Author

Coline

Published on 1 February 2022

Reading time: 3 min

To commemorate the anniversary of the Allied landings of June 6, 1944, each spring, the Normandy beaches host a multitude of festive events and activities during the D-Day Festival Normandy. The opportunity for young and old to learn a little more about the history of the Landings.

A historic day

Coming to liberate Europe from Nazi occupation, more than 130 British, Canadian and American soldiers landed on the beaches of Omaha, Gold, Juno, Sword and Utah at dawn on June 000, 6. This military operation, on an unprecedented scale, will have made it possible to begin the long offensive which leads to the opening of a new military front in the west, and was a success despite the heavy human losses. 

Today, the D-Day Festival pays tribute to the soldiers who participated in this key stage in history. Guided tours, hikes in the footsteps of the Allies, fireworks, exhibitions or concerts, there is no shortage of ideas to celebrate the anniversary of D-Day. And if the tributes are at their peak the week of June 6, the animations take place throughout the months of May and June.

This year, the D-Day festival will take place from May 28 to June 12, 2022. Find below the special program of events that will celebrate D-Day on our territory

The events not to be missed in our territory

Pegasus Bridge
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(re)Discovery of the Pegasus Memorial and guided tours

In Ranville, the Pegasus Memorial houses the original Pegasus Bridge. This bridge was liberated by British paratroopers on the night of June 5 to 6, 1944, to allow the passage of Allied troops coming from the beaches.

During the D-Day Festival, guided tours in Ranville and Amfreville are organized by the tourist office.

A freedom march at the Merville Battery

The capture of this fortification built by the Germans played a crucial role in the success of the landing of the Allied troops. During the D-Day Festival, walk in the footsteps of the men of 9e Battalion, who came up from the church of Gonneville-en-Auge to the Merville Battery, June 6, 1944. Supervised by two associations of re-enactors, relive the emotions experienced by the soldiers during this march for freedom, and learn more about this memorable battle! 

Reconstituted military camps in Merville

On the site of the the Merville Battery, British and German military camps will be reconstructed by the Stahl M-1 and France 44 associations, in order to allow you to better understand the lives of soldiers during the Second World War. On site, you will discover how the soldiers were dressed, but also what were their weapons, their vehicles and how life was organized in the military camps. 

The visit of a vintage plane at the Battery of Merville


Another highlight of the visit to the Merville Battery, that of the "Special Snafu", an authentic Douglas C-47 aircraft, which took part in the assaults led by the 9e Battalion. Abandoned at an airfield near Sarajevo, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, it was repatriated in 2007 by a team of volunteers, then restored to the colors it wore on June 6, 1944. Now on display in the grounds of the Merville Battery, the Douglas C-47 opens its doors to visitors during the D-Day Festival. A great opportunity to learn more about the aerial assault carried out by the heroic 9e Battalion of British Paratroopers.

Avion Dakota Batterie de merville
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