D-Day: Overlord Museum – Colleville-sur-Mer, France

Posted: , Last update: September 10 2017, in D-Day Normandy, Museums & Collections. No Comments

The Overlord Museum near Omaha Beach

The Overlord Museum near Omaha Beach in Colleville-sur-Mer, France

Overlord Museum exhibition

Close to the American D-Day landing sector Omaha Beach and the American War Cemetery of Colleville-sur-Mer you can find the Overlord Museum. This museum traces the period of the Allied landings on D-Day in Normandy until the liberation of Paris. It boasts an impressive collection ranging from army infantry equipment and belongings to tanks of the era used on both sides of the battle. The collection is presented through scenes reconstructed on a real-life scale with more than 35 vehicles, tanks and guns on display.

V1 flying bomb Overlord Museum

CT 10 (French V1 replica) flying bomb hanging from the ceiling in the entrance hall – Overlord Museum, France

No, this is not a V1, but a CT 10 produced by ARSAERO. It’s a postwar French successor of the German V1, designed as a training target for anti-aircraft guns and fighter planes. A big thank you to christianCH for his feedback on this matter.

Sherman tank at the Overlord Museum

Sherman M4 tank at the Overlord Museum

Diorama of beach landing at Omaha Beach

Diorama of beach landing at Omaha Beach

Panther Tank Ausf A Overlord Museum

Pz. Kfw. V “Panther” Ausf A Sd. Kfz. 171 underneath a German “Strabo” mobile crane at the Overlord Museum, France

Der Strabokran – 16t German Gantry Crane

One of the eye catchers of the Overlord exhibition is a large diorama with a trackless Panther Tank (Ausf. A) standing under a 16 tonnes mobile Strabokran or Gantry Crane. Between 1942 and 1945 these cranes were used on the German front for all kinds of heavy lifting and indispensable for maintaining heavy tanks like the Tiger and the Panther. From 1944 they were even used for putting A4 (V2) rockets onto trailers.
To be able to see one of these cranes in full glory is a rarity.

Strabokran and Panther Tank at Overlord Museum

16 tonnes Strabokran and Panther Tank Ausf. A at the Overlord Museum, France

Strabokran leg

Strabokran leg

Strabokran manufacturer plate

Strabokran manufacturer plate

Overlord Museum exhibition outside

Outside the museum you can find some nice restored tanks like a Canadian Sexton Self Propelled Gun (25 Pdr.), a Sherman M4A1, a M10 Wolverine Tank Destroyer and an extra large Bailey Bridge.

A Sexton self propelled gun at the Overlord Museum

A Canadian Sexton self propelled gun (25 pounder) at the Overlord Museum

M10 Wolverine Tank Destroyer and a M4A1 Sherman tank

M10 “Wolverine” Tank Destroyer and a M4A1 Sherman tank on the front lawn of the Overlord Museum

Falaise Musée Août 1944

Falaise Musee Aout 1944

Falaise Musee Aout 1944

The Overlord Museum collection is based on that of the founder of the “Falaise Musée Août 1944” museum, Michel Leloup, who passionately collected and restored WWII tanks, vehicles and items of interest for 40 years until he passed away in 2011.
Landmark Scout went to visit the Falaise Musée Août 1944 museum in 2010. You can find pictures we made there of our visit and parts of the collection that ware kept outside if you follow the above link.

Visit the Overlord Museum

You can find the museum at the roundabout leading to the famous American War Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer. Even though the facade of the museum suggests a large building, the exhibition spaces can sometimes feel cramped, especially on popular visiting hours during the summer season. Some dioramas are behind plexi glass walls which makes it hard to enjoy or photograph them, which is a bit of a shame because they are beautifully put together. Overall the museum has a great collection on display and is definitely a must see when in Normandy.

D-Day festivities

During the D-Day remembrance festivities in May/June the Overlord Museum is a center of activity and a rendez-vous point for anyone with a more than healthy interest in WWII history. Just sit back and enjoy watching colonnes of WWII vehicles and reenactors driving on and of all day long.

D-Day festivities at Overlord Museum

D-Day festivities at Overlord Museum

The following video’s were taken during the D-Day 70th festivities

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