Musée No. 4 Commando

Parking

The museum does not have its own parking, but public spaces are avaialble nearby.

Toilets

There are no toilets in the museum.

Gift Shop

The are a number of items for sale at the ticket counter.

This is a fairly tiny museum that is dedicated to the small band of Free French Commandos that landed on Sword Beach on D-Day. Trained at Achnacarry in Scotland, on D-Day they were attached to Lord Lovat's Special Service Brigade (No.4 Commando) of No.10 Inter-Allied Commando. The activities of this small band of men if often under-represented in most other museums. Under the command of the recently promoted capitaine de corvette Philippe Kieffer, 177 men of 1st French Marine Rifles Battalion landed near Hermanville-sur-Mer the beach to the west of Ouistreham.

As immortalised in the film "The Longest Day", the initial objective of the "Kieffer Commando" on the morning of D-Day was the Riva Bella Casino. By the evening of 6th June, 1st Special Service Brigade, including No. 10 (Inter-Allied) Commando elements had crossed the River Orne and were dug in guarding the left flank of the 6th Airborne Division. By the end of the Battle of Normandy in August, only 40 out of the original 177 men remained. They were eventually pulled off the line and embarked for England on 7th September. A few days later, back in England at Petworth Camp on Lord Lekonfield's Estate, they were granted their first leave since before D-Day.

The museum itself loses one star immediately for not allowing photography inside. However, despite the singular subject matter it has some very interesting contents. There is a short film shown in different languages and a number of glass displays with uniformed mannequins with a variety of equipment. However, although some labels have translations, not all do. Some labels also obscure the item they are describing. On the walls are photographs, documents, patches, badges and flag. It will not take long to visit the museum, but what there is here is interesting and not often covered in much detail at the other Normandy museums.

Whilst in the area it's worth taking a short walk towards the beach and west a few hundred metres to the Monument Francais Libres, dedicated to the French Commandos killed in Operation Overlord. In the other direction from the museum is the Musée du Mur de l'Atlantique.


Updated: July 2015



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