than 900 interviews to date) we offer you a superb exhibition integrated into the “Portraits of veterans” tour. . An emotional exhibition in the form of photos, audio tapes and videos, which is particularly appreciated by our visitors.

About twenty vintage vehicles

Indoors

Integrated into the scenes, indoors, the most passionate and connoisseurs among you will recognize various old military and civilian vehicles. From the Weasel to the troop conveyor, the Peugeot 202 or the Fiat 500 Topolino, via the Citroën 23L truck, motorcycles, bicycles, horse-drawn carriages or even the Jeep in which you are authorized to take place.

Outdoors (free access).

You can admire a Sherman tank type M4 manufactured in 1943, busy tearing down a hedge with its “Hedge-cutter” system invented by the Americans in Normandy, in particular by Sergeant Curtiss Cullin. An original copy of this system is also presented in the museum

Facing the N13, at the end of what was the A10 runway in 1944, several American engineering vehicles, intended for the creation and then the maintenance of airstrips are also visible.

A permanent exhibition: “The role of women during the war”

At the end of the visit, you have access to a thematic exhibition on the important role of women during the war. In all the countries concerned they had to show courage and ingenuity. Their role was long ignored or even despised. We knew them at home and in the fields while “their men” were at the front, but they were also in the factories, on the battlefield, in the army, at the controls of planes, in hospitals, in the resistance… their role was much more important than what we still imagine today and we invite you to discover it in this exhibition.

Temporary exhibitions

In addition to the impressive collections gathered in the permanent exhibitions of the NORMANDY VICTORY MUSEUM, temporary exhibitions are regularly organized. They are integrated into the path or installed in a new 250m2 exhibition space (opening in 2022).

Historical scenes and outdoor equipment (free access)

On the runways of the A10 Airfield

The NORMANDY VICTORY MUSEUM is installed directly on part of the runways of the mythical A10 Airfield aerodrome. It was specially built by the Americans for air support during the hedgerow battles. Read l article about the A10 Airfield.

Outdoor historical reconstructions accessible to all

As soon as you enter the site, along the alley leading to the car parking, you have access to a staging reproducing a piece of landing beach and its German defences. This course reproduces according to the plans of the time, the organization of a sector of the front when the first LCVP (barges) of the 4th Infantry Division reached Utah Beach. On the beach, obstacles such as concrete tetrahedrons or metal Czech hedgehogs are placed to hinder the progress of the troops and prevent a landing as close as possible to the dunes. . In the background you can see an American LCVP or Higgins boat type barge.

In front of the entrance to the museum, several concrete protective sentry boxes are presented, which were often found on the railway tracks and which allowed the sentries to take shelter in the event of strafing of the stations or convoys.

Discover historic sites around the museum in a vintage Dodge WC

A passionate and experienced guide takes you in a vintage vehicle, the Dodge WC which was widely used during the Second World War. In small groups, you walk the paths of history around the museum. Two circuits are proposed to you:

“A10 Airfield, in the footsteps of the 9th Air Force” – 40 mins – 24€ Pers.

“Carentan, in the track of the 101st Airborne” – 1h15 – 44€/Pers.

Find out more.

Various events for all audiences

Several important dates give rise, of course, to recurring events:

¤ D-Day anniversary around June 6

Every year around June 6, the museum offers a varied program: exhibitions, conferences, dedications, reconstructions, festive events…

¤ “Cobra 44”, commemorative festival, end of July

In July, we commemorate the end of the Battle of the Hedges through the “Cobra 44” commemorative festival, the first edition of which took place in 2021, with various activities.

¤ And throughout the year

We receive personalities for conferences, signing sessions and organize events according to the context: such as the operation “The steeples of freedom” during the health crisis of 2020.

These different activities can also go beyond the historical framework that defines the museum. In the reception hall and on our large outdoor grounds, a rich and varied program is spread out throughout the year. Screenings, conferences, concerts or even plays follow one another to make the NORMANDY VICTORY MUSEUM a strong cultural place in the Normandy region, where everyone can find something of interest: tourist and local alike.

View scheduled events

Good to know, practical infos

  • The museum has a large free car park with 300 spaces, also accessible to coaches and motorhomes (no sanitary terminals).
  • The A10 Canteen restaurant with vintage decor welcomes you to the museum grounds
  • Pets are allowed (subject to the behavior of the animal and its masters).
  • It is possible to move around easily in manual and electric wheelchairs (no steps).

AUDIOGUIDE APP

With your smartphone and headphones, access our free application with texts, audios, videos and additional resources.

CATERING

The A10 Canteen, brasserie-pizzeria with terrace, with vintage decor from the 1940s welcomes you directly within the walls of the museum.

SHOP

Our shop offers a wide selection of souvenirs, books, games and toys, clothing, militaria items on the theme of the Second World War.

FREE PARKING

Easy access by RN13, large free car park accessible to cars, coaches and motorhomes.