Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Caen Memorial

So we departed Chartres, intending to stop in Evreux and see the cathedral there. But the traffic was heavy, the streets narrow, and there were no parking areas available near the church. Seems the circus was in town. So we drove on to Caen, spending a night at a camper store/aire there, and then another at the aire next to the Caen Memorial. Daughter Rachel had urged us to see the Caen Memorial, and that was our goal. Over the years, we have seen many WWII museums, in France, and Germany, and England; and even the US, though such museums are fairly scattered there. Somehow, in all our travels, we had always missed Caen and its Memorial. It is perhaps the largest and most comprehensive of the many Normandy museums, and we are glad to have finally made it. Alas, we had to share the museum with many thousands of French high school students and did our own visits in off-peak waves. We have visited many museums with many school groups over the years, and I have to say that these French kids were absolutely the most focused and well-behaved I have seen anywhere. Never a smart phone in sight. Completely on task with their assignments. Still, their numbers were overwhelming.
Main building of the Caen Memorial

Outside sculpture

Main lobby

A Hawker Typhoon strafes the information desk; a failure in
the air, the Typhoon was relegated to ground support and
museum use; but it was the P-47 Thunderbolt that earned
the appellation "tank-killer"

The museum uses just about every medium to tell its
multiple stories


A German "Enigma" coding machine;
the Brits broke the code(s) early in the war
and read German naval dispatches almost
contemporaneously throughout the war; and
did not reveal this fact until many years later

1 comment:

Tawana said...

We went to this museum with our kids back in 1999. My dad was in the Pacific, so all I knew of Normandy's invasion and France's WWII involvement was what I read in the history books. Last summer we went to the big US cemetery above Omaha Beach, our first trip there.