Dead Man’s Corner is Probably the best Normandy museum I have ever seen. This museum is a highly symbolic battle site. This museum, first opened in 2004, is about a half hour’s drive from Sainte Mere Eglise, in Normandy. It is dedicated to the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions who dropped on the Carentan peninsula in June 1944, and the German airborne troops who faced them.
Indeed, the house of the Dead Man’s Corner has been acquired by the Carentan Historical Center and turned into a museum. During the first development phase of the D-Day Paratroopers Historical Center, it has gathered within this historical building an impressive and authentic collection of material used by the American and German paratroopers, related to this legendary site.
When you enter the D-Day Paratroopers Historical Center, you can see a wall covered with carved stones with the names and the units of the airborne veterans.
Created in honor and in memory of the paratroopers that have fought during the Second World War, this memorial makes the D-Day Paratroopers Historical Center a unique place of remembrance and contemplation.
The Museum houses a large collection of authentic German and American uniforms, equipment and other artifacts from World War 2.
- Its professionally designed exhibits and dioramas of equipment and uniforms make this excellent museum well worth visiting. Most of the artifacts come from U.S. Airborne troopers who fought here. It claims to have part of the world’s largest collection of German and American paratrooper memorabilia, which took the collectors, a Belgian and two Frenchmen, over 20 years to amass: amongst the memorabilia are General Matthew Ridgway’s paratrooper helmet; Colonel Ben Vandervoort’s footlocker, arm flags, jump boots, ID cards, ribbons, letters, dog tags, musette bag, wallet, belt buckle, newspaper clippings, a C-47 pilot’s A-2 jacket, M-2 knife, mess kit, glove, a German para helmet, a Nazi flag, rifles, and even 1940s road signs from nearby.
- Realistic models in Airborne uniforms pose in dioramas typical of the battle scenes of the time. One scene shows two troopers in the attic listening to a radio; another, a realistic aid station with bloody, bandaged wounded German troops, and a third diorama shows German troops conferring.
- There is also a large collection of photographs and hundreds of hours of interviews of American Airborne veterans who fought for Carentan.
- For fans of Band of Brothers, there is also a collection of genuine uniforms, letters and equipment from members of Easy Company, including Richard Winters.
Normandy, France, 6 June 1944. It is only just 00:15 when the American paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division of General Maxwell D. Taylor parachute over the Normandy, thus becoming the first soldiers to reach the French territory; their main mission is to capture Carentan. This town is defended by the elite of the German troops, the paratroopers of Major von der Heydte, the “Green Devils” of the 6th Fallschirmjäger Regiment.
The Germans are entrenched in Saint-Côme-du-Mont, the last bastion before Carentan. They have the order to defend the town until their last man dies. It is crucial for the Americans to capture Carentan as quick as possible. They are waiting for the support of the light tanks of the 70th Battalion that landed in Utah Beach. The road from the beach is the only way they can go.
It comes from the beach, passes through Sainte-Marie-du-Mont and ends half way on the road Carentan/Saint-Côme-du-Mont, at a crossroads named – since then – the « Dead Man’s Corner” by the Americans.
A sole house stands at this crossroads over the marsh , on the direct access road between Utah Beach and Carentan; it is used by the German paratroopers as headquarters, then as aid post. It will then be used as command post by the American paratroopers. The Dead Man’s Corner Museum is located in this very building, in the highly historical place of Saint-Côme-du-Mont.
- Every day, from 9:00 am to 06:00 pm.
- Closed on Sundays between: 01/10 and 30/04.
- Closed on: December 24 and 25 - December 31 and January 1.
Dead Man's Corner Museum