WW2 cities

When the D-Day invasion forces landed on the Normandy coast, the whole of France which was completely overrun by German forces, stood between them and Germany. Landing at the 5 D-Day beaches stretched along a large section of the Normandy coastline, the troops fought their way inland across the difficult Norman bocage. The landing forces and accompanying paratroopers had several key objectives to fill including the capture of several important towns and cities. Below are some of the most important places fought over in those first few weeks and months of the Normandy Campaign. 

Carentan, Bayeux, Caen, and Cherbourg were some of the first cities captured in order to join up the landing forces in a united front line. Fierce fighting on the ground, and devastating air and naval strikes, caused incredible amounts of damage in these cities. As the invasion progressed, the port of Le Havre was deemed of strategic importance to improve the Allied supply system but the intense bombing campaign that forced the German surrender here also destroyed large parts of the city and its harbour.

Travel to these cities today and see how they have recovered from the ravages of war. Visit their WW2 monuments, cemeteries and historic sites where the war has still left its mark and remember the important events that happened here 70 years ago.

Key places in the Battle of Normandy

Bayeux in Normandy is a beautiful medieval city, brimming with history, and is the home of the famous Bayeux Tapestry.

Cherbourg, in Normandy, is a port town with a seafaring history that is second to none.

Carentan in Normandy is a quaint town surrounded by vast wetlands and marshes teeming with wildlife - but it is most famous as the site of the Battle of Carentan during the Battle of Normandy in WW2.

Caen, in Normandy, is one of the oldest university towns in France. Bustling with activity, it is a vibrant and attractive city on the River Orne.

After serious devastation during the WW2 bombings, Le Havre has risen phoenix-like from the ashes to become a recognised UNESCO World Heritage Site for its post-war architecture.