©Soldats de la seconde guerre mondiale à Bagnoles de l'Orne

Second World War Sites

Second World War Sites

From the Forêt des Andaines to the Normandy Beaches, explore the sites of the Atlantic Wall and Operation Overlord. Museums, memorials and tourist routes commemorate the events of 6 June 1944 and the offensive that followed.

The Bagnoles de l’Orne Second World War Memorial Trail

Did you know that the main support base for the Atlantic Wall was in Bagnoles de l’Orne? The Forêt des Andaines was the site of a large German Army depot during the Second World War. Enormous reserves of fuel, food rations and munitions, as well as tank sheds, were camouflaged beneath the trees.

This completely unknown history was revived with the opening of a 1½-mile pedestrian history trail along with its ¾ mile shorter alternative. There are information panels along the route that starts after after the steps by the tourist office car park.

The Aéro-Mémoire 39-45 Museum

Housed in the former Couterne mill, the exhibition created by the Aéro-Mémoire 39-45 Association explains the aeronautical heritage of the Second World War. This 250 m2 area tells the story of the airmen, and is illustrated with artefacts and remains of planes found on the battlefields of Normandy.

The founder, Norbert Hureau, who was passionate about this period and collected a multitude of pieces from various plane crash sites throughout his life, including engines, sections of fuselage, wings, wheels and parachutes. This exhibition aims to perpetuate the memory of the Allied airmen who lost their lives in combat.

The Montormel Memorial

The Montormel Memorial is located on the battlefields of Normandy between Argentan and Vimoutiers, at the very place where the German army surrendered on 21 August 1944 after the assaults of the Allied forces. Halfway between Bagnoles de l’Orne and the landing beaches, the memorial tells the story of the final engagements of the Battle of Normandy.

A signposted route with ten stopping points starts at the memorial and takes you to the battlefields. The smart phone app “The three days of Agatha” guides visitors along the route telling the story of a young woman following in her grandfather’s footsteps.

The landing beaches

The magnificent sandy beaches of the Côte de Nacre are a place of pilgrimage commemorating the greatest military operation of all times: the Allied landings in Normandy. Utah Beach, Omaha Beach, Gold Beach, Juno Beach and Sword Beach are visited by people from all over the world.

Museums, memorials and military cemeteries bear witness to the landing of Allied troops on the five beaches of Cotentin and Calvados in the morning of 6 June 1944. The landing beaches are situated around 1½ hour’s car journey from Bagnoles de l’Orne.


your trip

Unforgettable moments to share with family, as a couple or to experience on your own