Utah Beach

Utah Beach – A D-Day Landing Beach

There are five landing beaches – Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. Utah Beach is the most westerly of the beaches and is around 50km south east of Cherbourg. It is an extensive stretch of coastline; it goes from the beach beyond the village of Sainte-Marie-du-Mont to the beach at Quinéville.

Utah beach

Utah beach is separated from the other D-Day beaches by extensive marshes known as Les Marais. The marshes caused problems for the American airborne troops as they parachuted in. Furthermore, the seaborne assault didn’t go to plan with the majority of the American forces coming ashore a couple of miles south of the designated zone. However, this error worked in their favour, as the soldiers setting foot on French soil here met with relatively little resistance.

Monuments At Utah Beach

There are various monuments as you approach Utah beach including those to Major Richard Winters, Danish soldiers and the 2nd Armoured Division. If you park near to the D-Day Landing Museum (Musée du Débarquement Utah Beach) you can discover other monuments. In the area around the museum are the following monuments: US Navy monument, Higgins Boat monument, 1st Engineer Special Brigade monument and also an M4 Sherman tank.

Utah Beach
Utah Beach

Key Sites at Utah Beach

Musée du Débarquement. Utah Beach (La Madeleine)

Located right beside the beach where so many American forces came ashore on 6th June, this museum retraces chronologically and clearly how D-Day was planned and executed. There’s a moving documentary film to watch, ‘Victory in the Sand’, oral testimonies and a B-26 Marauder bomber. Visit the museum’s website here.

Airborne Museum (Musée Airborne) at Sainte-Mère-Eglise

This major museum is dedicated to American paratroopers on D-Day . Along with the classic presentation of the airborne operations, a new wing of the museum plunges visitors into an intense sensory experience of the war. You can find out more information here.

D-Day Experience and Dead Man’s Corner Museums at Saint-Côme-du-Mont

These two museums are tributes to the airborne troops. The house at Dead Man’s Corner was originally the headquarters of the German paratroopers and now contains artifacts to recount it’s history. Immediately behind it is a large interactive museum where you can re-enact the airborne arrival into Normandy on board an authentic C-47 converted into a high-tech flight-simulator. Visit the website here.

Normandy Victory Museum in Catz near Carentan

This museum opened in May 2017 and is dedicated to the events of the summer of 1944 in the Cotentin. The museum’s website is here.

Azeville Gun Battery

Located 7km to the north east of Sainte-Mère-Église, this battery built in 1941, is one of the first buildings of the Atlantic Wall in France. You can read information about the battery in French. Or you can read the Trip Advisor reviews here.

Sainte-Mère-Église church

A 12th century church with beautiful D-Day themed stained glass windows. On the church spire an effigy of a paratrooper pays hommage to John Steele.

Sainte-Mere-Eglise church
The church in Sainte-Mère-Église

Airship Hanger at Écausseville

More information about the hanger is on the website.

Marcouf 44 – Museum of the Crisbecq Battery Command Post

Information about the battery is here.

Crisbecq Gun Battery Museum

Discover one of the most important German artillery batteries of the Atlantic Wall. There’s more information on this website.

WW2 Museum at Quinéville

This museum transports you back to life during World War 2. Stroll down a reconstructed street from the 1940s with houses and shops furnished with artifacts from the World War 2 era. Visit the website for details.

German military cemetery at Orglandes

Located to the west of Sainte-Mère-Église between Valognes and Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte, this cemetery has 10,152 graves.

The video below takes you on a tour of the area around the Musée du Débarquement taking in the monuments and the beach. Towards the end of the video there’s then an insight into the museum displays.

Read more about the other D-Day landing beaches.

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