Battle of Normandy D-Day museum

Le Grand Bunker Atlantic Wall Museum

Bunker as it was in 1944

Bunker as it was in 1944

Another great museum to visit, is the one in the town of Ouistreham in Normandy, France. Located in the heart of what once was called SWORD Beach in the British sector, this 7 story bunker is impressive not only by it’s size and shape but also by it’s function and what’s inside.

It’s important to notice that it has sustained little damage
and has been completely restored and set up as it would have been in 1944.

Located only a few minutes from the beach and the Ferry terminal,
the Atlantic Wall Museum is inside the old German headquarters
which was in charge German coastal gun batteries
covering the entrance of the Orne river and canal.
The 52ft high concrete tower has been fully restored
to make it look how it was on  June 6th 1944.

Discover the Grand Bunker’s six floors (+ ground floor)
its inner rooms, which have been recreated down to the last detail:
generator room
gas filters room
casemate with machine gun protecting the entrance
medical area
sick bay
ammunition storage
radio transmission room
telephone switchboard
observation post equipped with a powerful range-finder
and on the top floor a 360° view over Sword Beach.

You’ll be able to see many pictures and documents concerning the construction of the Atlantic wall
artillery, beach defences and observation, etc.
Souvenirs of the assault and shock troops specially trained
for operation OVERLORD to attack the Atlantic Wall
and the everyday life of Germany Army soldiers.

A pocket of German resistance
On June 6th, intrigued by this unforeseen obstacle,
the Franco British Commandos attemped to approach the tower,
but were pushed back by heavy machine-gun fire
and grenades being thrown from the top.
They were content to bypass the bunker,
which remained a permanent threat during the following days.

The capture of the Grand Bunker
On 9 june, Lt. Bob Orrell of Royal Engineers, 91st Field Company R.E., 2nd British Army,
was given orders to take the bunker.
With three men and himself, he placed 2 explosive charges one after the other to blow up armor-plated door.
In all it took them 4 hours to break it open!
The garnison of two officers and fifty men then surrendered

and the liberation of Ouistreham was complete.
The set of defensive works at Ouistreham
shows the scale of construction work involved in the building of the Atlantic Wall.

Here is website link (with opening & closing times, prices and additional info) :

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