History of the museum
The Normandy Victory Museum is one of the must-see museums in Normandy on the theme of the Second World War. If he deserves a detour, it is because he tackles in detail the battle of the hedges (Hedgerows hell) which took place during the summer of 44 in fields of Normandy. An event that deserved a whole museum to be dedicated to it, it was so important, strategic and forever marked the memory of the locals and the soldiers involved in this fight. This is where the history of the museum begins.
The Hedgerow hell, a major event in the history of the Landing
It took fifty days after the landing for the Hedgerows hell to finally end and be recognized as a success. Fifty days of fierce fighting which cost soldiers of all camps and Norman civilians. This is what we wanted to tell and explain to our visitors in a chronological, lively and immersive journey. With two major objectives: to inform and pay tribute.
At the beginning of the Normandy Victory Museum
Three founding members driven by the same passion
The Normandy Victory Museum is the result of the meeting in 2016 of three history enthusiasts: Patrick Fissot, history professor. Christophe Beaussire, manager and Nicolas Bellée, chartered accountant. Three collectors driven by the same desire, to set forth the Hedgerows hell which marked their department so much, and pay tribute to those who courageously fought to deliver the Channel from the German yoke, military as civilians.
A personal historical collection serving the public
Patrick Fissot and Nicolas Bellée are already great collectors when they join forces for this great museum project. Their respective personal collections are impressive and between 2004 and 2014, they mounted some large temporary exhibitions which earned them recognition from the community and the public. Building on these successes, they began to develop a museum project in 2015.
In 2016, they were joined by Christophe Beaussire, and also a passionate collector of military vehicles. He owns a building in the municipality of Catz (Carentan-les-marais) which he rented from the owner of the Tank Museum and who unfortunately sees its closure announced. This freed space will be the ideal place to install the collections of the three men and to share them with the widest audience.
A moving inauguration in the presence of General Poppas
On May 19, 2017 after long months of effort, the museum opens to the public and it is on June 02, 2017 that the inauguration of the Normandy Victory Museum will take place in the presence of General Poppas, commander of the 101st American Airborne Division. A presence rich in symbolism as we know the importance of this airborne division which liberated the city of Carentan in June 44.
Three years later…
The museum seems to have conquered its public
The hard work of these three enthusiasts and their team has paid off and the figures show an audience conquered by the theme of the museum and the manner of presenting this important period of local history.
- 2017: 10,000 visitors
- 2018: nearly 20,000 visitors
- 2019: nearly 35,000 visitors, including a growing share of school.
Encouraged by these figures and the very positive feedback from our visitors, the museum team continues to constantly improve its museum journey and to imagine new events for our public.
What was planned in 2020
- A new thematic exhibition “Women in war“
- Security conferences and events (Enigna conference); alternative events in the context of the health crisis: Ciné Driv’in on June 6.
March 2020, a brutal end and a battle to be waged
This beginning of 2020 will have shown us how fragile man is and how big he can be in adversity. The Covid crisis is such an ordeal that our generation and that of our children have never known. It allowed us to touch on a tiny fraction of what our elders have been through and forbade us all to give up.
This year, the museum could not reopen as planned at the end of March 2020, but we continued to work: improving the museum scenes, fitting out the exteriors, enriching our collections, postponing conferences, organizing ceremonies virtual like “Bells of Freedom” ou “Our Ciné Drive from June 6 “.
We also redesigned the website and set up an online reservation system which allowed us to receive you as soon as we received authorization. The summer months have allowed us to receive many of you. Unfortunately the health situation forced us to close again. Although our teams are small, we continue to work: redesign of our E-commerce site (to find online all the products sold in stores), fittings and decoration of the entrance to the museum, finishes in the Greenfield room intended to receive cultural events and professional and private meetings.
2021, we look forward to seeing you!
We are ready to reopen as soon as possible and we hope to receive you very soon.
A small team 100% passionate
- Patrick FISSOT (Founding member)
- Christophe BEAUSSIRE (Founding member)
- Nicolas BELLEE (Founding member)
- Godefroy BEAUSSIRE (Museum director)
- Elsemiek Dekker (Reception and shop manager)
- Frédéric RAULINE (Museum decorator and tank driver)
- Margaux LECLUSE (Community manager)
- Cécile JEANNE (Digital project manager)
What you think of the Normandy Victory Museum
Everything to please! Meticulously reconstructed scenes watered by the private collections of 4 enthusiasts who dedicated their lives to this period. Rare pieces, objects that can be touched, vehicles that can be boarded, this is a meaningful approach and what we are looking for to keep a teenager interested! One of the best WWII museum we have done!
Clairettebrunette – Tripadvisor – 11 August 2020
Interactive, fun and captivating museum
Great visit to this museum where it is possible to touch period objects (including weapons, Jeep Willis, ….). Both culturally interesting and touching through the testimonies of the inhabitants of the region, the possibility of taking a ride in a chariot but especially the honoring of women seduced us. TO RECOMMEND!
805martinep – Tripadvisor – 5 July 2020
Great museum with the little extra you can touch objects and even get in a jeep. Very good restaurant and very nice armored vehicle tour. I recommend.
Aurélien Dufour (Google June 2020)
From a connoisseur
Although I was quite familiar with the subject, I enjoyed the discussions the group had with the guide. I recommend ! Franck Dehaudt – Regiondo – August 10, 2020
Magnificent museum near Carentan. Back this year and still under the spell
Yannick Chambre – Google August 27, 2020
One of the best museums of its type.
We have visited many D-Day museums, most of which have their good points, but the Normandy Victory Museum is one of the very best.
It’s strength is the number of exhibits and the detail they have gone into to create the atmosphere of June 1944, from both sides. And it’s not just the military aspect they cover, but also the plight of the civilians. There is a film of interviews with older people who were children during the Occupation (although the interviews are in French with no subtitles) and a compilation of raw newsreel film, with English commentary and French subtitles. Visitors are able to interact with a small number of exhibits which children (young and old) would enjoy. For example, sitting in a jeep of the period, or trying on helmets or handling authentic weapons.
Jayne E (Trip Advisor 2019)
A museum that deals with a lesser-known part of history
A museum that deals with a lesser-known part of the history of the post-Normandy landings. I still learned a lot, although I had already visited many museums in the region. I also recommend the tank baptism, impressive. Céline Da Silva – Regiondo – August 18, 2020
Must Visit if in the Area..
The best value for your € in Normandy ! Great visual display of every facet of life while the landings took place. Great static displays and plenty of War Antiques on display. A great souvenir shop and a pub ! Worth a visit and then some !
Rev Dr Andrew Pitt (Trip Advisor 2019)
Must visit museum
Good evening both inside and outside, the visit to the museum was memorable, we have very beautiful things with perfect organization. DPdeLaBarolliere – TripAdvisor – August 29, 2020
Ali Pati recommends the Normandy Victory Museum.
museum super pleasant to visit, well documented very friendly staff and the must: the armored tour will be remembered for a long time and thank you to the pilot so nice!
Ali Pati (Facebook)
Quite a nice, self-guided museum.
Quite a nice, self-guided museum. Enjoyed that you could go through it all at your own pace and spend more time on the things that really interest you.
Charlotte Fernimen – Google
Great for organizing a school trip
Great time to introduce to school children. The diversity of the proposals (visit to the museum + obstacle course + armored vehicle ride) excited the students. Staff available. Super welcome .. TO BE DONE AGAIN
fute_467000 (Petit Futé)
A great museum and a great team they saved us by tracking our motorhome bogged down in the parking lot with their chariot as what the old can be used for the modern ???? and the experience of the chariot ride offered on the site is really to do I recommend
Jacky Lemal (Regiondo June 2020)
Thank you !
Nos visiteurs sont nos meilleurs ambassadeurs. Ils mettent l’accent sur ce qui leur a plu, les a touchés, les a intéressés et c’est toujours un régal pour nous de les lire et de leur répondre. Vous aussi, laissez vous surprendre et partagez votre point de vue avec les découvreurs, les amoureux d’histoire…