One of the most crucial operations in modern military history, the D-Day landings became a pivotal moment in the history of the Second World War. Today, many of the key places that were so crucial to the battle can still be visited and these D-Day sites, memorials and museums are extremely popular with visitors to Normandy.
The battle for the Normandy beaches and beyond brought stories of great heroism mixed with great tragedy, and today many people visit the Normandy beaches to mark this sacrifice. Indeed, a visit to these D-Day sites and to the wider battlefields of Normandy can be both a fascinating and a sobering experience. Places such as Omaha Beach, Pegasus Bridge, Pointe Du Hoc and St Mere Eglise are marked in history along with dozens of other fascinating sites, museums and memorials whose location have become a permanent reminder of the scale of this most-ambitious of all WW2 operations.
You can explore a D-Day sites map above and get more information on all of these key D-Day landing historical places below.
Among the most important D-Day sites is Pegasus Bridge, which was captured by British forces in the early hours of June 6th and was of vital importance to the success of the wider operation.
A key US D-Day site, the Pointe Du Hoc memorial commemorates the American Second Ranger Battalion who fought there on D-Day. The battalion was tasked with capturing German artillery at Pointe Du Hoc to ensure the safety of the troops landing on the beaches below.
The Merville Gun Battery is a former German World War II fortification neutralised by the Allies on D-Day. The 9th Battalion of the British Parachute Regiment were tasked with capturing and disabling the battery before the beach landings. The remains of the battery can still be seen and it is a popular D-Day site.
The Omaha Beach Museum chronicles the events of the largest of the D-Day Landings in Normandy in World War II. Through a series of exhibits, including dioramas, military uniforms, testimonials and photographs, the Omaha Beach Museum traces the events of the assault on Omaha Beach and Pont Du Hoc.
The Battle of Normandy Memorial Museum traces the events of this famous World War II battle. Taking a chronological approach, the Battle of Normandy Memorial Museum begins in the period prior to the initial assault, through to the infamous Normandy Landings on D-Day up to 29 August 1944.
The Big Red One Assault Museum looks at the history of the US First Infantry Division in World War II, particularly their part in the D-Day Landings. The division were part of the infamous landing at Omaha Beach where, despite the difficulties encountered, they together with the 29th division went on to secure the beach.
The Gold Beach Museum tells the story of one of the D-Day Landings. The museum tells the story of this victorious attack as well as the intelligence operation behind it.
Among the most important D-Day landings memorials, Le Memorial at Caen is a history museum dedicated to World War Two and other conflicts. It explores the events which led up to the Normandy Landings of World War II, the Landings themselves and the aftermath.
The Longues-sur-Mer Gun Battery was a World War II German defensive battery. Made up of four 150mm guns, the battery is located between the vital allied landing beaches of Gold and Omaha. It was captured by the British 231st Division.
Musee Airborne is a World War Two museum dedicated to the Normandy Landings of 1944. Comprised of three main buildings, one of which is shaped like a parachute, Musee Airborne - also known as St-Mère-Eglise Airborne Museum - is dedicated to the role played by the American 82nd and 101st airborne divisions during the Normandy Landings.
Among the most moving D-Day sites, the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial is a World War Two graveyard with a visitor centre. It is the burial site of 9,387 US military personnel who fought and died in WW2. Most of the graves belong to participants in the Normandy Landings.
Sword Beach was one of the five landing beaches of the Normandy D-day Landings during World War II. Assigned to units of the British 3rd Division, the landings at Sword Beach were the most eastern part of Operation Overlord.
The Juno Beach Centre explores the history of the Canadian forces in World War II. From photographs & documents to multimedia presentations and even a tour of the D-Day landing site and bunker, the Juno Beach Centre looks not only at the Canadian efforts in World War II, but paints a portrait of modern Canada.
A lesser-known Normandy landings site, the Pegasus Bridge Museum is dedicated to the British 6th Airborne Division, the first Allied troops to land on D-Day. With displays of historic items such as weapons and gliders, documents, photographs and, of course, Pegasus Bridge itself, visitors can learn about various missions carried out by this division on D-Day and beyond.